It was only a generation (or so) ago that career dreams meant starting at the bottom of a company, staying there until you got that corner office before retiring with 45 years service and a business card that barely changed. Fast forward to the here and now, though, and career goals are less about what you can do for your job and more about what your job can do for you.
Life is too short to be cooped up in a cramped office with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook other skyscrapers, the rooftop generators providing the only point of interest in a sea of concrete. People want to escape this. They want to see the world, know that their life has meaning, their horizons are expanding and their storytelling is on point.
Yeah. The rise of wanderlust workers is on the up, but finding a job that pays you well to travel is no easy feat. Competition is usually stiffer and salaries wouldn’t let you get a mortgage in a developing country and, realistically, the job itself is still something you’d need to glamorize. But that doesn’t these jobs don’t exist. They do. It’s all a matter of finding the right ones that suit your lifestyle, expertise and passion.
So, without further ado, here is our pick of amazing jobs that will send you around the world, turning your pipedream into a spine-tingling reality; jobs that will allow you to indulge your nomadic desires and still bring a decent paycheck.
No one gets to enjoy more flights than a flight attendant. No one. But it’s not as simple as looking your best, flashing your smile, talking in a perpetually optimistic tone and applying to any old airline because, trust us, short-haul flight attendants rarely – if ever – get to leave their destination airport. So, if you’re dreaming of long layovers in faraway destinations, the sound of lapping waves, coconuts dropping from palm trees and a salary to make you salivate, you need to restrict your applications to one kind of major airline: those offering long-haul flights. Not only will you get to soak up a few rest days on a Thai beach or wandering around the peaks of Hong Kong or somewhere special, but you will get to soak up some serious travel perks (including some that stretch to your family and friends). If we’ve grabbed your attention and left you wondering what you need to have in your locker, customer service skills, fluent in English (and preferably another language), and the ability to swim 25m are all must-tick boxes, after which there will be roughly six weeks of training if you get selected.
Sticking to the air, one of the best-paying, travel-obsessive careers you can chase is that of a pilot. Passenger planes, freight aircraft, whatever tickles your fancy. We’re talking about a career where the average pay is above £80,000, all the benefits you can imagine, family discounts, fine dining (that’s right, they eat better food than the passengers), that uniform your seven-year-old-self dreamed of wearing one day, one of the best office views the world has to offer and the chance to crank up your Instagram followers. For those bitten by the exotic Wanderlust Bug, there really isn’t any job more special than this. So, what are you waiting for, have a look at these top 10 UK aviation courses, pick the one that will have you, complete your professional pilot training program and start working toward that all-import number of 1500 air miles. It will be the best thing you ever did (and give you a skill that’s in growing demand).
We don’t mean you have to become a senator, a Member of Parliament, or even an ambassador. All you need to do is look for jobs within a government-related position in either foreign affairs or trade. It’s a job that ticks so many of the boxes we now crave for personal satisfaction. You get to indulge your love of travelling and wander around the world with a university degree in International Relations as your safety net while getting that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are doing something important with your life. That’s a rare thing and one that shouldn’t be shunned, overlooked or neglected. But the best thing is, these positions tend to lead to wide travel opportunities. What’s more, you’ll usually get to have a say in where you get to be posted, making it even more attractive. Basically, if you’re the adventurous type, and someone that’s up for a challenge bigger than normal, this could well be the job for you.
It doesn’t matter whether you fancy skippering a party boat around the Greek islands, or you’re more of a cruise ship type that wants to spend their summers off the coast of Hawaii and the winters in the Norwegian fjords, there are boats to suit everyone’s lifestyle preferences. And while we picked out being a skipper, that is just one of the roles on offer. Cooks, cleaners, entertainers, musicians, personal trainers, bar staff, nursery staff and maintenance people are all required in this field. It’s what keeps these seafarers ticking. If you want to be part of the crew team or a skipper, then you will want to get some sailing qualifications under your belt, as well as a touch of experience that you can tweak to match the job description. For all the other positions in this field, though, a recognised qualification and dollop of experience in either customer service or the hospitality sector is all you need to become well placed and starting earning a nice chunk of change as you take to the oceans and seas around the world.
For some, the term ‘living the dream’ looks a lot like six months in the deep snow of Whistler and the other six months in the mountains of New Zealand or, if your a sun-lover, half the year in the warm waters of the Red Sea and the rest of your time in the Gili Islands. If that describes your disposition pretty accurately, you need to get yourself onto a ski or scuba instructors course, which is the first step to living out your wildest fantasies. If it’s ski or snowboarding that takes your fancy, then you are looking at a Level 2 qualification, which consists of 15 days coursework and 70 hours practical experience. That sort of qualification will see you get a job anywhere in the world. If, however, you’re more about the underwater world and coral life, you’ll want to get yourself a PADI Divemaster qualification, followed swiftly by an instructors qualification (Instructor Development Course is what they call it officially). Then, after you’ve amassed a minimum of 100 dives, you’ll be ready to get your teaching on (and for a nice bit of cash too).
Flair Bar Staff
For those with experience behind the bar, you can take your experience to any beach bar or mountain resort you so please. But if you have skills as a flair barmen and the sort of knowledge that lets you know how to pull together a Ramos Gin Fizz and a Rum Martinez, or know the difference between a Moscow Mule and a Kremlin Colonel, then you need to see your skills as an open door through which the world is waiting for you. That said, the very best establishments out there – the ones which pay well, have the best views and bring in the kind of clientele that know what a real tip is – will want you to have some professional training. Our advice: head to City & Guilds, which offers a 60-plus-hour professional bartending course. If pulling a frothy pint in some dreadfully-named Irish Bar in Magaluf is your dream, then fine. But if you want to be wearing a suit, calling swanky five-star hotels your home and impressing the beautifully rich people of this world, you’ll want to take it up a notch or two.
The world has become more freelance-friendly than ever, which is good news for anyone that desperately wants to travel on their own terms. Whether you a freelance copywriter, a graphic designer, a travel photographer, into videography or just about anything else, you have the chance to take your skills out into the world and reap the benefits of this truly digital and forever connected world. You could hop from place to place staying in cheap Airbnb villas (with WiFi) or you could soak up the nomadic lifestyle of converting a van and working from faraway coffee shops. The chance to go solo has never been more enticing or more attainable, so why not roll the dice and start earning while travelling? Exactly.
Hopefully, there was something on this list that you fell in love with. That said, if you think we missed out an amazing travel career, let us know about it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.