Fortunately for those who hope to travel as well as make a difference in the world, our multicultural, interconnected world allows plenty of opportunities to do just that. For example, you could enter the nonprofit world, or pursue a career in teaching or counseling. Keep in mind that to secure a job that fulfills your passions, you may need to beef up your soft skills and being proficient in a second language is a huge asset to your search.
Here’s what you need to know about finding a fulfilling career that also involves travel and the importance of doing what you love.
The Importance of a Fulfilling Career
Your future career serves as your means of making a comfortable living, but it’s much more than that. Your overall happiness and satisfaction with life as an adult may even hinge on how much you enjoy your job. In fact, research indicates that being unhappy in your career can be detrimental to your health.
According to Fast Company, when you are dissatisfied with your job, you’re more likely to experience insomnia, anxiety, and depression. As job dissatisfaction takes a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing, seeking a fulfilling career has the power to literally improve your life. And by choosing a career in philanthropy, education, or another type of humanitarian aid, you’re also helping to improve the lives of others.
Job Opportunities for the Young and Adventurous
If you hope to travel while also working to facilitate meaningful change, the possibilities are virtually endless. To get started on your search for the career path that best suits your passions, consider the environments in which you’re most likely to thrive. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the big questions, and be honest with yourself. After all, it’s your future at stake.
For instance: Do you love working with large groups of people or would you be more comfortable in a behind-the-scenes role? Is it your dream to improve the lives of underprivileged children, or do you see yourself working as a registered nurse on the front lines?
You should also consider the nuances of working as an independent contractor versus taking the traditional employment route. Both types of employment come with their own benefits and drawbacks, while also providing ample opportunity for you to travel abroad. Travel-centric humanitarian jobs run the gamut from teaching English as a second language to being an international aid worker.
Many jobs that let you travel abroad may even cover certain types of expenses, such as lodging and food. As an independent contractor, you’re more likely to be on your own in that regard. In regards to careers filled with traveling and philanthropy, this type of independence may significantly impact your finances and even your personal safety.
Staying Safe While Working Abroad
The myriad benefits of travel abroad are well-known and scientifically proven. NBC News reports that traveling abroad can provide stress relief, enhance your creativity, and help boost your overall happiness. What’s more, some consider travel to be the purest form of education, taking you outside of your comfort zone and opening your mind to cultures and experiences that are vastly different from your own.
Yet that’s only part of the story, as traveling also inevitably comes with inherent risks. For starters, you may experience loneliness and small bouts of culture shock upon arrival in a foreign place. You may be vulnerable to those who make a dishonest living, preying on unsuspecting tourists and novice ex-pats. Inclement weather events are also a distinct possibility, especially in tropical climates and remote work locales.
While you shouldn’t live in constant fear, you should also take steps to protect yourself when working abroad. For starters, never wander into unfamiliar neighborhoods on your own, and always make sure all of your essentials are secure, from your passport and wallet to smartphone and work laptop. Before setting off on your work adventure, consider investing in protective equipment and gear such as a theft-proof laptop backpack, especially one that has water-resistant properties. When traveling for work, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
As we look towards the future, most of us hope to live a happy, secure life, working in a career field that sparks joy in our souls. There’s no reason that you can’t make those dreams come true, even if you hope to make travel a cornerstone of your professional life. In the 21st century, you have more opportunities than ever to make a difference in the world while also immersing yourself in new cultures and experiences.
Adrian Johansen is a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.