We all wish life were just beaches and sunshine, and in many cases it is! When you look at the glass half full, the sunshine seems to shine brighter. That's supposed to sound metaphorical - not sure if I made that clear haha.
But you get what I mean! Travel is amazing, incredible, freeing, and FUN! There's a reason we're so obsessed with having new adventures and living this wonderful life around the world.
However, sometimes there are downsides, and while they aren't fun to talk about, still need to be mentioned.
I want you to live the travel life you love, but also be prepared for the reality. Working abroad is AMAZING but there are pieces to the puzzle that just don't get mentioned. That's because they're not as exciting as hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, going on safari in Kenya, or getting to Machu Picchu in Peru.
Here are a few things I've learned from traveling. It's time to unleash the secrets!
The Secrets of Working Abroad (That No One Talks About)
Secret #1: Some travel jobs aren't sustainable long-term
Whether the hours are long, work is exhausting, or pay isn't too high, some jobs aren't realistic to keep forever. Keeping such jobs would lead to burnout.
I had an incredible time working the international conference jobs, but the longest a contract would go for that particular conference was two months. With long hours (starting at 7 or 8 am and going until midnight) for 10-15 days in a row, it's not realistic to continue doing that every day for the next five years. And they don't expect you to (which is why the contracts are short)!
While there are travel jobs that are sustainable long-term, know that's not the case for all of them.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do something that isn't sustainable long-term! It's perfectly fine to work a travel job short-term. In fact, short-term jobs like that have allowed me to currently hold a "regular" job and pay my bills at home, but still travel!
Live your life!
Secret #2: It actually requires work
This is something most people realize, but sometimes we get caught up with the romantic idea of sunning on the beaches of the Mediterranean, going to opera concerts in Vienna, and other types of fun perks that often come with a work + travel lifestyle.
The work part is very much "there," as that is the way you're funding your travels. Whatever the duties of your job are, you need to make sure those take priority.
Leading a tour in Salzburg, and two people in your group get lost trying to find the meeting spot? It's your responsibility to go find them. Need to be back at the hostel to check people in at 2 pm on the Saturday of Oktoberfest? Time to leave the festival to do your job, and then make your way back over there after.
It can be tempting to blow off a work day in favor of something else, but if you do that you'll put your job at risk - and if you get fired, there goes your source of travel. Of course you can always look for another work + travel opportunity but I'm sure everyone can agree that this situation is not ideal!
Even if you're working remotely or running an online business, it's up to you to hold yourself accountable to ensure your work gets done.
The work is FUN but it's still work. Embrace the opportunity and get meaningful experience, learn new skills, and live this awesome work + travel lifestyle.
Secret #3: You'll be hooked for life
Once you start living a work + travel lifestyle, it will be hard to go back to your daily routine without having travel plans on the horizon.
When my dad picked me up at the Seattle airport after I flew home after working in Europe for six months, he was like, "Well, cool! So do you feel you've got the travel bug out of your system? Time to have a regular life now?"
And I was like, umm NO! Haha :)
There are so many places in the world to see, and only so much time we have in life to go visit them.
Those of us who are obsessed with travel get it; we know the richness that comes with visiting faraway places. There are people to be meeting and places to be seeing.
Once you've traveled, you've caught the travel bug. But once you've realized how easy it can be to live a work + travel lifestyle, you're hooked.
There's no way you'll go back to a society's version of a "regular" life once you start living a work + travel lifestyle. There will always be somewhere to go, a trip on the horizon, and daydreams of where you want to go next.
It's an incredible world. Get out there and live your epic adventure!