22 badass jobs that involve travel
Wish you could travel more but can’t find the time or money? Join the club. Most of us aren’t born billionaires so finding a way to see the world can take serious effort. Yet I feel sad when I hear people, especially young people just starting out in life, complain they can’t.
I’m a firm believer that reality is what you make of it and if you want to travel the world, then you can make it happen one way or the other.
I definitely don’t want to sell anyone the cliched dream of “selling your home to travel the world”, but I hope to encourage those who feel being able to travel is far beyond their reach. As with anything, it just takes some hard work and dedication.
This article is a more specific post in relation to How You Can Lead a Life of Travel.
These are a few suggestions of jobs that involve traveling, which is by no means an exhaustive list due to my finite knowledge and your endless creativity!
A lot of these kinds of lists seem to make finding these jobs sound easy. Sure, become a diplomat and see the world! I personally don’t believe it’s that easy, but with enough hard work and setting the right intentions, anything is possible.
Best Jobs That Travel
1. Traveling Careers: Become a Foreign Service Officer or Diplomat
Yes, one of the most exciting jobs that involve traveling is a Foreign Service Officer or a diplomat. I put this at the top because it’s my personal favorite. If you’re interested in International Relations, Politics and world economics and have a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree, you can take the Foreign Service Officer’s Exam and go from there. There are some tough qualifications but if you prepare far enough in advance then why not? There are hardship duties though but what’s more exciting than working your way up to becoming an Ambassador?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a Foreign Service Officer, read Becoming a Foreign Service Officer
2. Jobs That Travel: Join Your Country’s Navy
Join the Navy, see the world right? It’s totally true depending on the route you pick. Definitely one of the best jobs today that involve traveling. I stress the Navy though and not the other branches of the military. The Navy goes from port to port.
3. Fashion Jobs That Travel: Furniture or Clothing Buyer
A lot of products are made around the world in factories and by local craftsmen across all corners of the Earth. Buyers get to travel to seek out fabrics and ideas around the world and talk to local manufacturers and artists. If you like design and travel, this isn’t a bad way to go.
If you like photography and journalism then photojournalism is a win. A lot of photojournalism jobs are local, but of course there are freelancers who do go abroad and shoot hardship areas. Definitely not for the average person, but for some people it’s the perfect job.
5. Jobs that Involve Traveling: Teach English Abroad
Teaching English has always been one of the best jobs that involve traveling because it’s the easiest to get and often incredibly rewarding. You don’t always get paid a fortune to do it, but you do get an international experience. If you want to go to Japan, the JET program has a great reputation.
You can get certified online to teach English worldwide by completing a TEFL certification Jobs that Involve Travel.
6. Jobs Require Travel: Translator
If you’re fluent in a foreign language, working as a translator is an option. If you’re not fluent yet, then you can become fluent and then apply to become a translator. Translators though are responsible for converting written language. There are a ton of different translator jobs, some have more educational requirements than others.
There are also some foreign service programs in the military that will pay you to learn a foreign language and then go live in that country.
7. Careers in Travel: Interpreter
Interpreting jobs are out there but you’ll need to be qualified and may need a Master’s Degree in Conference Interpretation. Interpreter is not the same as translator though. An interpreter converts spoken languages.
Read about How to Become a Conference Interpreter
8. Teaching a Niche Subject
This is one of my favorites because you can truly live out your passion with a business plan. I’ve known people who are super passionate about yoga, scuba diving, surfing or photography and then went off to teach in a foreign country. If you’re a scuba master, perhaps you can open a business on an island? Or if you’re a yoga master, there are so many yoga opportunities for instructors in places like Bali. Photographers set up shop by opening up photography tours and chefs can teach cooking classes.
9. Creative Jobs that Travel: Work as a Model or Actor
When I lived in Tokyo, there was a ton of work for foreigners who wanted to model or act in commercials. And it pays a lot of money especially if you can get a commercial. You just have to get in touch with some of the heads of the agencies and then arrange to have some good headshots done by a photographer. You can schedule a meeting with each of the agencies and then bring your headshots along. If you’re right for a client’s image, you’ll be called for an audition.
10. Jobs That Allow You to Travel: Scientific Researcher
You may need a Ph.D for this one, but there are a lot of scientific jobs such as geology, archaeology, disease research, etc. that can take you abroad.
11. Best Jobs That Travel: Become a Peace Corps Volunteer
This may not be a job that involves travel per se, but you do get to live abroad and serve in a humanitarian capacity so it counts as a job that involves traveling.
12. Work in the Travel Industry
Of course. Have you ever been to a trade show and met people who actually get to work for awesome companies in the travel industry? Or what about at a travel agency? If you join one of these teams or companies built around travel, it only makes sense that you’ll be able to join in on some fun.
13. Freelance Jobs that Travel: Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is a lot like photography – you need to first learn the trade and then establish yourself. But writing can provide you with a steady source of income. If you don’t know where to start or you don’t have a portfolio, the perfect solution to this problem is to create a blog.
After you’ve blogged for a decent amount of time, you’ll have a legit writing portfolio to show to both magazines and online publications. You don’t have to just write about travel either.
14. Writing Jobs That Travel: Become a Travel Writer
Travel writing is an art of its own and is not super easy to break into. Travel writers who establish themselves actually GET PAID to travel a lot. Yes, this is the ultimate dream.
15. Art Jobs That Travel: Freelance Art Photographer
If you’re a professional photographer, you can set up photography workshops in cities if you have an impressive body of work. If you’ve managed to market the heck out of yourself, then it’s feasible to host workshops around the world. This definitely takes an already established portfolio but it’s doable. Also, for additional potential income, setting up a stock photography site couldn’t hurt if you already have some impressive shots.
16. Run a Website
One way many bloggers fund their travels and make a living is by running a website. But again this takes time for growth and deliberate strategy. But if you’re passionate about a topic and enjoy writing, blogging is definitely an option.
17. Exciting Jobs that Travel: Yachtmaster
I wish I knew about this job after I went to college because honestly, this sounds like a ton of fun. Yes, you can become a Yachtmaster by taking certification courses. See Findacrew.net
18. Doctor Jobs That Travel
Doctors can become volunteers abroad for nonprofits such as Doctors Without Borders, etc. The same is probably true for nurses too.
19. Wedding, Commercial, Fine Art Photographer
Although I already mentioned freelance photographer, wedding and commercial photography are in a league of their own. Destination weddings are quite popular so it’s totally possible to get a gig in India or anywhere abroad. Additionally, some commercial or editorial assignments can take you abroad on location as well.
20. Jobs That Involve Traveling: Flight Attendant
I was reluctant to put this on there at first because my impression of flight attendants domestically don’t bode very well, but it’s an obvious job that involves traveling.
But, being an international flight attendant with premium airlines like Singapore or Emirates sounds like quite an exciting job.
21. Jobs that Involve Traveling: Work at a Property
When I was in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, I met the nicest Japanese couple who worked at the retreat I stayed at. They shared a passion for the outdoors and their passion and kindness were so endearing, it would be hard to imagine them not getting a job as a helping hand there! There are probably a lot of properties like this around the world to approach if you’re passionate about it.
22. Work a Local Job
In Queenstown, New Zealand I met a girl from I think Colorado. She worked at one of the local agencies. New Zealand has a work permit law so if you find a job you can stay there. She didn’t mind working at the agency leasing out cars, because that meant she had all the free time in the world to explore the beautiful country. If you solely want to travel just one location, something like this could work.
Can You Recommend Any Other Careers in Travel?
Moving to a cheaper country like Thailand or Vietnam can also afford you a lot more purchasing power as well so you won’t need big bucks to make it there. You can live off a meager salary and make it for however long you’re comfortable. But finding a steady career or job that involves traveling doesn’t happen overnight.
You can find a gig such as working at an agency or you can plant the seed for a longer career that involves lots of varied global traveling. The people who make it happen though don’t do it without super hard work and dedication and often, the payoff can come years down the road. But persistence is the backbone of success to obtaining any job that travels.
Read More Articles I’ve Written On Travel Inspiration
If you’re heading to Tokyo soon, I highly recommend my book Hidden Tokyo. It’s filled with tons of insights on a range of activities around Tokyo. It also helps to explain this complex city better by dissecting 18 different major neighborhoods into chapters, with around 400 pages of pure Tokyo insight & recommendations. It lays out the city in a way that you can grasp!