It’s the question I get asked the most. By friends, followers and random people sliding into my DMs. “What do you actually do for a living?”. People see photos of faraway places, destinations that are a world away and understandably wonder how on earth am I able to sustain a lifestyle of constant movement and experience around the world.
The key to living in such a way is to create an income around the lifestyle. Rather than the typical work, save, travel and repeat, I have managed to forge a path where travelling and the work are the same things. It has taken some time to get there, and I still have a long way to go. However, I am aware that I have maybe figured out a few more steps than the next person, so I am here to share some ideas with you and explain how you too could become a full-time adventure traveller.
How Do You Travel the World For Free?
I don’t… In fact, I can’t think of any examples of people who really do.
I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up, as that’s another one of the questions I get asked a lot. It seems to be the biggest hurdle that is stopping a lot of people from actually living out their dreams of travelling the world – they think other people are out there getting things handed to them on a plate. That’s not how the world works. Nothing comes for free, especially not things such as travel, hotels and experiences when most people are willing to spend a pretty penny on them.
Instead, I have focused on finding ways to work in roles that involve travel and activities that I enjoy.
That’s right, it does involve work. The work itself is just a little unconventional compared to what images that word usually conjures up.
The key is not about convincing people to give you things for free. It’s about figuring out what marketable skills you already have that can be used to offer value in exchange for services or pay. Once you have figured out what value you can offer, you can then start looking at ways you can take this on the road.
So, What Do I Actually Do?
I have a number of roles all within the Outdoor Industry. During the summer season, I work as a sea kayak guide and expedition leader. In the winter I work as a snowboard instructor. Over the whole year, I freelance as an adventure travel writer & photographer, with an increase in work during the ‘off-season’. And finally, I have now launched my own expedition company, Global Shenanigans Expeditions, where I lead groups on international adventures such as hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro.
All of these roles allow me to travel around the world whilst generating an income, which can then be spent on… More travelling!
The jobs within this umbrella have been extraordinary, fun, challenging and as far from the conventional ‘job’ most people could imagine. I’ve helped visually impaired, wheel-chair bound children experience driving a jet ski for the first time. When working outside of London, one of the roles was taking groups off-roading in 4×4 Land Rovers. We often worked with youth groups and once took a car full of young offenders (all charged with grand theft auto) for a drive. I’ve dug out watering holes for African wildlife, kayaked with orca, humpback whales and active volcanoes. The work is unique and the only thing limiting it is your ambition to get yourself out there.
I like to refer to myself as a ‘professional fun-haver and good time enthusiast’.
How Can YOU Become A Full-Time Adventure Traveller?
There are many ways to achieve this. First, I’d suggest looking at what you already do. What’s your job? Is there a need for people that do this job in ____ (insert county you want to visit). If yes, research visas, contact employers and you could be on your way to earning money at your dream destination, allowing you to adventure around that.
“But wait a minute, my job sucks, I don’t want to be doing it here, let alone anywhere else!”
Well, that’s great. There are plenty of other options available that can support a more transient lifestyle. This could be:
- Outdoor activity instructing or guiding
- Seasonal work and resort jobs
- Teaching classes such as yoga or personal fitness
- Selling products
- Teaching English
- Remote work
All of these roles will allow you to generate an income whilst travelling at the same time.
If none of those are jumping out at you, then what are some things you enjoy? What are your hobbies? By looking into what skills you already have and what areas you enjoy, it can be much easier to shape a career around these passions. As the saying goes, ‘find a job that you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life’.
I have been using a combination of different roles within the Outdoor Industry to be able to work year-round whilst constantly moving. And the best thing about it? I started on this path with absolutely no experience. Zero. I had never kayaked before starting the journey to become a guide. My first-day snowboarding on a mountain? Day 1 of my snowboard instructor training program. I am a self-taught writer and photographer and only started a few years ago, still using the same $300 camera now as I did then. In that time I have managed to successfully supplement my income by writing about topics I enjoy and photograph high ticket experiences with price tags in the $1,000s.
Why Am I Telling You All This?
I’m sharing this information with you because I have found my passion. It’s adventure travel. I’m seeking out a life of experience and would like to help as many people do the same thing as possible.
When I started out, I didn’t know anybody else in the industry. Growing up in the middle of England, I didn’t even know anyone who kayaked or rock climbed. I only went camping once or twice before turning 18. Without any guidance, I definitely wasted some time in finding my feet and realising the best way to live the life I wanted.
It has now become my goal to help others live life to its full potential, whilst developing a deeper connection to the natural world. I am able to help people ‘level up’ their own travelling experiences by leading expeditions involving activities that will push their comfort zone in a safe manner. On top of that, I have a digital course helping people figure out how to travel and get paid on their own terms.
I hope that you too can start to live life your way. To build towards your dreams and one day become a full-time adventure traveller.
Chris’s unique experience working around the world, in the outdoor industry and his amazing photography are just some of the reasons we brought him in to write this guest post for us. If you would like to hear more about Chris’s travels and more… Just comment below and let us know.
Check out Global Shenanigans
Also check out Chris’s upcoming Kayaking expedition to Alaska For Fun’s Sake (temporarily postponed to 2022 due to covid-19, but still going ahead).