I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Mexico, after spending the day reading a book by the pool and digging out souvenirs at a local market. Sorry, not sorry for the brag. I’ve had friends comment on the amount I travel nowadays (“OMG YOU’RE ALWAYS ON HOLIDAY”), and it seems like working in the travel industry is the perfect space for my love of adventures and exploring.
It hasn’t always been that way, though.
Before 2015, my travel adventures added up to: a college New York trip; a Uni sports tour to Rimini where I spent half the time working in the rain and the other half blagging drinks with my VIP wristband and avoiding the foam at foam parties; UK seaside holidays as a child, and a couple of school trip jaunts to France.
I never did the whole ‘gap year’ thing, and it wasn’t until Conor and I visited Barcelona that a light in my head switched on to how much I wanted…needed…to explore more.
Since that trip in May 2015, I’ve filled my schedule with adventures, from long-haul flights to short train journeys. All fitting around a full time job as a Marketing and Social Media Executive in a travel company. For many people, working in travel is a major dream – and I hate to say it, but I almost kinda fell into it.
And another thing I’m regularly asked? Does working in travel mean you travel more…
My answer? Yes and no.
I know some people who work in the industry who don’t travel as much as I do, and I know people in completely different jobs who are always jetting off somewhere new.
I’m very lucky that my company is keen for its staff to experience the product in order to sell our trips. I’m very lucky that I’m able to take advantage of some great deals, both within my company and partner organisations. That doesn’t mean every company is the same – although I’ve discovered that working within a larger travel group has its industry perks.
How about holiday time? I do have a generous holiday allowance, and the ability to take unpaid leave for travel if I want to. But generally, I take as much time off as most others in 9-5 jobs do.
I spend the majority of my day writing, researching and sourcing images for amazing places all over the Americas. And honestly, when you’re doing that? It’s no wonder payday lunchtimes in the office are spent on SkyScanner.
Just like in any industry, having a genuine passion is vital to a successful and happy working life. Basically, if you’re purely looking for free or super cheap holidays – working in the travel industry doesn’t necessarily mean that.
What it can mean though, is that if you’re like many of my colleagues and friends, it ignites an already-there wanderlust that makes it almost impossible NOT to travel more. For sure, there are perks to be found – but you need to have the desire within yourself to take hold of them.
And that’s when working in travel really opens up a gateway to the world…