Escape Your Life: Unique Jobs You Can Get Abroad
Ever wanted to escape your everyday life and run away to another country? Tons of people dream of doing this, but not many people actually make a plan and book a plane ticket. Granted, getting a visa can be difficult, not to mention actually finding a job so that you can pay rent and not just live on whatever the local equivalent of macaroni and cheese is. If you’re serious about starting a new adventure, check out some of these jobs below. Not all of them are far away –some are as close as Detroit — but all of them offer something different than the regular nine-to-five.
Antarctic Artists and Writers (Antarctica)
If you’ve ever wanted someone to pay you to write or create art, and live in one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet, this opportunity is perfect for you. The Antarctic Artists & Writers Program is managed by the National Science Foundation, who are responsible for all scientific research in the Antarctic. The foundation operates three year-round stations, the primary purpose of which is to research and study the geophysical conditions of the Antarctic region.
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In 1957, the program opened to support artists and writers who wished to experience Antarctic life and produce work — anything from a documentary, to photographs, or a book — on what they experienced there. Notable alumni of this program are Werner Herzog, who produced a documentary called Antarctica: The Inner Landscape while he was in the program, and Alan Campbell, who has displayed a collection of watercolors that he created while in Antarctica in galleries all over the world. The goal of this program is to create more awareness of the history and heritage of the Antarctic. Applications open once a year, and are open to any humanities scholar.
The Conservation Volunteers (UK)
Since 1959, the Conservation Volunteers have been working to improve and beautify green spaces all over the UK. Their belief is that a beautiful green space will not only improve the natural environment, but will also improve community life and the health of those living nearby. One third of the natural assets of the UK are in danger of being lost, either through urban development or simple neglect — a staggering figure considering that this also includes lakes, rivers, and national parks.
Their focus on community-oriented action plans to help green spaces makes use of hundreds of thousands of workers and volunteers per year. Finding a volunteer position near you is as easy as typing a postal code into their website, but The Conservation Volunteers also hire staff for paid positions, such as project leaders and grant coordinators. Many of their staff first started as volunteers. This is the perfect way to see tons of different parts of the UK, while making a positive impact on the community. Strap on your gardening gloves, and get going!
If you’ve ever wanted to work on a farm, vineyard, or just get your hands dirty every day, then WWOOFing is the thing for you! WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and it’s a network that links farmers with volunteers who are willing to come and work on their properties in exchange for room and board. All the nitty-gritty details are negotiated between you and your host, but the basic idea is that your farmer would provide you with a day’s room and board for around 5 hours of whatever farm work happened to be needed that day. That could be anything from threshing and cutting wood, to milking or weeding.
For someone who loves being outdoors, this is the ideal way to travel the globe. Placements can last anywhere between two days and six months. Generally, there is a small fee to join a national WWOOF association (each of the 50+ member countries has their own), which gives you access to a list of farms where you can work.