You don’t have to do it the way I did. You don’t have to run away with nothing but a backpack and with no idea of where to go. In fact I wouldn’t really recommend it. It’s lonely, tough, and isn’t a real path towards contentment.
The best way to go is with a bit money to start and a plan to keep you going.
With this in mind, below are 8 of the best options that will enable you to run away and travel the world indefinitely.
1) Work On A Cruise Ship
Working on a cruise ship is a great job for any first time runaway. It’s safe, the pay is stable, and since room and board is included, it allows you to save for your next adventure. Plus it lets you travel the world for free.
Although I’ve never worked a cruise ship, I do have a few friends who have. While they say the work can be tough at times, their overall view is that it’s totally worth it. No one knows more about this more than Wandering Earl. Definitely check out his book called How To Work On A Cruise Ship if you’re interested.
2) Teach English (In Korea)
If you’re a native English speaker with a bachelors degree, you have the opportunity to work in almost any country as an English teacher. Even if you don’t have a degree you can easily take a 2 to 4 week long course called TEFL.
Why Korea? Known by economists as one of the 4 Asian tigers, Korea’s economy is growing at rates similar to that of Japan in the 1970’s. With more and more businesses going global, there is a growing demand for English teachers. Salaries are generous, housing is usually included, the cost of living is low and the food is delicious. Check out the Seoul Global Center for job listings.
3) Volunteer For A Non Governmental Organization
Throughout the developing world, there are myriad NGO’s who accept volunteers. The large ones like US Aid, the UN, and OxFam are competitive and require degrees. Therefore your best bet is to look for smaller and more local NGO’s.
While some of them offer a living stipends many do not. But if you volunteer long enough, there’s always the possibility of it turning it into a job. For this option, it’s best to save a bit before you go. The best times to apply are at the end of summer when students return to school and right before the holiday season when people return home to their families.
4) Work Abroad At Hostels, Resorts, Or Bars
If you’ve got experience in the service industry or even if you don’t, it’s fairly easy to find an under the table job at a Hotel, hostel, restaurant, resort or bar around the world.
In Central America and Eastern Europe you can find quite a few hostel jobs. In SE Asia and Malaysia, you might want to check out resorts for life guarding or bar tending gigs. The best way to get these jobs is by showing up in person. But if you want to research some options in advance, check out Helpx.net for random job listings around the world.
5) Become A Dive Master
Dive masters have the freedom and opportunity to work in some of the most beautiful places in the world. If you love the water and want to live in the tropics, this is your option.
The cheapest place in the world to get your driving certification is in Utilla, Honduras. For just 250$ you get a week long course with accommodation in Caribbean paradise. Though it takes a few more bucks and courses to become a full fledged dive master, the whole processes really isn’t too hard.
6) Become A Deck Hand
If you follow my blog, you know I promote this option a lot. But having had great experiences on 7 different under the table boating jobs, I can’t not advocate it.
If you long for the sea, you can always find work on boats around the world. If you don’t have much experience, some good places to start are on the charter boats in Eilat, Israel or the 5 day ferry boats from Panama to Colombia. If you already have some boating experience and want to make some real money, you can apply for a deckhand position on a luxury yacht in Ft. Lauderdale, France, or Spain.
7) Study abroad
Whether you’re in high school, college, or even a recent graduate, there are myriad opportunities to study abroad. For high school students there are multiple organizations that foster exchanges. Check out How To Runaway In High School (coming soon) for more info.
If you’re in college, talk with your councilor about study abroad programs. The University of California’s EAP program offers a huge selection of countries to choose from. The NY state’s SUNY schools also offer many options to study abroad. Plus if you qualify for FAFSA you are eligible to have all expenses covered through grants and loans.
If you’re a recent graduate and are interested in pursuing a research project, try pitching your idea to Full Bright. Full Bright is a US department of State funded program that grants scholarships to both those wishing to study in the US and those who want to study, teach, or conduct research abroad.
8) Become A Travel Blogger
If you like to write, have a decent knowledge of computers, and want the freedom to go anywhere at anytime, you might want to consider becoming a travel blogger. It gives you the chance to share your experiences while simultaneously funding your travels. Plus you never have a boss to answer to.
If you want to become a travel blogger, send me a message, and I will do my best to help you get started.
I’ve spent the greater portion of the last 10 years living and working abroad. During the first few years I roughed it. I slept on the streets for nearly a year. But I soon realized how much better life is when you have some kind of game plan.
Today I fund my addiction to the travel crack through this blog. While I don’t make much, it’s just enough to sustain my travels and more importantly, a life that I choose to lead.
As the great founder of Taoism once said, “If you do not change the direction, you may end up where you are heading.” A simple message but one too true.
Explore your options, make a plan, save a bit of dough, and steer in any direction of your choice!