It’s funny. While I’m a serial adventurer and traveler now, the only international travel I did growing up were a few family Christmas trips to Toronto and one ill fated family vacation to Cancun. Determined to find a way to travel overseas, I had to get creative because I was a broke and burned out college Junior. That’s when I found my first adventure job working at a resort on The Dominican Republic and found that adventure jobs are awesome things. It totally changed my life and put me on track to where I am today.
An adventure job can be a temporary thing or a lifelong thing – whatever makes sense for you; we all want to break the dull barrier, feel like we are truly living, connect with purpose and have a blast. We’re all searching for a way to make every day count and live beyond the TGIF syndrome. And, there’s a primal calling deep within us that says – “I want to go out and experience the world.” That’s exactly what an adventure job does.
What’s An Adventure Job
Adventure jobs usually mean working somewhere out of your hometown and often out of the country. They include working at a resort, on a ship, as a tour director, teaching English or working with a non-profit overseas. I’ve done most of these and each one was the best thing I ever did. They helped me dump TGIF for TGIT (thank God its today). I’ve learned a PhD’s worth living out in the big wide world among its amazing people and had the time of my life doing it.
With an adventure job, you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to live and work overseas and do something that fires you up everyday. Today, I’m an entrepreneur but back when I started, I couldn’t even spell the word. Because an adventure job usually includes accommodation and board, you don’t have to figure all that stuff out. You just show up to work at a cool job, get paid and often the company takes care of the rest.
Just like any other job, you’ve got to have a skill and be good at what you do. You must find out what the company needs and fill those needs with your abilities. I was a sailing instructor, windsurfing instructor, skiing instructor, trapeze artist (yes, as in flying) and a SCUBA diving instructor. But the same companies I worked for also needed accountants, comptrollers, social directors, hotel management, F&B people, dining room managers and maintenance crews.
Making Money with an Adventure Job
Adventure jobs sometimes don’t pay big money but your bank account can still grow. Most companies know that they can pay less when you’re working in “paradise” and doing something that makes you want to get out of bed everyday. Plus, they are often covering your lodging and meal costs. But remember, it’s not what you make; it’s what you keep and deposit in your brokerage account that really counts. And if done right, your savings rate in an adventure job can be very high because your accommodations, board and lifestyle are all typically covered by your job. My savings rate at one time was as high as 96% of my gross income. Compare that to less than 5% for the average American household and you can see how the math does work. I also knew a girl that blew half of her salary every week on bikinis so common sense stuff on spending still applies.
A lot of people tell me, “I wish I could do what you do” or “You’ve got the most amazing job.” The reason I am sharing this story is so you can see that you can too. Are you a 20 something on a college break or wanting to see the world before you commit yourself to a cubicle, a 30 something wanting more out of life, a 40 something on sabbatical, a 50 something who’s retired early and ready to do all the things you said you were always going to do or a 60 something ready to find purpose? All you’ve got to do is take the first step. For me, it all started with an adventure job.
Do All Jobs Suck?
The word J-O-B has been getting a bad wrap lately. I know because I was one of the J-O-B bashers until recently when I realized I’ve had some totally AMAZING jobs. I may be eminently unemployable now but years ago I really needed the structure and support that a job offers. All jobs don’t inherently suck. It’s just when we choose to do something that we’re not passionate about, or we’re not using our talents, or we only do it for the money … you know the story. You may be living it. If you want to change TGIF for TGIT (thank God its today), check out an adventure job. It may be the perfect thing.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org