A love of travel is universal: the desire to get out of your comfort zone and venture to foreign lands is the ultimate appeal. Yet while broadening one’s horizons through travel can be exciting, rejuvenating and enlightening all at once, the dream for most avid adventurers is to have all this – and get paid for it along the way.
For some, this is not simply a dream it’s a reality. Are you up for it too? We found three jet-setters to offer some insights into the life of a high-flyer.
Flying High: Life of a Flight Attendant
Rebecca Green has been a flight attendant for 18 months and, as she puts it, “time flies when you’re in the air”. If you enjoy travel, a career as a flight attendant might appeal to you.
“This line of work offers a lifestyle that is very different from your typical nine-to-five,” Rebecca said. “I love being able to mould my days and weeks. It offers a great work-life balance for me.”
While she loves flying, Rebecca acknowledges that the life of a flight attendant isn’t for everyone. “You really need to be flexible with your time and your attitude with last-minute changes and in-flight challenges occurring daily,” she said.
If this sounds like you, Rebecca mentions other qualities needed for success.
“Having a background in customer service is incredibly valuable,” she said. “But overall I’d say those most suited to a career in flight attending would be those who are naturally friendly and upbeat, people who love to learn and those willing to get their hands dirty.”
Global Storytelling: Life of a Travel Journalist
Kate Webster has been a travel journalist for the past four years, but her start in the industry came about 14 years ago when she began work as a travel consultant.
“The opportunity to put a voice to the passion I have for the travel industry was what enticed me into my current role as a travel journalist,” Kate said. “That – and the travel opportunities, of course.”
Like any job however, there are always some challenges to overcome. “Being a travel journalist involves long hours and juggling time zones to meet deadlines,” Kate said.
“Often you’re fighting for Wi-Fi and having to think outside the square when it comes to creating an office space out of your surrounds on the go.”
But if you can dig in your heels and overcome a few hurdles, the experience is unlike any other.
“You have the freedom to work from anywhere,” Kate said. “Being a travel journalist offers me the opportunity to meet amazing, like-minded people from all around the globe and experience destinations in ways I only ever dreamt of.”
Top of the Class: Life of an International Educator
After spending time in Jamaica as a high school exchange student, Kate Smart was inspired to follow a global career.
“I am a total nerd and truly believe that a peaceful world will be created by offering people exposure to other cultures,” Kate said.
Working within the global education division of an Australian university, Kate is driven by her desire to see students excel in international programs, both at home and abroad.
Having always dreamt of a job that allowed her to travel, she certainly hasn’t been disappointed by the ride so far.
“I have close friends and colleagues all over the world,” Kate said. “I count myself lucky to have visited so many wonderful places – 35 countries and counting.
“I spent Christmas in New York City with one set of friends, New Year’s Eve in Toronto, Canada, with another and finally a week in Hawaii – and that was only one month.”
Kate lists a supportive home base as a necessity for the work she does and mentions some specific skills that will assist you in getting a foot in the door for a career in international education.
“International educators are usually bilingual and full of energy,” Kate said. “You need to have lived overseas or have had extensive experience overseas and have an ability to adjust culturally. If cultural differences annoy you, you will be in a perpetual bad mood.”
Onwards and Upwards
While the challenges of a jet-setting career may briefly bring you down from the clouds, don’t let them deter you.
Asked about their favourite destinations, our seasoned travellers were very clear: the adventures and experiences far outweigh the negatives.
- Stockholm, Sweden: “I love Stockholm,” Kate Smart said. “It’s such a beautiful city and the Swedes are fabulous – beautiful inside and out.
- South Africa: “I have been to South Africa nine times and every time I see it with fresh eyes,” Kate Webster said. “From the cosmopolitan cities to the beautiful beaches and heart-stopping adrenalin adventures, South Africa is a destination that truly has it all.”
- Northern Territory, Australia: “Darwin has the most spectacular sunsets,” Rebecca said. “With a bucket of prawns and an icy-cold drink, it’s heaven. I always have to remind myself to stop taking pictures, put my phone down and just enjoy the moment.”
This story was originally published on 29/02/2016