A Career in Travel
The topic of this week’s #TNI chat on Twitter made me ask myself if a career in travel could be something I would easily perform in and enjoy in the long run. After all, traveling to the far corners of the earth, or across the country, and be paid for it seems like a no brainer for anyone who has even the smallest of interest in seeing the world.
Call them dream-makers, guardian angels or simply resources of the uttermost importance; travel agents have played a pivotal role in the travel industry for ages and even with the introduction of new resources, they still remain essential for many. There will always be a need for travel agents and their expertise is crucial for a large percentage of travelers who simply will not rely solely on a website and good luck to make sure their travel plans are without kinks.
Could I see myself as a travel agent? No.
Not because I don’t respect the work that they do but because every customer, every trip and every flight I would deal with would make me want to travel. Need help booking an Alaska cruise? No problem… but you have to bring me with you. A safari in Kenya? Good choice. Can I tag along?
Do I feel like it would drive me mad? No. I’m absolutely certain that it would.
I’m probably the only person in the world who thinks they would love the weird/crazy/awkward schedules flight attendants and pilots have (maybe that’s the topic of another post; travel & insanity?) but I highly doubt I would make it in that field.
A little like the travel agent dilemma, flying travelers all around the world and often not getting enough free time to enjoy the destination would probably make me end up hate people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.
That leaves a desk job as a possibility but this hardly seems like it would have enough of an awesome factor to keep me interested in the long run.
Would I consider working for an airline? Probably. It would depend on a quantity of factors but I would more than likely weigh the pros and cons of the offer itself before seriously considering it.
Spending an extended period of time in a foreign location to welcome, guide or assist travelers seems like a job everyone would jump on without much consideration. While it does mean spending a lot of time away from home; there are definitely worst situations to be in and the amount of crises that need to be handled, in my opinion, are absolutely outweighed by the perks of the job.
Of course I could complain that such a position would probably mean staying in the same place for a while and not traveling the world like a globetrotter but that hardly feels like a true down side to having a job like that.
The one thing I feel a little irked by is that a lot of people, especially people who are somewhat used to traveling is that airline representatives often seem to be taken for granted and not really appreciated unless their help is absolutely crucial. While it makes sense, in a way, to value their presence more in a time of need, it seems ridiculous that a crisis is required for them to be seen as necessary.
Wether it’s done locally or abroad, tour guides are present on a very broad scale as tours can go from a simple hour-long walk through a city to a 3-day hike in the jungle or a trek through the desert. They are a mix of Wikipedia/guidebooks/gps and maps, meaning they are always useful and sometimes even mandatory.
As much as I enjoy some guided tours, though, I feel like heading the same tour several times a week for months would become redundant quite fast and the job would quickly lose its’ luster.
In a way, I wouldn’t mind putting on the tour guide cap occasionally but I don’t think it’s the type of job that I would enjoy in the long run. Somehow, the whole “Hi everyone, my name is Travel_Version and I will be your tour guide today! Let’s get started!” just wouldn’t motivate me very long.
Looking back, it seems that travel, as much as I am completely obsessed with it, is a passion but it might not be the best career path in the long run. Besides, is it really healthy to mix business with pleasure?
I left travel writer out of this post, not because I don’t think they have a valued place in the travel industry but because I feel like their presence is different, in a way, than more “typical” jobs, which is why they should be a different post entirely.