Leaving a job in a down-spiraling economy is not only scary, it requires a leap of faith. But knowing you have something else waiting for you makes the jump a little easier. If you don’t have a degree but you want to travel the world, do it — and get paid while you are at it. If you’re wanting an extended stay abroad and you don’t want to pay for your apartment or house while you’re away, save money and keep your stuff in SmartStop self storage units for easy access during holidays.
Work on a Cruise Ship
You don’t have to be maid service or part of the wait staff to work on a cruise ship. Think about it. Most ships are the size of a small city (give or take) and require a variety of employees. Opportunities include positions in health care, entertainment, life guarding, tour guides, spa technicians, engineers and child care, to name a few. Contracts usually run from three to 11 months, and crew members generally have two months of vacation during the off-season.
While you may have more opportunities with a TEFL or TESOL certificate, you don’t need a degree to teach English as a Second Language in many foreign cities. Especially if teaching at an elementary or middle school level, being a native English speaker is enough. ESL teaching is a popular way (and amazing experience) to see the world while making money. But if you are leaving America, don’t sell all of your belongings. Some international schools have extended breaks when teachers can travel or return home for a visit.
Be a Travel Writer
It may take some time to build a name and portfolio, but writing freelance for travel blogs is another way to globe trot full time. I did say freelance, though – getting hired full time on a travel magazine’s staff is unlikely (because it’s every aspiring writer’s dream job). You may have to fund yourself for awhile before the payoff starts to trickle in. Start a blog, send queries to the tons of travel publications out there and get started.
Try Tour Guiding
Being a tour guide allows you to be intimately involved with something you are passionate about, and usually only requires good social skills, enthusiasm and a knowledge in the area you want to lead. Though not required, being multi-lingual is definitely a plus. If you want to lead Americans around the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, China, they’ll love that you speak great English. But the rich natives may pay even more if you can entertain them with your Mandarin.
Be an Au Pairs (aka International Nanny)
Especially popular among the younger crowd, international nannying is a great way to fully immerse yourself into a culture without paying the big bucks. Au Pairs usually move into a family’s home to care for the children and help out around the house. Depending on the arrangement, the nanny can receive a small stipend, room and board and some form of education, usually language help. If you do choose the nanny route, don’t leave your guide book behind. Some families allow their nanny to have several days off, but won’t act as tour guides. If that’s the case, Lonely Planet or other guide books will be your best friend.