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I want to 1) Make money and 2) Travel the world - ideally together! Any ideas where I could start?
August 6, 2012 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I want to 1) Make money and 2) Travel the world - ideally together! Any ideas where I could start?

As you can see from my previous question here, I'm at a bit of a dilemma but I am refining my search :D

Any career/job/entrepreneurial ideas that might be worth looking into, eg. digital nomads, etc.? I have a lot of interests and pick up many different skills each year but am a master of none. Skills and hobbies include - photography, design, IT, health and fitness, cooking, and a few others!


Options like setting up and expanding businesses (eg. chain of hotels worldwide) are welcome too, even though it's the hardest of the options :)

I want to make money, travel, meet friends, enjoy life and be able to support a family if the opportunity arises :)
posted by Colibri to Work & Money (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tour guide/operator. Plenty of people make a decent living organizing tours abroad for different interests. You should be very knowledgeable about what you are giving the tour on and the city/region/country. This knowledge will make it easier to arrange accommodations, travel, and special group tour rates with sites. The more you do yourself as far as arranging things will be more money in your pocket.

Salesperson. Sales for an international company will give you everything you desire although you probably won't have all that much time to relax abroad. Bonus job if you love seeing new airports.

Olympic Athlete. Pay isn't that great but if you win gold then you will have plenty of endorsements.
posted by JJ86 at 11:00 AM on August 6, 2012


In his previous job, a former coworker of mine set up networks (usually POS-type stuff) around the world. It "travelling" only nominally, as they hardly ever spent more than a day or two anywhere, and spent most of that time working.
posted by griphus at 11:00 AM on August 6, 2012


Missionary work/church planting.
posted by themanwho at 11:04 AM on August 6, 2012


My cousin was a performer on a Cruise Ship. If you have talent in that respect you can try that. You don't make a ton of money, but it's respectible and you can live on the ship.

Working for an airline gives you discounted rates on travel.

Having the ability to work remotely is another way to travel around, while remaining employed.

Actual jobs where you travel aren't really about traveling. They're about Hiltons, airports and Economy Comfort if you're lucky enough to get it.

I traveled extensively when I worked for the phone company, and it was feast or famine. Either I was in my basement catching up with my expense reports, or I was en route somewhere. Either in my jammies all day, or heels, hose and loptop racing for a plane.

MARTA, Airport, Airplane, Airport, Rental Car, Hotel, Customer office, then reverse.

It's exhausting and you don't really get to see or do much of anything when you're in a different city.

Consulting work is a nice medium because if you're on a long term project, then you really do get to see a particular place for a period of time. Oddly enough though, it's usually Sioux City, Iowa, not Paris, France.

Are you fluent in any language other than English? If you want a job where travel is an essential part, you should be.

You can become a guru in a particular software, SAP, Salesforce.com (like me!) Oracle, etc. If you know something about network security, if your kung fu is the bestest, then you can write your ticket.

Getting that dream job where you jet around the world, and make shitpiles of many is about 20 years after you start working. Nobody starts there.

You've got to pay your dues. Also, you need a marketable skill.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:10 AM on August 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Look, the reality is that many many career paths have a full spectrum. You can be a superstar network engineer and always be in demand for projects in far-flung places around the globe, or you can be mediocre and compete for local contract work. Same with just about anything. You're putting the cart waaaayyy before the horse here.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:10 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get a commercial skipper's licence to allow you to take passengers out on a sailing boat. Then go see southern Europe, the Caribbean, Australia etc.

If that's too long, train as a divemaster. Pays less well, but lots of jobs in places you might want to go to.

Tour guiding isn't a bad idea if you can work out a way to establish a niche. While it has some start up costs, they need not be punitive.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:12 AM on August 6, 2012


Hm. Some examples of people I know personally who make lots of money and travel internationally on a regular basis:

- Lawyers who work in international business, diplomacy, and human rights
- Investment bankers who broker and oversee international deals
- Touring musicians who do a lot of performances outside the U.S., as well as their various managers and support people - this is a tough gig to get, but once it starts to pan out the money is fantastic
- Directors and representatives of multi-national non-profit human rights organizations (OK, they don't make that much money, but they do fine)
- Creative and management people who work for marketing and other agencies with a broad international clientele
- Airline pilots (OK, the money is pretty terrible, actually, from what they tell me)
- One friend of mine is a federal law enforcement officer who accompanies people recently released from U.S. prisons to countries that have extradited them and turns them over to those countries' law enforcement officials. He makes a good living, travels a lot, and has great stories.

The trick is to realize that you have to build up to any of those things and pay dues to get there. Set a goal and make a ten-year plan. Ten years will fly by faster than I can describe. The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll have reached the goal.
posted by The World Famous at 11:14 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Auditing. Either work for one of the Big Four that will second you to another country or work for a multinational company with branches/subsidiaries in other countries.

Join the military, and find some sort of specialty that makes interesting foreign travel more likely than not. My brother, for example, does some kind of counterintelligence work for the Army and lives in Japan but regularly travels to other Asian countries.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:30 AM on August 6, 2012


I want to make money, travel, meet friends, enjoy life and be able to support a family if the opportunity arises :)

So do I. So does everybody I know. You start at the bottom and work your way up. You often work shitty jobs you don't like to get there. But even the shit jobs can be fun and exciting and lead to bigger and better things. I worked in resorts a western Canadian tourist town in the late 90s/early 2000s. The majority of my coworkers were Canadian but I also worked with people from Europe, Asia, Australia, everywhere really. They were servers, bartenders, room cleaners, dishwashers bellmen, etc. Pretty much everyone lived in the dorm style accommodations and the little rent you paid was payroll deducted. Any shitty aspects of the work were balanced out by the fact that I was surrounded by young people around my age. Kind of like university dorm living, but with no homework. It was awesome.

I left eventually but plenty of people I know continued to move up the ladder in the hotel (or moved to other hotels and resorts, moving up the chain every time they switched jobs). A few even transferred to other properties in the Carribbean and elsewhere.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:36 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you speak other languages? That will make you attractive when looking to work overseas. I have a family member who speaks 5 languages and works for an airline. He's in high demand for long-haul flights between USA and Europe and also USA and South America and this has allowed him to jump past some of the seniority structure at his airline. He is also able to travel quite a bit for leisure (free tickets, etc) and also works his schedule so that he can be a tour guide in Europe during the high summer season (he's got an advanced degree in history). If you don't know some foreign languages already, start learning.
posted by quince at 11:44 AM on August 6, 2012


Pick a CMS (content managment system) of your choice, and then become an expert at it (and I mean 'expert' in the truest sense of the word).

Then, partner with a couple of designers of varying focus areas (artsy, commercial/industrial, etc). Do a couple of freebie/cheap sites together (but made them stellar!), and then start partnering with agencies that don't currently have anyone in-house to do this stuff. There are TONS of independent marketers out there that would fit in with this. You'd ideally want 3-4 of these people.

After about 6 months of building this up, you should be able to outsource your programming tasks to a local (US) person, and still take a 50-80% profit. After a year, you could easily clear $35-60K doing this.

Even better, take on SEO work from your web client (you really need one solid local person to head this up/do the work to make sure it's done RIGHT). This will provide you with easy $1000-1500 dollar per month contracts per account (and you should build in a minimum 6 month contract).

There. I just gave you a step-by-step tutorial on how I built my business. I work from home/coffeeshop/whereever-the-hell I'm at, and I have had ONE in-person meeting in the past year (sometimes, they're worth it). I live in the same city as all my business partners so that we *could* get together if we wanted. I have no office, about a 3% overhead, and I put in about 3-4 hours of work a day. I could get away with less normally, but I'm focusing on a special project right now.

I'm making more money with exponentially less work than my agency gig I walked away from almost two years ago. I will never go back barring the most extreme of circumstances.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:14 PM on August 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Flight attendant
Cruise ship employee
Sales
Researcher (most of the Scientists I work with travel internationally)
Marketing
Consulting (management/supply chain/IT)
Event coordinator
repair specialist for specific equipment
Author/athlete/musician/actor/
Armed Forces

In a lot of professions the need for you to travel depends on your expertise and company you work for.
Example: if you are in marketing you may work for a company that sends you all over the world to conferences and expos - or- may end up working on proposals all day.
posted by KogeLiz at 4:53 PM on August 6, 2012


Read all of Tim Ferriss' books.
posted by devnull at 11:06 PM on August 6, 2012


Get very very good at a sport, or poker.
posted by mippy at 8:35 AM on August 7, 2012


Read The $100 Startup
posted by littleredwagon at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2012


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