Travel is expensive, so knowing how to earn your way around the world might well be the answer to affording your dream trip. But, don’t think these are easy options. Seeking employment is difficult anyway and doing it in a foreign country certainly has its challenges. It is, however, far from impossible and many, many people do it very successfully every year. If you’re lusting after a life on the road and visiting all corners of the Globe, here’s how to earn your way around the world.
1. Teach English
If you’re trying to decide how to earn your way around the world, you’ll surely run into many an English teaching opportunity in the process...in fact, if you hold no other special skills besides a thorough fluency in your native tongue, then this opportunity is probably your best bet. Expat communities worldwide are saturated with English teachers and, the great thing is, the TEFL job well never runs dry. Asia, in particular, offers a great range of TEFL opportunities, from professorships in big city international universities, to working in small village schools; from teaching business English at a corporate level, to tutoring one-on-one, providing you plenty of flexible free time to explore. Though a TEFL certificate may be required, in many cases, the teaching qualifications are quite low – as long as you’re a native English speaker, you’re sure to be a hot commodity. I’ve never heard anyone regret their experience teaching English abroad; in fact, if you only plan on doing it for a year or two, take precautions and spray yourself so as you’re not bitten by the travel bug.
Freelance websites – such as Freelancer, eLance and oDesk – offer travelers opportunities to write, transcribe, proofread, edit, translate, photoshop...the list is truly endless. Whether as a supplementary income for your time abroad, or as the primary source of work to finance your travels, freelancing allows a way to remain on the move while receiving a budget boost to bolster your nomadic lifestyle. The best thing about joining one of these sites is that all you need is a computer and an internet connection; you can work from your home in Rome, from a cafe in Paris, or even from free airport WiFi while in transit. And once you’ve finished a project, you’re paid immediately via PayPal. What could be simpler and more travel-friendly?
Websites like workaway.info provide a great communication tool for people worldwide to recruit international travelers, and for international travelers to connect with those who can assist in their dream of world travel. Often the job opportunities on these sites are low-pay (or even voluntary); however, free room and board are usually part of the deal, which is really the major spend when figuring out how to earn your way around the world. These opportunities offer everything from ranchwork in Spain to hostel operations in Bulgaria to renovating a house in Australia.
4. TOEFL/ESL Examiner
When young folks from non-native English speaking countries wish to study abroad, they must pass a TOEFL test (for America) or a IELTS test (Britain). There are several sections to the test, including oral and written examinations. For IELTS, the oral examinations require on-site examiners, who essentially have a conversation with the examinee to test their English level. For TOEFL, the oral examination is recorded, and scorers are hired to rate the English level according to a rubric. In either case, these jobs can be done from anywhere in the world. Check out TOEFL’s website and the British Council website for job listings.
If you adore children, the wealthy of the world invite you to take care of theirs. Those who can afford nannies are, more often or not, in the upper tier of the wealth bracket; hence, your stay in their home will likely be an upscale one. If you’re placed with a great family with whom you’ve good chemistry, you’re bound to feel like you’ve found a second home. Not only are you often provided room and board, but you’ll be compensated for your services as well. Sites like nannyjob provide ways for qualified nannies to connect with prospective clients.
6. Fruit Picking
For those who love the outdoors and appreciate manual labor, fruit picking opportunities are available everywhere but are especially abundant and lucrative enough to fund a trip through Australia or New Zealand. These two countries in particular welcome enthusiastic young folk to their orchards and groves during harvest season. To encourage the “gap-year” mindset, Australia and New Zealand also provide temporary work visas for those under 30, which makes the process that much easier; Australia’s working holiday visa costs, while New Zealand’s is absolutely free!
Probably a prospect for the more romantic-minded and adventurous, consider the experience you might have earning your way around the world spontaneously. Through street art, selling, flyering and other odd jobs, trying a gypsy lifestyle on for size will not only lead to a one-of-a-kind abroad experience, but it might also be great fodder for story-telling.
Please believe that it is entirely possible to earn money to fund travel. I spent a year in Italy with a host family and as well as helping out with the children, the house and teaching them all English, I had plenty of time to explore the country. Don’t let a lack of funds stymie your dreams of seeing this amazing Earth. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Now you now some of the ways to earn your way around the world, are you game to give it a go? Already done it? Please share your stories.