For those of us with a call to adventure, having a job that supports that lifestyle is ideal. There are plenty of ways to get paid for doing what you love. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, an ocean aficionado or simply a champion of the world at large, there are a multitude of ways to engage your adventurous spirit and make a living. All of the following jobs afford just this possibility—travel, new experiences and an opportunity to appreciate the world in all of its vastness and brilliant display.
Be a Tour Guide
If you’re good with people and enjoy sharing your passion with others, there’s an opportunity to become a tour guide for nearly any activity that you love. This is especially the case if you happen to love outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, caving, rock climbing or backpacking, just to name a few.
There’s also plenty of tour-guide work to be had in the educational side—ecological tours, outdoor cooking, survival skills, etc. You can travel all over as a tour guide (how about learning to give eco-tours in Costa Rica?), or you can stay close to home and utilize your local knowledge to provide personal tours of the locations and experiences in your own backyard that you know people would love.
You can work for yourself or you can work for one of the many large adventure companies out there, complete with steady pay and perks. The bottom line is that if there is something you love to do or somewhere special you love to go, making money as a tour guide for it can be as simple as applying for the job.
Become a Scuba, Ski or Surf Instructor
Along the lines of making money by teaching others how to do the activities we love, there’s also cash to be made as an instructor for scuba, surf or ski. If you have the skill and certifications needed, finding a job as an instructor is as easy as putting yourself in locations where tourists swarm to do these activities. For example, picture yourself as a scuba instructor in Cozumel or a surf instructor in Hawaii, lessons in the morning and the afternoons free for your own exploration. Sounds nice, right? How about giving ski lessons in Vail? If you are on the slopes anyway, why not get paid to be there?
Be a Nature Photographer
If you’re prone to ferreting out all of the most remote and breathtaking places, or are that person who simply must get closer to that bear you saw sign of in the woods, nature photography might be for you. Success at this profession does take some specialized skills—you have to be able to take a decent picture, obviously. You also need quality equipment and infinite patience as you position yourself and then wait for that perfect shot. It is thanks to nature photographers that we have pictures of some of the most beautiful and startling images this good Earth has to offer. There’s no reason that next great shot can’t be yours!
Work as a Park Ranger
Park rangers with the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Department can do anything from law enforcement to running helicopters to remote work areas deep in the backcountry. The work is unusual, rewarding, and affords the opportunity to see some of America’s most beautiful wild spaces. Plus, even if you don’t qualify to be a park ranger, there’s plenty of adventurous work to be had working a season or more for either of the two aforementioned entities.
Become an International Volunteer
If you’re willing to dedicate your time to some worthy causes, there are a wide range of international volunteering possibilities available to you. From the Peace Corp to WWOOFing farms, to small, community-driven initiatives, opportunities to get out of your box abound. You could volunteer some time at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center or live and work alongside a rural family in Nepal or in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. There are opportunities everywhere. You need only select a destination and look. All skills are needed, but a set of hands willing to work is often the only requirement.
Teach English as a Foreign Language
The fact that you are a native English speaker means that you already have a skill that is highly sought-after in many parts of the world. Teaching English as a second language is rewarding work that affords the opportunity to teach and learn from other cultures the world over. Qualifications to be an English teacher vary. Some areas may require both a bachelor’s degree and a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate, some areas don’t. Regardless of the requirements, getting your TEFL certification itself is a relatively easy affair, and can’t hurt your prospects. Spend some time searching the TEFL job boards to get a sense of what’s out there.
Join a Yacht Crew
Ultimately, you may want to have your own yacht. Until that day, consider joining a yacht crew. Find them by putting yourself where yachties are (San Diego or St Maarten, for example). Start by inquiring at the local yacht club office. Don’t know your way around a sail? Take the introductory course typically offered by the club - new members are always welcome and this is an excellent way to meet a yacht owner who may be willing to take you on board!
Become a Road Entrepreneur
Becoming a road entrepreneur may well be the simplest (and most fulfilling?) adventurous job you can take up for yourself. True, you may not be able to count on the source of your next paycheck, but what is adventure without a little risk? Whatever your skill, take it on the road. You really can freelance anything if you’re good at it. Working from wherever you are is an increasingly easy feat in our digital age. Network with the people around you. Get creative about how you might make a living on the road. Recognize that the next great adventure is at your fingertips, you need only recognize the call!