Earn An Income While Travelling

For many people entering the workforce, and especially millennials finding a job or career that will allow you to travel is a big plus or maybe even a necessity. Being paid to travel is the dream. The job description of exploring different cities, countries and territories and grabbing a paycheck in the end is possible. We take a look at a few jobs that give you the benefit and excitement of travelling while maintaining an income.


Tutor/ Teacher

Depending on where you go, being an English teacher overseas can be as easy as getting your EFL(English as a Foreign Language) course and you’ll be off teaching in no time. Some countries will want you to hold a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to teach. Countries like Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, China and India are wall popular places to teach English. Teaching in these countries gives you ample amount of time to travel through the countries and region. You can also become a Tutor in Hong Kong and make some side money while you travel throughout Asia.


Travel Guide

Tour guides are needed the world round. If you enjoy culture, people, history and the outdoors than being a tour guide is a great job. As a travel guide your job is essentially just to travel around with other people. You’re basically on a permanent holiday; that requires a lot of work.



The great thing about putting words down on paper or online is that you can do it from anywhere in the world. Writing about travel and travel destinations is the ultimate gig, writing about exotic locations, restaurants and hotels on someone else’s coin is a dream job for anyone. You don’t have to necessary right about travel in order to travel, though. Your ideas, opinions and content can be written from anywhere in the world. Just be sure not to go too far off the grid that you can’t get your content in on time.



This job is perfect for someone who would like to travel but get to know a place at the same time. As a live in nanny or caretakers you will likely be working a set amount of hours during the week and able to have weekend and nights off. This leaves you with lots of time to explore the country and region on your time off. A great perk to this is you’ll be set for accommodation and a home base while you travel around. Being an Aupair really gives you a feel for what daily life is like in another country.


How to get a job working in Africa.

Hello my dearest friends!

Yes, it’s been a fabulously long time since you heard from me personally, but here I am, fresh faced and ready to dispense some sage advice to anyone who has ever considered, is considering, or might ever, possibly, probably, maybe consider working in Africa in the near future.

Who am I to give advice? I spent almost nine months working in Africa as a conservation biologist. Post-Africa, I’ve founded an exponentially growing and successful charitable organization that works to advance education and healthcare across the dark continent.

And…who are you to take advice? YOU are probably a bright-eyed, college-educated young sprite of a thing. YOU are rearing to change the world. YOU need some guidance, as you probably found your way to this blog post by googling the big question: “How can I get a job working in Africa?”

Working in Africa is bloody difficult. Therefore, getting a job to work in Africa (truly work, I might add) is also bloody difficult.

Why? Well, let me dispel some myths for you right off the bat:

1) Nonprofits will NOT pay for you to traipse over to Africa just because you have a big heart and an even bigger drive. Most of the time, you will make no money or will even have to pay for the first work experience, simply because no one in their right mind will ever hire someone who hasn’t had to literally walk through shit-covered roads in a developing country.

2) You will NOT get a paying job if you do not have experience working in Africa. Yes, I understand I just repeated myself, but if you’re anything like me, you read the first piece of advice and promptly moved on after telling yourself, “yes, but I’m different.” I hate to break it to you: No, you are not different. Why? Because nonprofits in Africa need every penny they can get their hands on, and no amount of resume action words will make a cash-strapped organization take unnecessary risk. For example, I once worked for a conservation group which had hired on eight interns at once. Four hated living in Africa so much that they actually quit before their contracts came to an end. In sum, the organization wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars in training costs and flights on people who left after a few months.

3) You are now thinking to yourself: “Yes, but I don’t want to work for a nonprofit! Surely a business will hire me!”
You’re slightly correct. There are, indeed, corporations who will hire expats to work in Africa without prior international experience . However, these positions are often highly technical and require a great deal of investment and education. For example, oil companies often send engineers on rotating shifts to work on their oil compounds. Or, large companies will hire you IF you have a highly sought after skill set, such as a fluency in three languages and an expert knowledge of GIS systems. Yes, my friends, IF you fall into this category, you probably should just stop reading right now and go and apply for a job, as the only advice you will need, is how to best negotiate your benefits.

However, if you don’t fall into this group of highly trained professionals, do not despair: there is still hope.

Jobs in Africa positively abound. In fact, after just eight months of work experience, I was offered two full-time positions, one of which was for the position of Program Director. How did I get there?

1) I got experience. This is done by either paying the cost for a legitimate organization to take you in and train you and/or to offer your services for free. My first job, only a three month stint, actually only cost me my plane ticket to the country. The rest of my in-country expenses? Paid!

You might be asking yourself where you can find these opportunities. Look no further than the following websites:

www.idealist.org – A clearing house for non-profit jobs.
www.stopdodo.com – A great non-profit and environment-focused job board.
https://listserv.umd.edu/archives/ecolog-l.html – Jobs posted by research groups looking for short-term assistants.

There are dozens of other directories out there, but if you want my honest opinion: don’t look at them.

The jobs listed at the above websites are vetted (to a certain degree) and you will likely avoid scams or annoyingly overpriced short-term volunteer vacation package.

One more word of advice: use your brain! If the internship is asking for $4000 a month, it’s probably a for-profit business making money on getting you a placement. If that’s the kind of security you’d like, go for it. However, just know that you don’t have to pay so much money. There are tons of nonprofits who would happily train you at cost (no more than $1500 per month, depending on the location/city…and can even be as cheap as $500 a month) – this means, that the organization will help you organize local accommodation and food for a small fee, make no money out of your presence, and be paid in kind by your service to their cause.

2) I impressed my African-based boss. As an intern (paying or not) in Africa, your skills will be utilized. If you ever find an organization that doesn’t have anything for you to do, you were either hired as a money maker OR the nonprofit simply isn’t running very efficiently. That being said, this is the rare scenario and 9 out of 10 times, you will find that not only is there enough work for you to do…there’s TOO much work!

However, instead of whining, realize that this is exactly the kind of situation you want to be in. Use the opportunity to impress your bosses! When you’re stranded in the middle of the work day in a rural village because your taxi driver abandoned you? Keep your cool! When your entire project crumbles down on itself because the school you were supposed to be teaching in, suddenly closes for summer vacation? Innovate a new outreach program!

Yes, all of these things happened to me, and instead of hating the work I was doing (even if it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea)…I worked to be the best employee I could be.

3) I networked!

There are a ridiculous number of job positions just waiting to be filled in Africa…but you have to be THERE to find them. For example, while living in Madagascar, I visited the local university and was offered a teaching position on the spot because of my English speaking skills. This position, never advertised online, will only become available to you if you are in the right place at the right time. Obviously the “right place” is not your faux leather couch in South-West Florida.

So, to re-cap:

1) When an organization asks that you pay your costs, they are not scamming you and you should be respectful of the fact that it is very difficult to spare the money to bring on extra staff, especially if they are untrained.

2) Work hard to get your job placement. Due to the distance, you may have to spend hours upon hours searching for openings and applying. When people ask me how I got my positions? The only answer I can give them is: Time and effort.

3) If you can’t put in the effort to find the job, you probably will not be able to survive long in Africa. I repeat: working in Africa is very hard.

4) If you’ve read all of this, and you’re still super excited to work overseas…that’s fantastic! I wish you all the best, and have full faith that you will go far. If you can read the “harsh” truth of this post, you will have no problem working and living overseas!

Questions? Email me ([email protected]) – I’m always happy to help guide people looking for a way to get to Africa and start working to make a difference.

The Backpacking Chica is BACK!

Holy Hell!

It’s been way too long since I wrote a post on here…but never fear, you haven’t been far from my mind! In my “absence” I was working behind the scenes trying to get more exposure for this site, which got me more readers…and more spammers. I do apologize if random posts of mine have weird comments attached to them; I do not endorse or condone any viagra websites or russian dating agencies at this time :-)

The last time you heard from me, I was chilling in North Florida working simultaneously on two books about my time in Africa. Nowadays…about a month later, I’m still in North Florida, but wonder upon wonders, yours truly got a J.O.B.

Yes! A job.

In fact, please imagine me putting on shades, raising my right hand, and wagging my index finger as I say, “I told you so!”


The sole reason I got hired, beating out dozens of other applicants who were definitely more qualified than myself, was because I went to Africa. Because I could confidently say: “I’ve run a blog, I know how Twitter works, and I promise I will get attention to your cause.”

It sounds stupid, but it worked! When I left on my trip fourteen months ago, there were more than enough people who swore I was doing the wrong thing: the money spent, and the time wasted could be better invested in my future.

Fourteen months later, the ONLY reason I beat out nine lawyers for my position was because, “if (you) can go backpacking around Africa by yourself, you can definitely work here!” In fact, my boss loves my whole little “crazy” story so much, he calls me the “Backpacking Chica,” whenever he’s particularly happy with my work.

In any case, my transition back to civilization is more or less complete: I’ve been able to vault my trip (and the accompanying work and blogging experiences) into an awesome job, an awesome boss, a great salary, and a new career path. Even BETTER is the fact that I get to accumulate 400 overtime hours to be used as paid vacation time…per year. How much does that ROCK? What this means to you, blogosphere and universe, will get more travel stories and no pesky advertisements on my site!

In addition, I’m finished with the first draft of my first book! I spend about six hours each weekend working on it, so while progress has slowed, my resolve definitely hasn’t! I am actually hoping to gather up the courage to post a few pages on here in a few weeks…just to see what you guys think!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your great comments and uplifting support on my twitter and facebook. There are now more than 900 of you guys tracking my blog’s movements, and, without you the transition back to American life would have been much harder. While I have become more jaded, and I’m sad that the Paris portion of my trip wasn’t the disney wonderland I’d dreamed it would be, I am happy that I grew as a person, and could honestly not ask for anything more in life right now.

Cheers (and thank eff for American beer selections),

Backpacking Chica

Left the Jungle!

Hey Guys!

Just a quick note to let you all know that I’ve made it out of the rainforest (after two months of almost complete isolation…and only eighteen minutes of satellite phone communication with the outside world) and that I’m in healthy, happy, and thoroughly enjoying fresh vegetables for the first time in as long as I can remember.

Today has been a complete culture shock – chairs, tables, doors, stairs, coca cola, porcelain plates, and bread…all things that I haven’t had in weeks. I have had the time of my life, it’s been absolutely amazing – I have so many funny, interesting, and down-right unbelievable stories to tell; hopefully I can get them up here in the next few weeks.

Thank you to everyone for the encouraging emails, comments, and facebook messages – coming back to such an online “welcome” has been better than I could even have imagined.

Cheers! (and I truly mean that…I’m having beer for the first time tonight in weeks, and I know it will be a grand time!)

-Yours Truly :-)

Updates! Job position at the BBPP on Bioko Island!

Hello World!!!

Excuse me while I come up for breath from my hectic, hectic, HECTIC life! :-)

Life has been crazy! Let me tell you – finishing up three research projects, trying to take examinations, packing up ones house, AND planning a long, long trip can be quite the challenge. However, I’m still here and still alive…I’ve only got 46 days until I graduate and 51 days until I leave on my trip!

In very important news: I got the Equatorial Guinea job!!!! I mentioned before that I applied for a three-month volunteer position with a researcher working through the BBPP (Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program) and after several rounds of applications and interviews, I was informed on Saturday morning that I had been picked for the position. For those of you who don’t know, Bioko Island is relatively unexplored (biologically) so it’s my weird biologist fantasy to trek around and be able to take it all in. Plus, I doubt I would ever get to see so many parts of the island, without help from the BBPP…and my in-country expenses are basically all covered by the program. It’s pretty much a win/win situation!

SO: As a result I’ve worked out the kinks in my happy dance routine, signed off on my volunteer contract, and am ready to book that RTW flight!

In other developments: my backpack (Eagle Creek Truist 45L) has been ordered and shipped, my international student youth travel card (ISTC card from STA.com) finally arrived (I ordered it two whole months ago…and it just got here, which makes me nervous to buy my flight through the site…but I digress), and I’m the closest I’ll ever be to having an “itinerary” for the first half of my trip.

It looks like the my trip (the first half) will look something like this:

December 2009 – Germany
January – March 2010 – Equatorial Guinea to work for the BBPP
March – June 2010 – South Africa to work on the Loskop Dam Reserve
June – September 2010 – Various African countries, including a one month volunteer position at an orphange in Tanzania
October 2010 – Egypt, Middle East
November 2010 – Middle East, Turkey, HOME!!!!

Also, I’ve been hard at work networking with other travelers through my twitter and through a new page I’ve created on facebook (you can visit that page by clicking on the facebook “badge” on the left hand column of my blog). Feel free to add me – I would love to hear feedback/comments/tips. Thank you (very much) to everyone who has taken the time to leave me feedback both here and on twitter – you’re comments have definitely helped me make decisions (something that is hard for me to do!) and have also given me more confidence in my trip!