Welcome to The Working Traveller
The Working Traveller is the blog of our little family of websites concerned with travel and how to finance a trip or stay away for longer by working overseas; combining first hand posts and photos from our own travels with researched articles on working abroad and volunteering. Though people have asked to work in our New York office and on one of our cruise ships we are just a couple of backpackers: Deirdre Higgins, a veteran of the working week in France, Belgium, Peru, Britain and Ireland, and Shane Donovan who has successfully evaded a real job since leaving school. We have taken a number of extended trips ourselves, including travelling the world for a year, and have lived in Peru, Greece, Thailand and, since 2007, in Turkey. We work on our websites as we travel and have helped people find paid and volunteer jobs In Australia, France and China while we have been in, among other places, Bolivia, Lebanon or Malaysia. Highlights from our travels include getting bitten by a (small) lion in Thailand, standing on a baby in Peru (it was dark and, seriously, why put your baby on the floor by the bus door?), and almost falling off a cliff in Indonesia. We pat every dog we see, even the scabby ones (update: we’ve started to rethink this).
Reasons to Stick Around and Come Back
Instead of saving a small fortune at home to finance your journey why not just pack a bag and go now? Around the world there are numerous ways to fund a trip by picking up work as you go. The Working Traveller is just one part of an inter-related group of travel websites intent on encouraging people to travel for longer. Through our sites we provide suggestions for taking a gap year or career break, travelling around the world on a RTW ticket and information and job vacancies for finding temporary and seasonal work abroad. Some of these jobs are wonderful rewarding experiences in themselves. Some are crap. Some are paid, some are not. But what they all have in common is keeping you in Barcelona, Bali or Buenos Aires for longer. Though competition for some of the plum jobs out there can be intense, we don’t deal in highly paid skilled positions requiring lots of qualifications and experience, but with short and medium term jobs most of us can do, or learn to do.
That’s quite enough blowing our own trumpet. For balance here are some reasons why you should not read our blog:
We’re Awful Travellers…
As long as we Brits stay sober our reputation is one of politeness, queuing and mumbling apologies when people bump into us. Conforming somewhat to the stereotype I realised a long time ago that if I didn’t draw on deep down negative energies and be a bit of a dick now and then I’d be picked on, put down and pushed around whenever I crossed the English Channel. Though I appreciate my inner jerk’s efforts to help out it is, as British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge said of his libido, like being chained to a lunatic. The thing has no sense of proportion, lacks timing and is entirely without common sense. From ducking the punches of an elderly Bulgarian to the Chicken Dance, I’ve made a tit of myself on almost every continent thanks to my inner jerk. (Luckily for you we tend to travel independently so we won’t end up in your tour group if you decide to work in tourism.)
We’re Crap Volunteers…
Jeez, we write about this stuff for a living! During our stint volunteering in Thailand Deirdre ran away from a tiger – not an unreasonable thing to do, to be fair, but dropping the bag of chicken as she ran might have been a good idea – and felt pretty much everything wanted to eat her, while I exercised a lion and became a monkey’s little bitch. Nonetheless, we’d love to volunteer some more and we can be hired to volunteer for you or look after your house and pets, if you like. We also have a whole site devoted to Free or Cheap Ways to Volunteer Abroad for you to give it a try too.
We Hate on Mountains…
Who doesn’t like mountains? We don’t, that’s who. The thing about mountains is they are really, really hard work. They are marvellous things to admire in the distance but up close, walking up them for days on end, they are evil. We keep forgetting how horrible they are and signing up for hikes only to remember once there’s no turning back that they can only be punishment for the truly frightful acts we must have committed in a previous life. Don’t just take our word for it though, we made a handy Inca Trail simulator for you to decide for yourself.
We’re Even Mean to Children…
We don’t really hate kids. Just those with perfectly adequate parentage and means who expect us to give them money because we are foreign tourists, the short undeserving greedy bastards. If you are better with children than we are, how about becoming an au pair?
But We Do Have Some Really Big and Useful Articles on Working Abroad:
347 Hostels Around the World Open to Volunteer Work Exchanges
Working for your keep in a hostel is a good way of cutting down on expensive accommodation costs and circumventing local employment visa requirements. Though it can be a grey area many hostels are willing to provide unpaid work in countries where avenues for paid employment are closed.
More on working abroad and volunteering
We Post to TWT at Least Twice Week:
Though we like to do longer posts and interviews when we are able, or just some short newsy stuff, for the most part The Working Traveller is kept ticking over with a lovely photo each Monday and JobSpy Extra on a Friday:
At the beginning of each week we post a lovely Monday Photo we have taken on our own travels. Some are quite good, while the rest we hope are at least half decent. Our true horrors are saved for My Bad Travel Photo.
Though we have our own recruitment website where we allow employers to post their vacancies abroad to us not everyone uses it (grrrr). What do we do with such people? That’s right, we publicise their vacancies for free anyway, tracking them down to share in our JobSpy column.
More on Working Abroad, Volunteering and Gap Years on Our Other Sites:
The blog is part of the PAYAway Media group, a fancy name for the activities of two working travellers. The main part of what we do is our Jobs Abroad Bulletin (JAB), a bulletin board full of job vacancies posted by employers looking for staff. We sent the first issue of JAB out into the world as a monthly email bulletin in April 2000, reaching 70,000 readers and 100 issues before we changed to placing the job vacancies in our current blog format in 2010. Over the years we have helped our readers to finance their travels by working as powerboat crew in Greece, bar staff in the Czech Republic, chefs in Austria, camp counsellors in Russia, English teachers in Japan, au pairs in Dubai, holiday reps in Turkey, waiters in Cyprus, chalet girls in Switzerland, dancers in Jordan, nannies in New Zealand, tour leaders in Southeast Asia, hotel entertainers in Egypt, nurses in Bahrain, call centre staff in Ireland, researchers in Cambodia, snackbar attendants in Portugal, hot-air balloon ground crew in France, classroom assistants in Chile, eco trail leaders in Costa Rica, hostel workers in Panama, ski instructors in Italy, kitchen workers in the USA, tent erectors in Germany, training managers in Oman, and caretakers in Uganda. Where paid work isn’t possible we have plenty of volunteer and work exchange positions too. We also have a site dedicated to listing Free or Cheap Volunteer Work Abroad.
Our oldest site, the Overseas Job Centre has been around since 1999. Here we are attempting to build a comprehensive guide to finding paid jobs, gap years and volunteer work around the world. We cover tourism, catering and hospitality jobs, working in a ski resort, au pairing, working in an American summer camp, teaching English as a foreign language, farm work and fruit picking and the occasional office position. This is also where we feature a selection of organisations that can help you to arrange work abroad now.
“Having difficulty finding a temporary job abroad or funding a gap year trip? This site has a wide range of links to organisations that can help as well as many resources of its own …information and features for budget travellers and ‘The Jobs Abroad Bulletin’, …includes vacancies around the world for voluntary work, conservation projects, TEFL and work in ski resorts.” The BBC Webguide – Best of the Web
“Young, opinionated rag offers an alternative view on gap year organizations” Daily Telegraph
“The Working Traveller could be your most useful companion” New Woman