Are you wondering how to travel while working and building a career you love? Is it even possible. Here are some strategies to get you - or your children or grandchildren - started.
How to Travel while Working and Building Your Career
One of the most common regrets expressed by older people is not traveling more. Studies suggest that 1 in 5 seniors wish they had seen more of the world. As technology offers new opportunities and the world becomes more accessible, travel is more commonplace but there are still significant barriers. Many are held back by a lack of time or money, restraints on paid leave or working towards career objectives. If you’re keen to travel more but you have work-related ambitions, this guide contains tips to help you balance career and travel goals. In other words, it's about how to travel while working and building a career that you love.
Study While You Travel
Online learning has revolutionized the way we learn and access courses and programs. Today, it’s possible to study almost any course from anywhere that has a reliable Internet connection. There is a huge range of online programs available, and studying online offers much more flexibility than going to classes. In many cases, it’s also significantly cheaper, which means that more people are able to study while they travel.
It’s common to travel while taking a gap year or enjoying a break between finishing your studies and starting a job. With online study, it’s increasingly popular to travel while you study. With access to online courses and options for getting help with taking classes online while you’re away, you don’t have to take a break after college or figure out how to make your plans work once you secure a graduate job or internship. You can save time by combining activities and organize your schedule to make the most of the time you have available to explore different countries or regions.
Online studying also provides fantastic opportunities for people who are already employed or self-employed to see more of the world. Taking a break to train or study doesn’t require you to go to classes now, meaning you can learn on the go no matter where you are.
Embrace the Nomadic lifestyle
Digital nomads had become more common before the pandemic but the Covid-19 outbreak accelerated a shift towards nomadic lifestyles and remote work. Statistics show that the number of digital nomads increased by almost 50% to 11 million in 2020 in the US. In 2021, the figure hit over 15 million and some studies predict there could be as many as 35.7 million digital nomads in the US by 2025.
Being a digital nomad offers freedom and flexibility to do a job from anywhere that has a stable WiFi connection. Nomads are not tied to an office or a strict schedule, and their lifestyle enables them to work and travel simultaneously. The most popular destinations for digital nomads include Bangkok, Lisbon, Istanbul, Canggu, Chiang Mai, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Prague, Cape Town, Melbourne and Budapest.
The way we work and communicate today lends itself to a nomadic lifestyle. Remote work has become more commonplace, companies have become more flexible and technology has solved problems that prevented workers from traveling in years gone by. More and more global brands are offering opportunities for employees to travel and work from anywhere and employees value flexibility over other perks, such as high wages. A recent report revealed that 80% of employees wanted to work for companies that allow their workforce to work remotely.
Several countries, including Indonesia and Brazil, have responded to the growing popularity of nomadic lifestyles by offering nomad visas to actively encourage skilled workers to visit and explore. It has never been easier for those who want to roam while they work to balance career and travel goals.
Combine your career with travel directly
For those who love to travel, it’s beneficial to consider jobs and roles that either involve frequent travel or revolve around travel and tourism. There are myriad examples ranging from politics and journalism to photography, guiding, international media or business and setting up your own venture. Consider your skills and what you want to achieve. If you are already employed, it’s worth asking your employer about opportunities to switch roles or move to a different location to enable you to see more of the world. If you want to change careers, look for vacancies or start working on ideas to establish your own business. This may involve creating a travel blog, using your language skills to teach others or offering activities or excursions, for example.
If you are thinking about setting up your own business rather than applying for jobs, it’s vital to carry out extensive research. Consider locations and destinations, get to know the market in which you’ll be operating, identify competitors and make sure there is a demand for the services or products you’ll be offering. Figure out how you’re going to market your business and who you want to target. Analyse funding options and income streams and make sure you can afford to get the venture off the ground before you invest time and effort.
Live in different countries
If you have career goals, it’s not always easy to achieve them if you also want to travel more. Take the example of working in medicine or dentistry. Doctors, nurses and dental professionals can’t work remotely all of the time and there are often limited opportunities to take leave. If you are following a career path that doesn’t lend itself to a nomadic lifestyle or remote work, it is possible to indulge a passion for globetrotting. One option is to move abroad. You can do this on a temporary basis, a permanent basis or as part of your studies or professional development. Many people within these fields complete placements overseas, and in most countries, there is a demand for skilled health and dental workers. Speak to your employer or research opportunities in different countries if you have ambitions to live abroad.
Many of us want to travel more but our careers get in the way. If you have both career and travel goals, it is possible to see more of the world without losing out or compromising your chances of hitting targets. Explore opportunities to study or work while you travel, take advantage of technology and look for ways to indulge your passions and interests. From being a digital nomad and setting up your own business to applying for jobs that offer travel perks and moving overseas, there are options for everyone.