If traveling is in your blood, you might wonder what could be the perfect job(s) that will enable you to travel a lot – or even to live in another city/country. Cause there’s no denial here, traveling needs money. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot, but no money no honey, baby! So what’s better than having a job that supports, or even requires you to travel? Here I have summed up 10 jobs based on what I and my fellow Indonesians have done to be able to quench our thirst of exploring the world.
- Flight Attendant
Also known as cabin crew or steward/ess, a flight attendant is a member of an aircrew employed by an airline company whose duty is primarily to ensure the safety and comfort of aboard flight passengers. Being a flight attendant will make you fly and basically travel almost everyday! The more destinations the airline company you work for has, the more cities or countries you can visit.
To be able to work as a flight attendant, you will need to meet certain requirements (age, height, education, language skills, etc.) appointed by each airline company and undergo various tests (health check, psychological test, etc.) and training sessions before finally being assigned for the duties.
ANDIN has been working for Garuda Indonesia since 2011. She loves her job as she gets to travel extensively and encounter a lot of exciting people and things around the world. The down side of this job for her is that often she’s not able to attend family gatherings as they clash with her work schedule.
- Cruise Ship Staff
More into sailing across the ocean rather than flying over the clouds? You can work in a cruise line company! There are plenty options of positions in a cruise ship, be it in Rooms Department, Food & Beverage Department, Recreational Department, etc. Normally working in a cruise ship will require you to be on duty for a few weeks or months, and then you can take a break for a few weeks or months as well before your next departure.
To work in a cruise ship, generally you will be required to have minimum of 6-month working experience in a hotel. Similar to the process of becoming a flight attendant, you need to undergo various tests and training sessions first. Normally cruise ship staff recruitment is done by appointed agencies instead of the cruise line companies themselves.
ODY is currently working for Costa Diadema and he loves it that he could travel the world while making friends with people from different countries/background and learn about history of each country he visits during the cruise trip. The down side is the long working hours, and that sometimes he gets sea sick. Plus, there are times when he misses his family very much – especially knowing that he will have to be away for a little while.
- Cook or Chef
Enjoy cooking dishes or baking yummy cakes? You can work fast and you’re seriously good at it? Don’t waste your talent there. Being a cook or chef might be great career option for you. Plus, it can take you around the world. Who on earth doesn’t need good food?
To work as a cook or chef, you can undergo studies such as Culinary Arts or Professional Patisserie. While there are cooks or chefs out there who managed to build a career without having related educational background, just so you know that by joining this kind of program, you will not only learn how to cook/bake properly for a profession, but also understand the cuisine theories and get a lot of opportunities to do internship(s) in well-known restaurants or hotels. This way, you build a great network in the industry and definitely get a higher chance to find a job right after finishing your studies.
JUTET has experienced working in France, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia in his 15+ years experience as a chef. He loves his choice of career, despite the very long hours he always needed to bear at work, as he’s sincerely passionate about food. Just FYI, cook and chef are basically the same profession but chef generally has a higher position in the team as the word ‘chef’ itself is derived and shortened from the French term chef de cuisine which means the director or head of a kitchen.
- Waiter/ess or Bartender
More into communicating with customers or serving drinks for partyyy…? Consider working as a waiter/ess or bartender. A waiter/ess is a person whose job is to serve customers at their tables in a restaurant, while a bartender is a person who mixes and serves drinks at a bar.
Both roles need you to be a communicative person with great attitude. Imagine if you have to deal with a difficult customer? Communication and attitude are everything. If you speak multiple languages, that would benefit you even more as you will be able to communicate with people from various countries. Keep in mind that you absolutely need to have good knowledge and keep on learning new trends about food and beverages, if you wish to work as a waiter/ess or bartender.
CHRISTIAN is currently working in DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach, United Arab Emirates. He previously worked in DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, Australia after completing his studies in Hotel and Tourism Management in Indonesia. For him, the down side of his job is (again, same as the chef situation) the long hours. However, he loves his job as everyday he meets a lot of new people, good amount of tips (ahey!), and even job/business offers from his customers 😀
- Travel Consultant or Tour Guide
If you love helping or guiding people to explore new places, be a travel consultant or tour guide! Not only arranging the pre-departure stuff, a travel consultant or tour guide (especially) will often get a chance to travel together with the customers. This means, you get to travel for free – and all expenses will be covered by the travel agency you work for!
To work as a travel consultant or tour guide, good customer service and communication skills are required as you will be the source of information for your customers to discover and understand things that are foreign to them. Being able to speak more than one language is a plus. A good travel consultant or tour guide normally speaks at least two: the native language and the second language which is in high demand (e.g. English, Mandarin, Spanish, etc.).
ICHA started her career by studying in a vocational high school for tourism. In her senior year, she was assigned for an internship in a travel agency, where she finally landed her first job as well after graduation. Now, Icha has been working for Bayu Buana Travel in Jakarta for 3 years, and she has travelled to various countries in Asia for her job. So far, her top 3 favourites are Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
- Tourism Ministry Representative
Aiming to work for the government for a steadier future – why not? Some jobs will definitely require you to travel frequently, for example if you are the representative of Ministry of Tourism. You get to visit other parts of your own country for tourism development projects, and also other countries for international marketing purposes.
To work in Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia, you will need to undergo the application test of PNS (Pegawai Negeri Sipil). The requirements vary depending on the position you apply. If you wish to represent the ministry for international exposures, you will definitely need to be able to communicate fluently in English.
HERLINA landed this dream job a few years ago. She is based in Jakarta, Indonesia – but travels around the world so often that she’s always ‘home’ for a short time only. She said that the down side of working for government is the (generally low) salary and the complicated bureaucracy she has to face every day. Apart from that, she loves is that she gets to see the world and was even allowed to take educational leave to pursue her master degree in Australia during her employment.
- Customer/Guest Service Agent
You’re a people person and naturally hospitable? You enjoy providing services for other people, making sure whatever experience they have is going smoothly and fun? Consider working as a customer/guest service agent. You can work for hotels, call centres, or many other types of company because, well, all of them need people to ensure their customer satisfaction, don’t they?
Similar to travel consultant or tour guide, you will need to have good communication skills to work as customer/guest service agent, typically both written and spoken. Speaking more than one language is definitely a plus and most of the time the company will pay you higher for that. A good customer/guest service agent should not only be nice, but also knowledgable, empathic, and skilled in problem-solving.
ALLAN has been working for HotelQuickly and living in Bangkok since 2015. He serves Indonesian and English-speaking customers at work, and builds a YouTube channel teaching Indonesians how to speak Thai! He himself learned the language from his Thai colleagues and friends outside work. Even though he sometimes finds it challenging to deal with unreasonably difficult customers and he often works on weekends, he truly loves his job for all the priceless experiences (living abroad + new language) he got!
- English Teacher
Now who says you can’t teach English if you’re a non-native English speaker? While some countries might strictly require a native speaker when they hire an English teacher (e.g. Japan and South Korea), there are a lot of other countries that do not require the same (e.g. countries in Central/Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, or South America).
However, native or non-native, a valid English teacher should have a certification of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), or CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). A Bachelor Degree (in any field) is normally required as well if you wish to work in a foreign country and obtain a legal work permit.
According to ZAHRA – a Bachelor of Law degree holder who used to work in Istanbul and Antalya, Turkey and is currently working in Bangkok, Thailand – the down side of being a non-native English teacher is that sometimes you might get underestimated or even paid less, especially if you do not look Caucasian. Actually, this is also the case even when you’re a native English speaker but not looking Caucasian, for example if you’re an Asian-American. On the other side, what Zahra benefits from being an English teacher is that she could basically jumps from one country to another cause English teaching jobs are available everywhere around the world. Having multi-countries experience is always a plus!
- NGO Staff
If you are into working for a cause and passionate about social work, then being NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) staff could be right for you! A career with a purpose is what NGOs offer for their employees. So if you are only into the traveling part (or even the money!), please stop considering this job now! 😀
Just like any other business, to work in NGO, you will go through an application process, interviews, etc. Having some background related to the NGO or job position you are applying for will be great, even though it is not impossible for fresh graduate with no professional experience to be hired. Note that it is very important for the employers in NGOs to see your motivation on why you’re interested in joining their team. You need to actually care about the mission they bring and show what you can/want to do to contribute on that.
ILSA loves working for her current NGO as she feels ‘full’, in the sense that if fits her view in life, to help and empower vulnerable communities. For her, since her work is related to people, there are always opportunities to learn more everyday. She’s also happy that everyone in the organization seem to really support each other. The minor problem she faces is only that some of the local (Indonesian) public holidays do not apply as she’s working for an international NGO.
If you always find it hard to wait is to tell stories through writings, then you might wanna pursue a career as a print journalist. You definitely have to work on your grammar and flow of writing, but this is not something you need to worry in the first place cause you can always improve, and improve. It’s also important to do a lot of research to make sure that what you write, or your opinions, are based on facts.
Having an educational background in Journalism would be a benefit but it’s not impossible to work as a journalist without one. Typically, the most challenging part of being/becoming a journalist is to START writing. It’s true that sometimes you’re not always in the mood to write, but you can always start with just 1 sentence or even 1 word. A slow progress is still better than no progress.
TINA used to work for DestinAsian Media Group in Bali and The Daily Mice in Liverpool, UK. She admitted that deadline can kill your creativity – especially if your job requires you to be creative on a daily basis. However, all kinds of jobs have their own pressure and deadlines, so it’s not a big deal for her. She loved working as a print journalist because even though it may not afford you luxurious trip or Chanel bag, but it does give you lots of opportunities to meet important people and travel to places in your bucket list!
I could review 10 more jobs here but I don’t want this post to be too long! Some other jobs that my Indonesian friends have done are:
- Au Pair | gets to live abroad, typically up to 2 years, to take care of children or household in where they live in.
- Interpreter/Translator | gets to travel to different cities/countries to provide translation services – either simultaneously or consecutively – in conferences, focus group discussions, training sessions, audits, etc.
- Spa/Massage Therapist | gets to work in other spa branches around the world.
- Bahasa Indonesia Teacher | gets to teach Indonesian language in a school or language center outside Indonesia, e.g. Australia, USA, etc.
- Photographer | gets to travel to places for the assigned photoshoots, e.g. destination wedding, travel & lifestyle magazine, etc.
- Make-Up Artist (MUA) | gets to travel to places where their clients – either individual or group – need make-up service, e.g. movie MUA, fashion week MUA, wedding MUA, etc.
- Sales/Marketing Representative | gets to do sales call in other cities/countries or work in a company abroad to sell/market the product/services offered.
- Prosthetist/Orthotist | gets to work in countries around the world where their medical services are in demand.
- Pilot | gets to fly a plane around the world. Period.
- Surfer | gets to travel whenever there is a surfing competitions or events around the world.
√ Any online job will also be your best bet if you wish to be able to take your work while traveling and not having to physically be in an office or arranging leaves that can take a lot of your time and energy.
What other jobs you think one can/should do if traveling is passion? Share your experience or your suggestions here by leaving a comment below! 🙂
Note: Thanks to my bestie, Andre, for letting me use his photo for this blog post’s featured image! He is a food photographer and food stylist who’s been traveling around – thanks to his cool job! Check his Instagram feed: @andrebinarto