Remote, Work Exchange and Gig: Work That Fits Your Travel Lifestyle

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that remote work is not only possible in multiple industries, but it can be beneficial, too. Now that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID, it might be time to make some decisions about the future of your career – especially if you’re a jet-setter. 

Having a love of traveling can make you feel like you’re ready to hop on a plane or buy an RV and cruise across the country at any time. But, you have to make a living, right? Thankfully, there are a few ways to have a successful career while still seeing the world. Some of the best options are traditional remote jobs, a work exchange, or jumping into the gig economy. 

Which option is right for you? How can you keep up your love for traveling while still bringing in regular income? 

Working Remotely

Not all careers are set up for remote working — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into options for your own. For example, did you know there are remote opportunities in nursing? You could work in health informatics, or be a nurse educator/instructor. If you don’t think your current position has any remote options, don’t be afraid to ask your employer. 

If you’re applying for a new position that offers a remote option, it’s important to ensure the employer that you have the soft skills necessary to succeed, including: 

  • Time management
  • Self-motivation
  • Strong communication

You also should be willing to speak with your employer about your needs as a remote employee. In the end, you both have the same goal; to be productive and successful when it comes to your job. So, some negotiation about your needs is expected. That includes things like having the right equipment, being eligible for company benefits, and receiving regular feedback. When you can both come to terms with what you need to be successful, the transition to remote working will be a much smoother one. 

work laptop

Doing a Work Exchange

Work exchanges aren’t as common as remote jobs or freelancing. But, if you truly want to travel the world and dip your toes into different experiences, a work exchange can be a great way to do it. 

When you break down what a work exchange actually is, the concept is simple: Wherever you are, you’ll agree to trade your time, skills, and services for accommodations. That might include getting paid with goods, or it might include things like housing and food. You can either work with a single host or check out hostels, campsites, farms, and local villages to see who needs help.

Some common work exchange jobs include: 

  • Hospitality services
  • Childcare
  • Tour guide services
  • Kitchen help
  • Language teaching

One thing you shouldn’t expect from a work exchange is getting paid with actual money. It’s about a collaboration to give and receive. But, you can work with your host and talk about your needs. If you have the right skills and can perform your job well, you shouldn’t have a problem having every accommodation taken care of.

This is a great option if you want to be more than a digital nomad. If you actually enjoy working with people and being a part of a community, consider a work exchange option anywhere in the world. 

work in campsite

Joining the Gig Economy

The gig economy has flourished in recent years. As of 2018, there were 57 million people working in the gig economy, and that number has undoubtedly continued to rise to unexpected heights. 

Joining the gig economy essentially means you’re a freelancer or contractor. If you have certain marketable skills that businesses are looking for,  the amount of work you take on is really up to you. 

Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, photographer, or IT professional, working as a freelancer will allow you to fully control your schedule. You can work as much or as little as you want. Plus, if all of your work is done digitally, you can work from anywhere and travel the world. There are, of course, some risks. In order to be successful, you need to build up a strong client base, which isn’t always easy, at first. 

But, if you keep putting together a strong portfolio of your work and you’re willing to dedicate yourself to it, you can find incredible success in the gig economy by being your own boss. 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to travel across the world and still make a living. Whether you want to work for yourself, a bigger company, or get your hands dirty in another community on a different continent, you don’t have to give up your love of travel just to have a successful career. 

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Lived in England since 1998 and travelled the world since 2005, visiting over 100 countries on 5 continents. Writer, blogger, photographer with a passion for adventure and travel, discovering those off beat places not yet on the tourist trail. Marco contributes the very best in independent travel tips and lifestyle articles.

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