It is notoriously difficult to balance a traditional 9 to 5 job and still find time to travel. Work and travel are usually considered separate entities, with the ladder shrouded by an illusion of luxury and unattainability.
In the US, we get 13 paid vacation days a year on average, leaving us little time to explore the world thoroughly and indulgently.
The following are ways to break away from conventional career molds and still earn your keep while traveling:
Exercise skills you have acquired from previous work experiences and be your own boss by freelancing. With freelance work, you are able to design a schedule that gives you more flexibility and independence. Many freelance opportunities offer sufficient hourly wages to support travel expenses, including business consulting, project management and writing as well as a variety of other fields.
Websites like Elance offer a platform for companies seeking freelancers and for freelancers to advertise their skills. Learn how to market yourself to potential employers and improve your reputation through word of mouth by completing outstanding work. Once you build a solid foundation, you can set your own schedule and gain freedom to travel.
Certain freelance opportunities actually allow you to work while traveling, usually those involving use of digital media, the Internet and handy apps. Becoming a digital nomad is an increasingly popular career option for many people tired of the status quo. Leverage your tech skills in a way that allows you to work wherever you want, when you want.
Web development and design, Photoshopping, graphic design and programming are all ways you can use your laptop and work from anywhere — whether it be in an office, in your home or on an exotic beach in Southeast Asia.
Get a job that integrates travel
There are many jobs with traveling at the core. Conference coordinators get to organize conferences all over the world, working as staff on a cruise ship means you get paid to island hop, and dabbling in the airline industry as a pilot or flight attendant gives you the luxury of choosing where you’re going. Being an international aid worker also fills your desire to do good will, as well.
Teaching a language in a foreign country is a great way to work while living abroad. Native English speakers are in high demand in Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea, and most offer decent pay and cover basic living expenses. A perk of this job is that many countries are easily and cheaply accessible in Southeast Asia, and you can make frequent trips to exotic locations during long weekends or school holidays.
Working as a tour guide is the perfect way to fully experience the local culture and history while traveling. Increase your wealth of knowledge about the places you are in charge of and become familiar with different corners of the world. Constant learning is good for the soul.
Importing and exporting is another option. This job description, while a bit vague, involves traveling to foreign locations to purchase and sell goods you have acquired. Travel and trade all over the world as a modern day merchant. Beware of consulting, though; often times it may bait you with a high salary and constant travel, but you will be working so much that you barely get to enjoy the beautiful locations you're in.
Write a travel blog to sustain a nomadic life
Travel blogging is a difficult field to get into, and it takes more effort than you might think. Believe me, regularly churning out articles while balancing web development and marketing is hard work, and standing out among a sea of other travel bloggers requires strategic planning and dedication.
However, if you brand your blog well, find a niche market, acquire a decent amount of followers and build a good reputation in spite of these obstacles, you can earn an adequate amount of revenue from advertising and writing for other publications to sustain your long-term travel goals.
An additional perk is getting sponsored by destinations or hotels in exchange for coverage in your blog.
Photo via We Heart It
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