Michael was twenty-something and eager for adventure when he spotted the advertisement. It read, “Japanese schools seeking English teachers. No experience necessary – we train you.”
What followed changed Michael’s life forever as he successfully completed the organiser’s training program, and embarked on a year of living and working in Japan.
Many dream of escaping mundane work-lives by experiencing another country’s culture while earning a living.
In this age of internet connectivity, the work, life, travel proposition is very do-able. In fact, many of us already utilise video-conference technology to communicate and attend business meetings from home. Why can’t that home be in another country?
Maria is Greek and was living in Sydney with her Australian husband Peter when her elderly mother became ill. The couple visited Greece to care for Maria’s mum, and Peter was able to continue his Australian job via remote desktop connection.
Working remotely isn’t possible for everyone so we’ve rounded-up a few alternative jobs you can do while travelling the world.
Travel writing: Good with words? Write travel articles or blogs and get paid for sight-seeing and exploring new places.
Considerations: This highly competitive industry can be difficult to break into so have some cash behind you until you establish yourself. Stick to unusual or quirky locations; nobody needs another story about Rome’s Colosseum. Further, people rely on travel articles for their own holidays so write honestly. Provide insider tips and discuss risks.
Travel photography/video: Social media is a terrific showcase for your travel pics and videos. Team up with a writer, or write your own copy, to create travel blogs or narrated vlogs (video blogs).
Considerations: Photography and video tourism may be slow to start but opportunities include YouTube or Vimeo to present work. You might also think about publishing a coffee-table book once you’ve established a portfolio.
Housesitting: Get paid to mind peoples’ homes and care for their pets while they’re away.
Considerations: Housesitting opportunities are located via dedicated organisations like trustedhousesitters.com. You must provide a police check and references and pay a membership fee but you’ll be supported by the organisation as you travel the world. Housesitting doesn’t pay well but you’ll have no accommodation costs.
Hospitality: See the world through its hotels, restaurants and bars. Opportunities exist worldwide, particularly if you have food and beverage experience.
Considerations: Traditionally a rite-of-passage for school-leavers, these days, chefs, baristas and hoteliers are gaining creditable experience in international establishments.
Research and plan carefully before jetting off. For example:
- Contact the consulate of your intended country to understand what Visas are required and their terms and conditions.
- Many countries impose age restrictions for those taking a working holiday.
- Even if you’re not a resident or citizen, income may be subject to tax in the country in which it’s earned. You should also speak to your accountant about your Australian tax and superannuation obligations, particularly if you’re working remotely on your Australian job.
- Take out travel insurance. Earning money doesn’t automatically grant you access to a country’s medical scheme.
- Update your will and consider nominating a power of attorney to manage your affairs back home.
- Notify your bank, you’ll need some savings to get started, and keep a cash back-up for emergencies. Holiday jobs can be low-paying so expect to live pay-to-pay.
- Check out overseas job sites; websites like Seek and Indeed list jobs worldwide.
Australians are an intrepid lot and we live in an age of endless opportunities to explore the world and live the work-life-travel dream.
Do your homework and plan carefully; your new adventure could be just over the horizon.