For many people, international travel is a way of life. Many things make traveling attractive: the thrill of experiencing a new place, learning about a different culture, tasting international cuisine, creating unforgettable memories, strengthening language skills and building international friendships. Additionally, traveling can satisfy those with a natural curiosity and restless spirit. For these reasons, travel lovers should consider the possibility of integrating their globe-trotting passion into a successful and lucrative career.
Traveling provides many personal benefits. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel experiences can create more trusting, open-minded, confident and tolerant individuals. Additionally, travel opportunities provide resume-enhancing benefits: international language skills, specific field knowledge, improved adaptability, networking opportunities and professional job experience. For travel lovers, the application of a personal passion into a career is also a smart decision. People who enjoy their work are more likely to be productive, healthy and happy.
Travel jobs may sound fun, but they come with some built-in challenges. Working abroad will often require distance from loved family and friends for long periods of time, prevent pet ownership, require difficult housing (both home and abroad) decisions, mandate unusual employment hours or alter a personal financial situation. Additionally, working abroad poses potential complications regarding health care, taxes, security and visa requirements. For globe-trotters hesitant about extreme international distance conditions, consider a nationally based, temporary travel job such as joining AmeriCorps, regional flight attendant opportunities or seasonal Rocky Mountain ski-lodge employment.
Travel employment opportunities are abundant worldwide. Pick a region or country where you want to work, then search for jobs through online portals, such as InterExchange (see Resources). Popular destinations for United States citizens for international employment include Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, service-based work opportunities are available in other celebrated locations, including Lithuania, South Africa, India, Peru and Argentina. Study the culture, climate, economy, history and geography to determine the best fit.
There are many interesting career choices available for people who love to travel. Positions may be volunteer, short-term or long-term, in diverse settings. Consider cruise ships, airlines, adventure outfitting, military, au pair services, teaching English as a second language, travel writing, hospitality and international business. Analyze your personal skills, strengths and passions to determine an employment match for yourself.
Before working abroad, envision a desired long-term career path. Professional experience abroad should provide personal enjoyment, unique experiences and occupational benefits. Establish goals to provide personal clarity while choosing a work abroad opportunity. Additionally, allow ample time for the international job search, as it can be a lengthy process (especially when coordinating a work visa). Extensively research prospective countries and employers before accepting a job, including cost-of-living comparisons, salary information, culture, security and housing. Consider recreational travel to a foreign country before long-term employment, and seek out advice from friends, family, mentors and professional mentors.