Got the travel bug? Maybe your daydreams revolve around your travel bucket list, but you also want a rewarding and stable job. Should you just grow up and understand when to give up—or put off—your travel dreams? Please don't.
We'll let you in on a little secret. It's totally possible to travel the world and maintain a great job at the same time—even without an unlimited vacation policy. By applying your love for travel to your career, you could actually land your dream job. Of course, finding the right employer helps too. Consider focusing your job search on global companies that value worldly employees, offer opportunities to travel for work, and foster cultures in which people are encouraged to pursue their passions.
Need some inspiration? Take these two stories.
Giving Up His Dream Industry for His Dream Job
After a hot, bumpy bus ride, your idea of a fun vacation probably isn't crawling into a mountain cave while carrying coffee beans and eggs to sacrifice with a witch doctor. For Magnús Magnússon, though, it was a perfect scenario.
His passion for travel and film-making fuels him on trips like this all over the world. In fact, he's explored 65 countries and plans to see every nation on Earth. This trip to Uganda was his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, and the country featured another perk: the Wakaliwood scene.
Wakaliwood movies, Magnús explains, are Ugandan action films produced with budgets as small as $200. While on his trip, Magnús starred as a Ugandan action commando in one of these upcoming films, so he got to scratch both his entertainment industry and travel itches on the same trip. After graduating from University of Southern California, Magnús went right to work on popular TV shows and movies.
“Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to work in entertainment," he says. “Travel was in my family, so my goal was to be a travel host. I planned to make documentary-style travel videos that would explore and share sub-cultures I discover along the way." After his trip to Uganda, Magnús accepted an award for doing just what he'd dreamed about, but it wasn't at a swanky entertainment industry event.
That's right, Magnús isn't working in the entertainment industry anymore. He left his dream industry to take his dream job as a senior account manager at Booking.com. He accepted his trophy for Most Imaginative Traveler in Booking.com's One Mission campaign, which encouraged the company's employees to document their own amazing travel experiences via video.
“The second I left entertainment, I got to do what I had been wanting to do in that industry all along," he explains. “In entertainment, I didn't get to travel at all. I was constantly stuck in a production house, working 12- to 13-hour days with no vacation. It's not a great balance and it takes its toll. My dad always told me what I wanted to do may seem impossible, but to remember that there are a million ways to do something."
For Magnús the way to his dream job was to work for a company with a similar mission to his own: to help people experience the world. And it doesn't hurt that its leadership team also supports his traveling dream.
“I finally found a company were I'm actively encouraged to pursue my goal," he says. “One of my favorite things to do is visit other Booking.com offices. You can go to any office and meet people you want to be around," says Magnús, who's already made friends of his international colleagues by visiting offices in Helsinki and Moscow. “This is the best job I've ever had—easily."
Marrying Two Passions: Travel and Photography
Michiel Meyboom enjoys (and went to school for) photography, but he also inherited the travel bug. Even before he turned five, he had been to four continents, so it made sense for him to pursue a career in the travel industry. While building his career, and even prior to accepting his first job as a hotel coordinator in Booking.com, Michiel never neglected to make time for photography, his true passion.
Alongside his full-time job, Michiel freelanced as a photographer, so his portfolio was ready when the company posted a job for a photo editor. Though the position was posted in the United States, and Michiel then lived in Toronto, the hiring manager knew he was the right person for the job.
Since landing his dream role—a photography focus in the travel industry—Michiel has gotten the opportunity to take photos in several places he'd never been, including Panama City and Rio de Janeiro.
“I feel lucky to do the two things I love at work—traveling and taking pictures," Michiel says. “I'm being challenged to do different types of photography that I've never done before, and my company supports me taking courses to further expand my skill set. I'm glad I get to do these things in my work now, and not just on my personal time."
Michiel and Magnús' stories teach us that sometimes landing your dream job takes a willingness to consider how your passions can be applied in other industries and in new roles. So look for employers that encourage employees to follow their passions at work the way Michiel and Magnús have done. With roughly 130 countries to go before Magnús reaches his goal of visiting every country in the world, he's glad he landed at a company that encourages his dream.