Life’s far too short to have a boring job, but most of us feel chained to our dull desk jobs. If it’s time for you to go on an adventurous gap year or to cut your corporate career for good, then perhaps some of these examples of jobs where every day is an adventure could inspire you. Not all of them require years of training or vast levels of experience, so there’s no excuses now – do what you love for a living!
Photo By: Fraser Reid
There are plenty of seasonal work opportunities around the world where you could be based somewhere exotic for several months. For example, you could go fruit picking in Australia, pick grapes in France, go commercial salmon fishing in Alaska, or work at a ski resorts during winter. Just make sure you go at the very start of the season (or even a bit earlier) so that the positions don’t fill up first.
Take a ski resort for example. There are tons of jobs like selling tickets, working in equipment rental stores, working the lifts and gondolas, or working in one of the restaurants or cafes. Plus nearby towns and villages often have an increased demand for workers in their hotels, hostels and chalets during the winter season. Having English, the local language, or some experience is a great plus – but many of these spots have so many job vacancies during peak season they’ll often hire someone reliable and provide on-the-job training.
The benefit of seasonal work is that it lasts often for several months meaning you can get to know the region, make friends and perhaps even do day-trips further afield on days off. If you work at a ski resort, for example, you might even have the chance to go skiing or snowboarding during your down time. If this kind of work interests you, find out where you’d like to live or what kind of work interests you and start applying for jobs!
Many people love writing and trying to find a way to make a dime through your words can be a struggle. But with a boom in online travel sites and travel oriented listicle sites it’s easier than it has been in the past to get by as a travel writer. To start your portfolio you might have to write for free to build up a catalogue of published work. Afterwards you can start pitching ideas about travel stories that are relevant to the readers of the specific publication. Usually you’re paid on a per word or per article basis. Draw on your previous travel experiences, or write while on the road. Eventually you might even be asked to travel for publications – how cool is that!?
Travel photography requires a similar path. You obviously need to have a passion for photography and some good equipment, but using photography as your entree into work in some amazing locations, will certainly ensure every day is an adventure. Check out these cool snaps of nature photographers, for example.
Becoming an instructor in a field like skiing, snowboarding or scuba diving means that you’ll get to work in some of the coolest spots on Earth. And you’re certainly not limited to one location. Just think of how many ski resorts there are from the Alps in Europe to the mountains of Japan or Canada! For water lovers there are literally hundreds of dive shops all needing high-quality instructors to teach courses like PADI and to take groups of divers out to dive sites. Just imagine the amazing things you’ll get to see and experience while earning cash as an instructor! And it’s not just limited to these sports: everything from wind surfing, to rock climbing, to mountaineering needs instructors.
Many people want the thrill of say, for example, sky diving but could never go alone on their first few jumps. That’s where the tandem guy/gal comes into play. If you can attain plenty of technical knowledge and experience as say for instance a sky diver there’s no reason why you can’t be a tandem sky diver for a living! Plus it’s not just first-time sky divers that need a well-trained “pair”. You could work in the fields of hang gliding, paragliding, white water rafting and more!
This is an obvious one, but for good reason – plenty of places need tour guides! And we’re not just talking about national parks, museums, or city tour guides. You could also be a tour guide who works for a major adventure travel company and you could end up going on whole trips as part of your work. The plus side is you get to see loads of places – all paid for by someone else. On a smaller scale you could also lead local pub tours and meet heaps of tourists in your very own city. Or if you have a particular interest in an architectural style, or a historical period of the city you live in, you could start your very own walking tour and get to know more about your home without having to take off.
Ok, this is obviously the kind of job that requires the right qualifications and experience, but it’s certainly a job where just about every day is filled with adventure. For example, the Royal Flying Doctors Service in Australia flies medical services to remote areas. During the ski season the equivalent of an “Air Med” flies helicopters into mountainous areas to fly injured skiers and snowboarders out. We can’t imagine a more adrenalin-charged job than this!
Cruise Ship Staff
You might be surprised to learn that giant cruise ships travelling around the oceans and seas is a booming industry, and these giant ships each have the need for hundreds of staff. These jobs include – but are not limited to – entertainment (like musicians and dancers), beauticians, fitness instructors, cooks, waiters, cleaners, admin jobs, IT specialists, deckhands, engineers and many more! Just imagine getting to travel through the Mediterranean or Caribbean (among other exotic locales) and getting paid for the pleasure!
Work for Board
Many hostels have fairly transient staff, and as such many are looking for staff who have flexible work ours, good language skills and an interest in the city. If you’re travelling in a place and want to stay a bit longer you could approach some hostels and ask if they have a paid work or work-for-board vacancies. You’d be surprised how many say yes!
Working for board is not just relevant to hostel work. Sites like HelpX and WWOOF (aka “Woofing”) all list opportunities to work in exotic locations for say four hours, in exchange for a room and food. While you might not be making big bucks this way, if it’s adventure you’re after this is a great way to get to travel around, meet locals and learn new skills without spending much money at all.
Remember, of course, to check visa requirements and other work related laws and requirements associated with all of these jobs.