Travel Tips

5 Ways to See the World for Free

Sunday, February 05, 2012Ryan Mach

We've all dreamed about getting out of our comfort zones, seeing the world and travelling extensively. We just can't afford to actually do it because there are various hang-ups and considerations that prevent us from taking the plunge.

Jobs and money are two primary things that mostly hold us back. I, for one, just can't imagine quitting my day job without a sure fall back especially in these trying times. But some, however, like them travel bloggers [Edcel Suyo of Soloflighted; Lois of Sole Sisters], are brave enough to pull the trigger and take a chance. So far it has worked out fine for them.

For us who dream of traveling but are not ballsy enough to quit our job, there are a few options that would let us travel without having to worry about keeping a steady source of income.

1. Teach Abroad

Image from Google
Becoming a teacher off shore is probably the most popular way of going to a different country and still make money. Some employers don't require an undergraduate course in teaching, a teaching certificate or TOEFL can suffice. I've a friend who got employed by an international school in Malaysia without any teaching certificate. But the chances of getting a job offer are much higher if you have one. There are short-term education programs offered by local universities.

South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan tend to pay the best, but it's imperative that you do your homework before signing on.  Teaching in another country can give you a lot of flexibility and time off to travel around the region you are teaching in. You'll have the best of both worlds as it will give you the opportunity to live and experience other culture and earn money. Once your contract is up, you can consider moving to a new country.

Check out if you want to teach in a Korean public school.

2. Become a Travel Writer
Image from Google
If you have excellent chops in writing, then this one's for you. But despite what most people think of travel writing (glamorous job!), not all stints pay grand. Majority of travel writers work hard for little pay, although some publications do pamper their writers.

But please, if you have the talent, don't let this dissuade you from your travel writing dream. Just think about the awesome places you'll go for free. Getting the job can be a tough journey however if your passions in life are writing and traveling, then this is the perfect role for you to be doing both.

You don't have to be a full-time travel writer. You can do it on the side by creating a blog to builp up your portfolio. This is how most travel writers get noticed nowadays anyway.

3. Be a Digital Nomad
Image from Google
It's risky and can spell disaster but if you have any skills that can be done online (web designing, photography, writing, consulting) then you can be a successful digital nomad. What is Digital Nomad anyway? Digital nomad is a modern-day gypsy who lives and travels while still working. It's becoming more and more popular and lots of people have started to jump on the bandwagon.

Some digital nomads I saw online: Thinktraffic, Thrillingheroics

4. Become a Foreign Service Officer
Image from Google
Some of the roles of a foreign service officer are 1.) to represent the Philippines in various international fora; 2) to bring foreign investments and to promote tourism in the country; 3) to assist in the preparation and conduct of international conferences. It's a tall order but if being served by the locals of the country in which your country’s Embassy is bigger than the Presidential palace sounds like your bag, then apply for the Foreign Service. Be aware though that the process is arduous and grueling and only a handful will make the cut.

The qualifying exam for this year's Foreign Service Officer is scheduled on February 19. You still have time, and if you're interested, you can check the DFA announcement:

5. Other Travel Jobs: International Correspondent, NGO Worker, Pilot, Flight Attendant, Spy, Somelier
Image from Google
Sommelier? Let's consult Wikipedia.
A sommelier (English pronunciation: /ˈsɒməljeɪ, sʌməlˈjeɪ/, French pronunciation: [sɔməlje]), or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, commonly working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food matching. The role is more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.
It may take a long while (and lots of money), before you can become a licensed sommelier, but your skills could be useful in many countries, since there are wine-sipping and spitting elitists scattered across the continents like so many snowflakes.

The question, however, is how prepared are you to change gears?

Sources: Bootsnall, MatadorNetwork, DFA Website

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