Every time I sit down to write a travel story, it is about a place that I have seen in the past and would dearly love to visit again, or a place that I hope to visit at least once in this lifetime. When I sit back to take cognizance of what life has been so far, the only things that matter are the memories of people I have befriended and places I have been to. Admittedly, the sedentary nature of my work as a writer has not only given me the opportunity to pen down my experiences, but has also given me the latitude to follow my heart, when I write,-a rare opportunity in any gainful employment.
Yet, there are times when I think that a knapsack on my back would give me more joy than a pen in my hand. I think of all my friends, who are in jobs that entail them to travel around the world, and find myself turning a tad green with envy.
Here is a list of 8 jobs that will require you to travel though the nature of travel varies from one job to another.
1. Foreign Language Experts: There was a time when English language teachers were in high demand. Native English teachers are still in demand. However, with the increasingly dynamic world economy and the clout of third world immigrants in first world countries like the USA and the UK, experts in foreign languages like Mandarin and Urdu are also in high demand.
If you have your finger on the pulse of world politics, you will know which language to master to make yourself employable in the destination of your choice.
2. Tour Guides: If I am told to pick the one true traveler, I will pick the tour guide. This person makes a living by visiting the same place day after day. Not only is he well versed with the history, culture, politics and architecture of a place, he keeps finding new and exciting things about his destination every day. So, if you have fallen in love with a place, and all you want to do now, is to serenade her at her window every day of your life, there could be no other job better suited for you. Plus, your love story with the place, will yield monetary fruit too.
The more information you cull about a location, the more interesting you will be as a tour guide, and the more money you will make. And, you get free meals at restaurants looking for a favorable word from a trusted tourist guide.
3. Adventures sports trainer: He is lean, mean and attractive to the boot. The adventure sports trainer will dive like a dolphin, ski like a snowman and glide like an eagle. He will dazzle you with that taut body, the confident smile and those perfect moves. A day out training in the blue waters of the Caribbean with this man is just as close as a starry-eyed girl will get to becoming Tarzan's Jane. And, if the trainer happens to be a femme fatale, well, in that case, lovestruck teenage boys will spend most of their vacation trying to kindle the flames of a summer romance.
To be an adventure activity trainer, not only do you need to be physically fit and mentally alert, but you must also be willing to undergo strenuous training to get certified. This profession calls for a tremendous amount of self discipline. Your knowledge of the terrains and water bodies, will matter a lot, as will your customer friendliness. This profession is for the select few. It is as demanding as it is glamorous.
Rewards come in the form of an exciting life of meeting culturally diverse people, and staying at breathtaking locations. Reputation spreads through word of mouth. And, soon, with practice and patience, you may become famous across countries.
4. Destination photographer: No matter how quickly we adopt expensive DSLR cameras, in hopes of morphing into Mario Testino, the fact remains that we still trust professional photographers, when it comes to capturing important life-occasions, such as a marriage, the birth of a child, or a once-in-a-lifetime portrait in front of a national monument.
Destination photography has branched out as a commercially viable branch of photography. To be a destination photographer, you need to be in love with your lens. And, you have to know a landscape like the back of your hand. A destination photographer gets the chance to study the character of a place, as deeply as he would the emotions on the face that he is capturing on celluloid. And, it all must be done very quickly. Unlike a tour guide who stays put in a place and has all the time to learn about it, a destination photographer moves about with different tour groups and has to capture memorable pictures at short notice. The universal storehouse-our very own world wide web, is a destination photographer's best friend. As is Adobe Photoshop.
In the course of your job as a destination photographer, you will travel to exotic locations, and have an all expense-paid stay at splendid hotels. Since photographs document the important moments of a life event, you will be a welcome guest at your clients' celebrations too.
5. Freelance travel writer/photographer : The travel writer and the travel photographer fall in the same category; they are not only travelers, but storytellers too. They see the world and then pass on the torch to their comrades, to see what they have seen, to experience, at least a fraction of, what they have experienced.
A true travel writer, has an excellent narrative style in which she weaves stories of lands she has visited, of traditions she has found confounding and of people, whose humanity, or lack of it, has left an indelible impression on her. Undaunted by the crime rate in Central America, she will tell you stories of the lives that thrive there. She will look beyond the poverty in Bangladesh to degust savory Hilsa and walk along the sands of Cox Bazaar.
The travel photographer has a much more succinct job of delivering a story through photographs. A successful travel photographer will store a thousand tales, right inside his camera.
A good travel writer is widely read and extremely well versed with the politico-cultural history of a place. An openness to different ideas, pertaining to religion, culture or even technology, is a key ingredient to being a good writer.
As a travel writer, you will chronicle the lives of people, and the stories of lands, in a way that will leave your imprint on the sands of time.
If you can double up as a travel photographer too, then not only does your storytelling become more vivid and powerful, but you can also demand a higher remuneration as a freelance writer.
6. Change Management Consultants: 'Managing change' in business organizations has become a critical activity, what with all organizations trying out newer strategies every day, to sway the bottom line. Newer product lines are added, some unprofitable lines of business are spun off, employees are trained in different skill sets, and sometimes employees are hired/fired in bulk, in keeping with the changing requirements of an organization. Change management professionals who can steer an organization during the days of tumult, to a more stable and profitable atmosphere, are in high demand.
Change management professionals have considerable domain expertise along-with experience of managing change on all fronts-strategy, operations, human resource and finance.
As a successful change management consultant, you will be employed by large companies to oversee any strategic or operational change, in their geographically diverse office locations. Not only does this profession pay you well, but you get to travel to different sites, where change management advice is required. Of course, you will need to have a degree in business administration, and a thorough knowledge of the client's industry.
7. Sound Engineer for a film: A production sound engineer on a movie set, travels around with the movie crew and records the sounds on the locations. Travel to exotic locales and rub shoulders with movie stars. However, this job will need you to have an 'ear' for detail, and technical expertise.
If you love to play around with sounds, are willing to dedicate long hours working behind the scenes, and have the requisite know how, the work of a movie sound engineer, might be best suited for you. Earnings in this field are high, but you have to keep in mind that you will need to be away from home for long intervals. If you are one of those guys who dreams of having his own expansive mobile laboratory, in the heart of a beautiful changing landscape, where you may tinker at your craft undisturbed, then this is the job for you.
8. Event Manager: A manager of international events carries a lot of responsibility on her young shoulders. Her kohl-lined eyes, shimmery hair, and amicable manners, never give away the fact that beneath them, there is a shrewd mind devising marketing strategies and cost-cutting options. The responsibility of the success of an event, rests squarely with the event manager. She has to take both sharp criticism and laurels, in her stride.
Different events like shows, trade fairs, conferences are held at locations around the world. An event manager gets to travel all-paid to high end destinations both within the country and internationally, all in a day's work.
So, if becoming an international traveler is on the top of your priority list, and sitting at the desk seems justified only when it is legwork for an outdoor event, then event management might be your one true calling in life. However, the real challenge is understanding the pulse of the audience you are catering to. The farther you wish to travel as an organizer of events, the more challenging your work will get, as you will need to acquaint yourself with the society, culture and language of the place.