Visit any library and you will find all kinds of books that describe the adventurous lifestyles of early globe trotters and travelers. These are people who explored the world long before the days of easy transportation, wireless communication, or even convenient methods of carrying food or water. From Darwin in the Galapagos to Stevenson in the South Pacific, you can find stories of people leading amazing lives and actually earning a living while doing it.
Naturally, you might shrug and believe that there is no possible way to copy them in any way. You cannot give up the “day job” with its retirement package, paid vacations, and annual increases to the salary… right?
In all actuality, if you truly want to become a globe trotter in the same ways that so many others have done, it is entirely possible. You don’t even have to be a great writer like Mark Twain or a fearless explorer like Captain Scott (navigator of the South Pole in 1912). You can be a photographer, teacher of ESL, fitness expert, copy writer, designer, trained executive, financial professional, aid or health worker, pilot, and so much more. (The Telegraph, 2014)
There are two key things to realize in order to open the door to becoming a globe trotter:
1. The modern world is full of technologies that can allow you to work from almost any part of the world;
2. You don’t have to follow the path of work, work more, work even more, save lots of money, and then retire in order to begin “living”.
It can be hard to shed those classic models. After all, a huge majority of the modern world is raised to believe that going to school and college, training for a specific career, getting a “good job” that offers benefits and retirement options, and then socking away as much as possible for many years before actually ceasing to work is the “right way” to live.
Try to live outside of that, and you might find yourself being called a “slacker”, someone who won’t settle down or grow up, and much worse. It can be scary to see yourself through this sort of lens, but that’s when you have to consider the first of those two key things above.
Consider this quote from the British publication, The Telegraph:
“The world of work is becoming increasingly global in nature and many employees enjoy the prospect of experiencing different cultures and countries… International jobs include remote jobs that you can travel with, career choices with transferable skills, and jobs that require travel.”
So, you won’t have to leave the certain security of the corporate treadmill or the typical school-work-save-retire model and enter the vast wasteland of the globetrotting worker. There are multinational corporations, organizations, and entire industries in need of people who are willing and able to work in less structured format.
Additionally, most of these groups (as well as independent globetrotting workers) have access to an impressive array of modern technology that can make mobile work incredibly simple. The laptop or tablet with WiFi capabilities, the mobile phone with various SIM cards, the 24-hour IT department or professional within most firms, and the many platforms and networks that allow someone to work remotely without interruption or even concern about time zones, etc. can all make the true globe trotter’s life possible.
There are Challenges
Does that mean that it is a walk in the park? No. You do have to have a specific level of competency and job skills to make it realistic and effective. You don’t want to be in a foreign land without any employment options, connections, or means of generating livable income. Instead, you need to lay a strong foundation for your globetrotting and your day to day work. That means you have to be sure that you are great at organization and planning, problem solving, and capable of managing your day to day work life from any spot in the world.
Naturally, you have to be brave, sociable, have good “people skills”, and genuinely curious about the world around you too. However, we already know that you are because you are reading this article!
The key is to understand that there is a “down side” to being a globe trotter with a “portable” career. The downside can include language barriers or challenges, a loss of “belonging” when you are away from the familiar or your “home” territory for long stretches of time, challenges to maintaining personal relationships, and general fatigue if you are on the go too often.
If you are prepared for any of the challenges and difficulties that a globetrotting worker can face, you have already won more than half the battle. You can bust out of the old fashioned mold of school – career – save – retire and instead start to explore the world even as you earn your living.