Living, working and playing abroad in your twenties is almost a rite of passage these days. You finish high school and live your dream of travelling around the globe by having a gap year, or more. And most do this by going on a working holiday. But what if you didn’t do that? What if you went to university or started working immediately after leaving school or had a family instead of travelling in your twenties? And now, in your 30s, or over, you are struck by the wanderlust bug only to discover that pretty much all of the working holiday visas out there are for those aged 18-30 years.
Well don’t worry, even though you may be over 30 your work and travel options may have diminished but there are still lots of opportunities available. In fact, in many ways, your age and work experience can be a big advantage to finding work while you travel. So don’t let all the working holiday maker people have all the fun, read on and find out some of the work and travel things you could do when you are over 30.
Investigate other visas
I know this blog is about different work opportunities for when you are over 30 however, you might consider other visas available which could lead to work opportunities. If there is a specific country you wish to live, work and play in for an extended period I would suggest you find out what other visas might be available. Of course there are tourist visas but what about a work visa, a student visa or a new visa I have heard about that is for digital nomads. You never know what visa you might be able to get but now, on to work opportunities.
Also consider your heritage. Do you have a parent or grand parent with heritage from another country. Can you qualify for a passport for that country. Then does that lead to you being able to work in other countries. For instance, if you qualified for a passport from a country in the European Union (EU) then you could work and travel throughout the EU.
Teaching English has long been a popular way for travellers to make extra money when travelling, and in fact some people have made it their career. This is because English is a global language and therefore there is a huge demand for English teachers in many countries all around the world, particularly in Asia, South America and Eastern European countries.
English language schools are often on the lookout for teachers and will sponsor overseas trained teachers. And there is no age limit to this type of work, well apart from being over 18 years of age. Some find a job without a qualification but usually the minimum requirement is the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate which will stand you in good stead. There are many schools offering the qualification such as I-to-i which allows you to study for the qualification on-line. Check out their courses here.
When you teach English abroad you will need to commit to the school for a period of time that you agree on, anywhere from 6 months but more than likely 1 year. You should ensure you discuss hours you need to work and agree on your wage. Some schools may offer accommodation to sweeten the deal. Teaching English for 12 months or more in a particular country is a great way to immerse yourself in another culture. So teaching English is a great work and travel option when you are over 30.
To find out more about Teaching English abroad grab a copy of our ebook Teach English.
Cruise Ship Jobs
If you would like to cruise to exotic places around the world and be paid for it then consider getting a job on a cruise ship.
Cruise ships are floating cities and literally need hundreds of staff to ensure everything runs smoothly. They need people to work in all areas of the ship including hospitality (bartenders, waiting staff, kitchen staff, chefs, etc), chamber staff to service the rooms, engineering to ensure the boat sails smoothly, entertainers so cruisers enjoy themselves and customer service people to make sure all the customer’s needs are attended to, to name a few.
As I said, cruise ships employ hundreds of staff and do prefer those with experience as they do not have time to train people. They also employ people from many countries and of all ages. So as long as you have experience cruise lines do not discriminate in regards to age and nationality. And if you are successful in getting a position they organise your visa for you.
My advice for if you want to look for a job on a cruise ship is to 1. choose the area you wish to sail, ie. the Pacific, the Norwegian Fjords, the Caribbean, etc. then 2. find out which cruise lines sail in these waters and apply to them and then 3. apply for a specific jobs. The last point is because cruise lines receive hundreds of applications from people looking for a position and don’t have the time to read all the information you send them so apply for a specific job, ie. I wish to apply for a bartending position.
For more details on getting a job on a cruise ship grab a copy of my ebook Work on a Cruise Ship which discusses in detail the type of jobs available and how to get one. Plus lists the top 15 cruise lines to apply to for a job.
Busk or Street Serforming
Wikipedia states ‘Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given’.
Street Performers or Buskers as I prefer to call them come in many forms, musicians, jugglers, mimers, singers, living statue, acrobatics, balloon twisting, clowning, caricatures, puppeteering, prose, street art, sword swallowing, ventriloquism, flea circus, to name a few. And they can be of any age, be male, female or other and work together or alone. My only suggestion is to ensure you check out any legalities involved in busking, for instance, in Melbourne you need to get a permit from the local Council, and this is the same in most cities.
Hostel / Accommodation Jobs
When you fall in love with a place and want to stay a while you will need to find long-term accommodation. Instead of paying for the accommodation consider working in it either for a wage or in exchange for lodging and food.
You could find yourself behind the reception desk, making and serving breakfast, cleaning and preparing rooms for guests or driving a mini van to pick up or drop off guests on transport runs. So no matter whether you are staying in a hostel or hotel ask to see whether a job is available. If nothing is available in the accommodation where you are staying then check out booking sites such as HostelWorld for hostels and Booking.com for hotels. Even though these websites are predominantly for people to find accommodation, you could use the sites to find work.
WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms (or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It is a program where you work on a farm in exchange for food and lodgings. As there is no exchange of money to pay you you are not breaking any visa rules and thus take on WWOOFing jobs to immerse yourself in your hosts way of life and maybe learn different farming methods. And there is no age limit so when you are over 30 it is a great work and travel option.
Basically you join the WWOOFing organisation in the country where you want to travel. Once you are a member you will have access to details of farm owners and other small properties who take in WWOOFers.
Farms vary in size from someone who has their own small organic garden to a full-blown organic farm organisation. You usually work around 4-6 hours per day in return for lodging and food. So if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty then WWOOFing just might be for you. There are over 100 countries where you could WWOOF so check out the WWOOFing International website for more details.
Working your passage or trading your labour for a lift on a sailboat or yacht is a way to get you to and from gorgeous and remote corners of the world. Imagine the sun on your face, salt spray in your hair, beautiful sunsets and yes, rough weather where you might be vomiting overboard. However, there is no age limit so if you are over 30 it is a great work and travel experience.
You could find yourself being crew, someone paying their own passage, relocating a yacht or if the yacht is a super yacht you might be cruising around one particular area such as the Mediterranean ensuring the guests are having a great time.
It does help if you have some sailing experience, such as knowing different knots, however captains often take on crew to help pay the costs of the passage and will teach you so it doesn’t matter if you can sail or not. If this is of interest read my blog about crewing aboard a yacht.
House sitting isn’t exactly a work option but it is a great option that allows you to stay in the one place for an extended period and immerse yourself in the local culture. You could then even take on work. So basically when you house sit you get to stay in someone’s home while they are away. In return for free accommodation you look after the house possibly for a few weeks to several months and may only be required to water indoor plants and the garden and possibly take care of any pets.
There are a number of organisations where you can register to house sit and be introduced to families who need their home looked after while they are away. A quick Google search should reveal them. Age doesn’t matter however, good references may.
Volunteering can lead you to great travel experiences where you get to give back. You will not only get to see and enjoy your destination, you can make an impact on other peoples’ and animals’ lives. Volunteering on a program can be a truly life-changing experience.
Volunteering options come in many forms. You could build a well in an African village, take care and teach children in an orphanage in India, count turtles as they hatch on a Queensland beach, restoring old buildings, creating a path through a dense forest or possibly uncover a long lost bone or trinket on an archaeological dig. The options are endless.
Most of the volunteer experiences are not free. You will be charged to participate in the experience to cover your room and board while volunteering. However, it is the experience that is what makes it all worth-while while you work and travel.
Work on-line (be a digital nomad)
Many travellers of all ages under 30 and over 30 are working on-line to fund their travels and you could too. Some ways that people are making money on-line are by:
- Doing surveys on line – read my blog about this.
- Being a VA (Virtual Assistant) where you do jobs such as social media, web designer, administration, customer service, etc. for other people where you can do it remotely.
- Start a blog and make money in a variety of ways. Read my blog
- Dropshipping – this is where you sell products on-line through your own e-store. This could range from travel goods to pet products – there are so many niches you could choose.
- Teach English – in recent years organisations such as VIKPID let you teach English on-line from your device/s.
- Graphic Design – creating and updating websites for other people.
- Social Media management – managing social media for other people by managing all social media accounts or maybe specialising in a specific social media like Pinterest.
- Bookkeeping/Accounting – all you need is some software and people can email you the documents and you are set.
- Editing/Proofreading other people’s documents.
- Providing content/freelance writing for other people’s blogs and organisations.
Work and Travel your home country
If all else fails consider working and travelling around your own country. Your dollar will be worth a dollar, you will be use to the food and customs and you won’t have to worry about having a visa.
I hope these suggestions provide you with some inspiration to work and travel around the world when you are over 30. No matter you age you are never too old to try something new, see the world and make new friends.
For extensive details and more suggestions grab a copy of my ebook Over 30 work/travel options.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. In her 20’s she left Australia and spent 4 years on a working holiday in London before working and travelling in other countries. She currently calls Melbourne home.