So you want to move to paradise huh? That's great! Hopefully you have already done extensive research on the area you are planning to move to, or even a PMV (Pre-move visit). If so, then good luck on the move! Now, once you get there what are you going to do for work? Most likely it is a touristy area you are moving to, as most paradises on this planet are. In that case, there will be plenty of work for you to show off what you love in many different areas, but here are some helpful hints to get started.
1. Work on a boat
This is an unbelievable experience, good pay, and a great way to meet people. You don't need experience right away, but you will need training to become a mate, or eventually a captain! If it is possible, you can knock out a lot of the required training and have credentials before you leave home. Look into getting your STCW locally before you move, it will put you above others without the training. It isn't required right away, but it is within a month or so after receiving a boat job. It takes about 5 days to complete, so getting this certification before you move makes sense so you don't need to take that time off later.
There are different types of boat jobs, from day charters to lengthy excursions. It depends on what you are looking for out of the job. If you like being home every night, look into local charters that do snorkel excursions, eco tours, island hopping, and even SCUBA trips! If you work on a dive boat though, you will need to be certified as a diver at the very least. Some companies want you to be a professional diver (Dive master or Instructor) for that, so maybe put that on the back burner. There are typically sail or motor charters that can hold anywhere from six to over a hundred people. One company I worked for had twelve different boats, some held forty nine people, some a hundred and fifteen, and they did shorter snorkel and tour excursions for cruise ship passengers. The other company I worked for had three boats that went to five different islands, had a snorkel stop, and even a nice hike as well as lunch and drinks. Be prepared to work long hours (twelve+) and possibly weeks at a time during the holiday season. I once worked ninety five straight days because we were busy, and we had some other mates quit in between. You also don't typically get a schedule, you call each night to see if you are working the next day. I'll cover all of this in my next blog post "The life of a mate."
2. Resort/Hotel jobs
Hotels and resorts are great gateways for future careers, in addition to being a temporary paradise job. They also have many options and departments in which you may or may not be interested. If you have worked in restaurants before, you can do that here! You also get discounts, benefits, and a higher wage than a stand alone restaurant (I made $6.50 per hour vs $2.15). They also have options for a much cooler section. If you look in the picture above, see those blue chairs? That was my section as the Pool and Beach Server at the Ritz-Carlton. This is another great option that allows you to be home everyday, and even greater if you aren't comfortable on a boat or in the water. If you stay six months you can usually transfer within the resort to another department (based on openings), or to another hotel with the larger companies. I was a server for eight months, then transferred inside to become a concierge. Now, there are more rules and stipulations involved when working for a larger company, but it's a great way to get started. The best way to get hired is to simply walk right into the hotel, ask for the HR department and speak with someone about their openings. The other great thing about the resorts is they have a lot of turnover, so there are frequent openings, and they also hire couples!
Right, not a boring internship in a mail room doing busy work for free, there are OTHER types of internships that most people don't even know about. I did a Dive master internship, and could've proceeded right into becoming an instructor. Now, you do have to pay for these internships, but you usually get "free" accommodation, lunches, diving, experience, and training. If you have a couple of months to kill, and have a little money saved up this is one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences you will ever have. If location isn't an issue, it can be much cheaper in places like Thailand, The Gili Islands, Utila, etc. just do a little research on DM internships. I did a summer internship that took me 2 months and I made lasting friendships with people from all around the world. If you can afford it I would do a full package (there is typically a discount) and go all the way through and become an instructor. Most shops or ones close-by will offer you a job right away, some right after your Dive master and you can work your way through the certification levels. You can then become a digital underwater photographer or videographer, get into marine conservation, MSDT, etc.
4. Work Remotely
This was my work station in Bali at a private villa. There are many ways to work online these days, and you barely need any tech skills for a lot of them. Online travel consultant, copywriter, translator, etc.
If you have experience as a travel agent then becoming an online travel consultant would be an excellent opportunity. All you really need once hired is a laptop (some companies will even give you one) and access to an internet connection. As long as you are available during business hours (always check time zones while traveling) it is an easy job. It doesn't pay all that great, but traveling to many countries can actually be cheaper then living at home. If you do it right, you can easily survive for less than a thousand US dollars a month depending on where you go.
Do you speak more than one language? You can become a translator, translating web pages, documents, and other kinds of information either into English or from it. The best part about being a remote translator is that you work as much or as little as you want. You can work 12 straight hours, or take a day off, it's completely up to you which is great while abroad.
There many ways to work remotely these days, you can just research remote jobs and typically find something you might be interested in.
5. House Sitting
Whether it is an apartment in Florence, a condo in Singapore, or a cabin in Norway, people will pay you to live in their house. There are numerous sites setup to connect sitters and offers. You have to setup a profile, take a background check, and usually pay a monthly or yearly fee to join the site, but it can be worth it. If you are good with animals and house chores, this is a great way to stay somewhere for free! Certain people are unable to rent out their home due to laws, pets, or simply not wanting too, and that's where you could come in! Sometimes you will have a cat to take care of and water the plants, other times you will have to walk a couple of dogs twice a day. The tasks will be put into their ad on the site, and you can take it or leave it. There is some competition for these gigs, however if you aren't picky you will get a chance. Best thing to do is have a friend write a review about how responsible you were taking care of their place (even if it isn't true). I cared for a friends cat and watched her place so I had first hand experience doing this, so her review was legit.
If you are looking to change your life, take a break, or simply experience something different, look into any of these opportunities. They are all based on my personal experience, so I'm sure there are other ideas out there, just do some research and maybe you will find yourself somewhere incredible. Each of my experiences was unique and amazing, and I have built a global network of business contacts and friendships. You MUST go for it though, dive in with two feet and take off. You might be wary, a little scared, and nervous just like I was when I first left. I went to an island I had never visited, knew nobody, had no job, and nowhere to live. Once I landed I just started figuring it out, asking strangers questions, meeting people, reading the local paper, and researching the area as much as possible. I even shipped a car down there without ever even knowing how to get it tagged! If you are tired of a mundane and routine life, quit your job and go somewhere, anywhere! Don't regret the things you never did, go do the things you've always wanted to.