While for most people a desk job and a few days vacation a year are par for the course, others view this kind of arrangement with horror. Call it wanderlust, call it ADHD, call it the call of adventure, call it what you will, but for these people sitting still at a desk for the majority of their lives simply won’t do. If you happen to be one of those people, there are a good number of alternatives to vagrancy, and here are some of them:
Teach a Language
Native English speakers who want to travel to non-English-speaking countries will obviously get the most mileage out of this, given the rush in a lot of Asian countries to learn English, but other languages are of value as well. Even non-native speakers can get in on the action, though they’ll have to have a lot more certifications in order to prove they have the chops to teach a language. Native speakers can also get themselves certified in order to differentiate themselves from the rest of the backpacking horde.
Become a Freelance Writer/Photographer
Travel writing and travel photography are the most natural fit for this kind of ambition, but established professional writers or photographers in almost any specialty can get projects involving travel, whether it’s fashion photography and writing, events coverage, prenup pictorials, or food writing and photography. Since these professions don’t really have any guilds or certifying bodies, you have to work hard and assemble a good portfolio in order to get noticed.
Become an Oil Driller
If words aren’t your forte and you prefer raw nature to the trappings of civilization, then work on an oil rig is something you should consider. The pay is good, but the hours are long, the work physical, and oil drilling has a lot of good reasons for you to get hazard pay. If you thrive on action and you love the outdoors, this could be the job for you.
Work as a Geologist
This obviously takes a good bit more prep work than most other choices here, and those with master’s and doctorate degrees will have the most options, but if you’ve got the head for it, and the sense of adventure to match the sometimes extreme environments you’ll have to go to, this profession will give you a lot of opportunities to experience the great outdoors.
Helping people while you get to experience new cultures is a definite plus for most people. The downside of course is that you’ll be traveling, working, and living in depressed and war-torn areas, refugee camps, and other similar places. So pack a strong stomach and a big heart, because you’ll definitely need both. You also need to be ready to tackle any feelings of frustration or helplessness as sometimes your power to do something about a problem will be limited by either logistics or the situation itself.
Flight Attendant/Airline Pilot
Taking to the air is the most obvious option for the would-be traveler, but again, it’s not for everyone:
Despite the advances in avionics and aircraft manufacturing technology, no amount of high tech will make the responsibility of piloting a large plane any less serious, so if the kind of traveling you want includes large amounts of heavy partying, you’re probably better off sitting this one out.
Being a flight attendant also carries its challenges, and not everyone has the kind of people skills needed to settle down upset passengers or to soothe irate ones.
Brandon Peters is a writer, entrepreneur, and outdoors enthusiast. He enjoys strolling through urban streets just as much as he does hiking through unmarked trails.