While many might fancy a corner office and steady hours, my ideal workplace is 33,000 feet above sea level and travels at 500 miles per hour. For others, it’s spending their career working on the shores of Thailand, traveling through South America, or city hopping all over the world.
You might think these sorts of jobs are limited to people in international relations, but that’s not true. You can find positions that let you travel no matter what your background. So if you have that “anywhere but here” mindset when it comes to your career, check out these paths for inspiration.
1. For the Teacher
Teaching English in a foreign country is a great way to really get to know a place—you’ll be there for a year (or longer!). While it’s perfect for teachers, it’s also great for career-changers, since you can certify in about a month (certification is optional, although highly recommended). Many of the certification courses help you with job placement, or you can scout out online job resources.
2. For the Frequent Flier
Career options in the airline industry fall into several categories—pilot, flight attendant, ground crew—but no matter which area you work in, you’ll get incredible travel options (free flights anyone?). If constant air travel isn’t your cup of tea, consider working at an airline corporate office or operations support center.
3. For the Creative
If you want variation and flexibility in your travels, working in the field of travel writing or photojournalism is a great option. Neither is particularly easy to break into, but you do have options: Either go back to school, or get started on your own—join a travel writer’s group to network and start submitting your work for consideration to blogs and online publications.
4. For the Volunteer
Working in international development is a great option for someone looking to get down, dirty, and make a difference in underdeveloped regions. There are many agencies worldwide seeking people to tackle issues in health, education, infrastructure, water management, and more. You can also develop your international aid experience by working with the Peace Corps.
5. For the Peacemaker
Foreign Service Officers represent the United States at embassies and consulates around the world in fields including politics, administration, economics, public diplomacy, or consular affairs (the people you go running to when you lose your passport), and it’s a great career path if you want to immerse yourself in a new culture every couple of years. (Check out our guide to acing the Foreign Service Officer Test.)
6. For the Healthcare Professional
Travel nurses go wherever there’s a need—whether it’s an ER in Chicago or a NICU in Honolulu. The gig comes with a lot more perks than your average nursing job, including excellent pay, insurance, 401(k), continuing education, and nice housing. If you’re already a nurse, this will be an easy transition. If not, getting nursing certification will need to be your first step. Though it’s primarily done within the United States, there are also options for international nursing.
If travel is your passion, why not make it part of your career, too? It might sound far-fetched, but in reality, you just have to know where to look and what to apply your skills to. And remember, you’re never too young for a career change, and you’re never too old to chuck it all and move across the globe.