As anyone who has caught the travel bug knows, finances are the biggest barrier between you and traveling the world. Even for backpackers with inexpensive living habits, money goes quickly when you’re on the road. Many people accept full-time jobs in their home countries and live on the cheap, saving all their hard-earned cash for the couple weeks of vacation they’re allowed every year. While this will definitely allow you to travel, it’s a hard life for little reward. As the internet becomes more accessible and the world seems smaller, people of all ages are choosing to ditch their 9 to 5 jobs and instead move full time to another country, working and living abroad. These people live their dream vacations year-round, and work seems like little sacrifice for their newly acquired lives. For the adventurers among you, working and living abroad will allow you to integrate into a new and exciting culture, travel the world, learn a new language, and continue to make money to support yourself. While the options are quite literally endless, there are 7 jobs that are right for almost any abroad worker.
Teaching English is probably the most common choice for abroad workers. In a 2016 study, 20% of Americans living abroad were working in education. This profession is especially beneficial because you’ll be able to maintain a steady job teaching English online and still accept live classes in your new city. Almost every country is looking for native English speakers to teach classes, and very rarely do you need experience or certification to do so. Teaching live classes help you get to know your city and new culture, and the added benefit of making friends with your students and co-workers will help you create a community. In Asia, native English speakers can be paid highly for a couple hours of work a day. In Central America, the pay is much less, so people normally compensate with an online teaching job. This will be a job that offers flexible hours, stable pay, and an easy way to make a living. Are you multi-lingual? Don’t stop at English, instructor positions for any language can be found online.
Work at a Hostel
If you enjoy interacting with people from all different cultures and backgrounds, the tourism industry may be for you. Hostels, resorts, and tour agencies often hire workers on a seasonal schedule so they can have more employees during the high season. This means you may be offered a 6-month contract running the front desk at a hotel or the bar at a backpacker’s hostel. The work will be interactive and fast-paced, and you’ll learn about the destinations and attractions of your new country very quickly. After some time in your new country, you may be recruited as a tour guide or hiking group leader as well. For those with a special skill, such as certification in surfing or diving instruction, you may find a job teaching which can be quite lucrative. If you find a good job you enjoy at a hostel, ask about benefits. Many can offer free room and board while you work. Regardless, you’ll be able to support your life abroad while enjoying your job.
Almost anything you can do in your home country can be done online with a freelancer’s contract. Upwork is just one of hundreds of freelancing websites which offers contracts to workers living abroad. Some of these jobs require no education or experience, such as data compilation or administrative work. Other jobs geared toward practiced professionals, such as graphic design or website management, may be more difficult, but will be compensated more heavily. Depending on your new employer, you may be offered a contract for just a couple hours of work or for an indefinite amount of time. This means you can control your schedule and workload, and plan for any upcoming vacations. Consider the skills you learned in your career back home and how they could be used online. Many professionals such as social media experts, career counselors, and business strategists find that they can continue their work online. They will use their experience to work from their chosen destination and earn a similar salary as they did in their 9 to 5 office job.
Affiliate marketing may be competitive and take some time to make a profit, but if you do it correctly, you could find yourself making very high paychecks for just hours of work a week. An affiliate marketer is someone who promotes the product of a company. If the product is purchased from your website, blog, or upon your recommendation, you earn the commission. The more successful you are, the more companies will be willing to pay. This is an especially good career for those who are skilled at social media promotion or blogging. Once you find your niche of online consumers looking for the products you promote, you will create a client base and the money will begin to roll in. Those who already run a niche-related blog or have a community of likeminded people online may find this an acceptable challenge. You will put in hard hours of work to establish your clientele base, but promoting someone else’s product means that you have very little work to do besides the sale. You have no responsibility to ship a product, guarantee the quality, or answer customer reviews or complaints. Once you have made the sale, the client moves to the base company and your commission is transferred.
Document your Adventure
Do you have any friends who seem to travel the world year-round, never stopping to work? There’s a good possibility that’s exactly what they’re doing. Quality photos and videos shot abroad can be sold for a good sum to a number of online media sites, including Alamy, SmugMug, Creative Market, and many more. You do not need to be a professional photographer to engage in travel photography, all you need is a good camera and a sense of adventure. GoPro itself will pay $500 for photos, $1,000 for video clips, and up to $5,000 for edited videos shot with their equipment. Once you find your new country, start exploring the jungles, beaches, and mountains, and be sure to bring a good camera. If you enjoy this line of work, contact travel agencies or non-profits in your area and inquire into any promotional work needed. Many local agencies will pay a good amount to someone willing to document their services and promote their area.
Become a Fitness Instructor
In any city, especially those more trafficked by tourists, there will be a calling for fitness instructors. Those with an expertise in yoga, Pilates, cycling, or dance instruction will find the most work for the highest salaries. Not only will you be living abroad, you’ll be paid to work out, often in the best possible scenery. Contact resorts and hostels in your new country to inquire about fitness instruction positions. If you choose to live near a beach, you will be immediately flooded with requests to teach at yoga retreats or for tourist groups. This is not only an option for those in the fitness industry, but for those in the relaxation and beauty industries as well. If you are practiced at massages, make-up, or hair styling, you may find a position with a similar company. If you are successful at your work and enjoy your job, there is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship. Opening your own yoga studio or hair salon can be a lucrative career choice and can provide you with the stability you need to set your roots in your new country.
Translate or Transcribe
The bilingual among you might automatically look into translation. And with good reason, translators can be paid lucratively for their services. Those who are willing to accompany tourist groups on their entire trip will be paid even more handsomely. Translation is not always in person, companies will often pay up to $40 per page for official documents to be translated. While these jobs may be few and far between, you’ll be able to compensate with live translation. Those who are not bilingual can offer services as a transcriber. This will more likely that not be an online contract, but there is such a huge need for online transcribers that you will never find yourself without a job. Companies will send you audio or video clips and ask for a full, typed out transcription. If you can both translate and transcribe, you may be looking at some serious money.
The Opportunities are Endless
No matter what your professional background or hobbies may be, there is a job for you. Working online is becoming increasingly popular and can be just as lucrative as an in-office job. For those of you proficient in the language of your new country, you may find similar jobs to those you had back home. You’ll be able to support your lifestyle abroad while engaging in your new community and enjoying your life year-round.