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How to Work and Travel

The concept of working while traveling is an alluring idea for many people. It combines the excitement of exploring new places with the practicality of maintaining a steady income. This lifestyle, often referred to as being a 'digital nomad', offers numerous benefits such as flexibility, personal growth, and the opportunity to live in different parts of the world.

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By Eglė

Published: Sep 12, 2023 min read

How to Work and Travel

Deciding on Your Job

Choosing the right job is crucial for successfully working and traveling simultaneously. Freelance jobs and remote work are common choices because they offer location independence. These can range from writing, graphic design, and consulting to programming. 

Alternatively, you can choose a workplace in a foreign country. There are many options to consider:

Teach English Abroad

The highest demand for ESL teachers right now is in Asia. Most schools in Asia require their teachers to have a bachelor's degree, while many other parts of the world, such as Europe, often require TESL certification. In general, the British accent is preferred in Europe, while the American accent is welcome in Mexico and most parts of Asia.

Packages for teachers in Asia are usually generous and include paid airfare, a free apartment, a month’s free pay, two weeks of paid vacation, half off or free health insurance, and an annual salary of approximately $21,000. Most contracts are for at least a year.

Become an Au Pair

Being an au pair, or basically, a live-in nanny gives you the chance to explore another part of the world without having to worry about finding a place to live or figuring out your way around the city by yourself.

Your host family gives you free room and board. In return, the au pair takes care of the children and often helps with simple household chores like cleaning and cooking. Many families prefer having an au pair from another country so that their children can learn to speak English better or learn more about their au pair’s culture.

Au pairs are popular to have during the summer, although contracts can last from three months to a year or more. Nevertheless, application and program fees (if done through an agency) often cost from $300 to $500 plus travel expenses. Requirements for an au pair usually include prior babysitting experience or other experience with children.

Work on a Cruise Ship

One way to travel the world while still supporting yourself is to work on a cruise ship. Workers get all the benefits of being on a cruise without having to pay the price. Applicants should note that certain jobs, such as waiters or waitresses, require long work hours and many do not have time to leave the ship to explore. Jobs such as an entertainer or gift shop worker, however, can leave the ship when it is in port. Those interested can apply directly to the cruise line they would like to work for at their Websites.

Travel Writer

Check out travel guides for opportunities to get paid while living abroad (and traveling). Most jobs are freelance, so working for more than one publication is usually necessary to make a living. Travel essay writers and bloggers provide useful information for tourists that goes beyond talking about fun attractions in a particular country; a travel writer should be able to provide insider information about various destinations.

Getting paid to travel can be a dream job for someone who has the energy for it. From tour guides to travel interns to cruise entertainers to travel writers, there are fun opportunities for anyone with a sense of adventure and a desire to see the world.

Assess Your Readiness for Work Abroad

First, be honest with yourself about your goals for going overseas. Adventure? Boredom with the routine at home? Escape from some difficult situation? You may be planning to offer your skills and commitment to serve people in some way, and/or you may be expecting to gain higher pay or valuable experience for your future career while traveling.

Most people have mixed motives when considering work and travel abroad, and it’s important to realize that no motive is intrinsically better or worse. Be clear in your mind about why you have these goals, and don’t try to hide or undervalue the motives that seem less “noble”.

Openness to Foreign Ways

People are different. Cultures are ways human beings organize their lives, and they vary in significant ways. These facts mean that persons going to live in a culture new to them will discover unfamiliar, confusing, and even irrational-seeming new ways of living. It goes much deeper than new foods and holiday celebrations. 

How ready are you to consider radically alien views about how human life should be organized? How well are you able to understand differing points of view in people you meet every day? Reflecting on your ability to see varying perspectives on a situation will give you clues about how ready you are to adjust to a foreign culture.

Tolerance of Ambiguity

Life is uncertain. Much as most people would like to feel in control of events, it usually turns out that the unpredictable takes control. Human cultures are organized to enable groups of people to impose some uniformity on the universe, so it follows that if you step out of one culture into another, you will discover completely new ways of dealing with uncertainty.

This results in feelings of confusion and insecurity, which some people cope with better than others. How strongly do you feel the need to be in control of the situations in your life? How easy is it for you to “go with the flow” even if you are not sure where the road is leading? More control-oriented people will have greater difficulties in adjusting to life abroad.

Ability to Fail

Cultures are complex. Nobody can learn all there is to know about a new culture in a short period. Cross-cultural workers face years of learning about new and different ways, and learning means that there will be some – maybe a lot – of times when you just don’t get it right. Are you able to fail, pick up, and try again? This ability is one of the most crucial for overseas work of any kind, and the only comfort is, if you aren’t good at it to begin with, you will get plenty of practice!

Advance Preparation for Overseas Assignments

If you are seriously considering taking a job in a country foreign to you, time spent in reflection on the above issues will be well repaid. Particularly in managerial positions, but also in technical and service work, the so-called “soft” skills are needed most.

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Balancing Work and Exploration

Maintaining a balance between work and exploration is an art that requires careful planning and discipline. Here are a few tips on managing work hours while still experiencing the travel destination:

Define Your Goals: Before you start your journey, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve both professionally and personally during your trip.

Prioritize Tasks: If you're traveling for work, prioritize the most important tasks you need to accomplish during your trip. This will help ensure you don't neglect your duties while also making time for sightseeing and relaxation.

Flexible Schedules: Look for jobs with flexible schedules, or consider asking your current employer for more flexibility. This allows you to adjust your work hours according to the local time zone or your travel itinerary.

Time Management: Time management and discipline are of the essence. Try to set specific work hours and stick to them, so you can enjoy your free time without worrying about pending tasks.

The importance of time management and setting boundaries cannot be overstated. Without these, it's easy to either overwork yourself or lose track of your professional responsibilities. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Staying Connected

Staying connected is crucial when you're working while traveling. A reliable internet connection is not just a convenience; it's a necessity. Here are some tips on finding good Wi-Fi or data plans abroad:

Check Wi-Fi Speed and Reliability: Before choosing your accommodation, check the Wi-Fi speed and reliability.

Invest in a Good Data Plan: Consider investing in a local SIM card or global data plan for backup.

Portable Wi-Fi Device: Another option is a portable Wi-Fi device that allows you to have internet access wherever you go.

Useful Tools and Resources

There are several helpful apps and websites for working while traveling. Here are a few suggestions:

Communication: Slack is a great tool for staying in touch with your team or clients.

Project Management: Trello can help you manage your tasks and deadlines efficiently.

Travel Planning: Websites like Nomad List provide valuable information on various destinations, helping you choose your next location.

Learning how to use these tools effectively can significantly enhance your work-travel experience. They not only help you stay organized but also make it easier for you to adapt to the digital nomad lifestyle.

Conclusion

In conclusion, working while traveling is an exciting lifestyle that combines the best of both worlds. It requires careful planning, the right job, and effective use of technology. But with these in place, you can enjoy the freedom of exploring the world while maintaining your career. So why not give it a try? The world is waiting for you!

Sep 12, 2023

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