Many people go to work from time to time.
But for some, travel is the foundation of their work.
CNBC Travel spoke to people from four industries about professions where working at home – or in the office – is not an option.
Year of travel
Name: Sebastian Modak
Work: Former “traveler in 52 seats” New York Times
Modak was one of 13,000 people who applied for the position, which sent one person to each destination on the list of “Places to go” in 2018 – the first year when the newspaper hired for this position.
He didn’t get the job.
“A year later, I thought, why not try again,” he said. – This time it worked!
As a “52-seat traveler” for 2019, Modak traveled every week to a new destination – from Bulgaria to Qatar and Uzbekistan to Vietnam – for a year he called both exciting and exhausting.
“I often say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life … but also the hardest,” he said. “I haven’t had a day off all year, and the constant pressure of deadlines has been hard to handle.”
Modak, who is now the editor-in-chief of travel publisher Lonely Planet, said his advice for novice travel writers is to admit that you know nothing. “The first step to finding and telling compelling travel stories is to ask questions and recognize that you need to learn a lot.”
Source: Sebastian Modak
Modak said the job requires a person who can “do everything,” from writing articles and posting on social media to taking photos and videos, he said.
“It was a lot!” he said. “Apart from storytelling skills, they were looking for a person who would endure to survive the whole year.”
He mostly considers success in getting a job, but he said he believes his upbringing and enthusiasm for travel have helped. Modak’s father is from India and his mother is Colombian, so “as a cultural compromise, they decided to move constantly.” As a result, it has grown in places like Hong Kong, Australia, India and Indonesia, he said.
Modak said that the work – which was proclaimed the quintessence of “dream work” – was exhausting, stressful and even scary at times, but with constant growth and adventure.
“I wouldn’t bring it back to the world,” he said. “It opened my mind wide, introduced me to people on six continents … and solidified my love of going to places and looking for history.”
Name: Sandra Black
Job: UN Communications Specialist
Black’s work doesn’t bring her to typical travel destinations, and her business trips are anything but overnight.
Since 2008, she has lived and worked in Senegal, East Timor, the Central African Republic, Iraq and most recently in Mozambique, in roles that last from months to years.
“Everyone [place] has its own cultural moments and warmth, ”she said, noting that living“ where traffic is restricted due to security concerns ”is the hardest part.
Since October 2021, Black has been processing external communications for the Mozambique office of the United Nations Population Fund, a UN agency that specializes in reproductive health and rights and is fully funded by donations, the website said.
“I personally feel a desire to support those who need it most,” she said.
Sandra Black (left) with women involved in a carpet project at the resettlement site after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique in 2019.
Source: IOM / Alfoso Pequeno
Black wrote about people who were displaced by Cyclone Ida in 2019 – one of the strongest hurricanes in history that hit Africa – while working at the UN International Organization for Migration. She recalled meeting a woman named Sarah who climbed a tree with her child after her house collapsed from the flood. The woman said she was rescued seven days later.
A native of New York, Black speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese and, at a basic level, Wolof, the national language of Senegal, and Tetum, the language spoken in East Timor. She said her language skills are partly the reason she was urgently sent to cover humanitarian crises.
“At night, I type until I can no longer keep my eyes open, and then I start again at 6 am the next day,” she said in an interview with the UN Humanitarian Hero in 2014.
“The most important part of humanitarian communication is to provide a platform for people affected by conflict and natural disasters to tell their stories,” she said. “Many sincerely want the world to know what happened to them and their communities.”
From chef to captain
Name: Tony Stewart
Job: yacht captain
Stewart said he expects to travel for nine months in 2022 at the helm of the 130-foot three-deck motor yacht All Inn. He has already moved from the Caribbean to Central America and Mexico. From the west coast of the United States, he will travel to the Inner Passage of British Columbia and further to southeastern Alaska, then fly to Florida and finish the year in the Bahamas, he said.
He said it’s a little more than a “typical year”, in part because of the increase in charter business this year.
Stewart said he started in the yacht industry as a chef in 1998 and “immediately fell in love with lifestyle, work and travel.” After a year and a half of training, Stewart changed careers.
Tony Stewart has been captain of three motor yachts since 2006, including a 130-foot three-deck Westport yacht called the All Inn.
Source: Fraser Yachts
“I decided that I wanted to get a license and become a captain, after which I got a job [a] deck and began his journey, ”he said.
Work requires strong problem-solving skills, organization and high tolerance for stress, Stewart said. Captains do “little by little,” he said, from trip planning and accounting to “staffing responsibilities” for the crew and booking golf for guests.
As for whether it’s a dream job – “it’s absolutely true,” Stewart said.
“We endure long days and sometimes weeks without days off, ”he said, but“ I couldn’t imagine that I would do it … and not love it ”.
Italian villa expert
Name: Amy Ropner
Jobs: Head of Villas at the British company selling luxury travel and villas Red Savannah
Of the 300 villas Red Savannah works with, about 120 are in Italy, Ropner said. She estimated she visited about 80% to 90% of them.
She is traveling from London to Italy to evaluate the company’s collection of “exceptionally high-end” villas and evaluate new homes to add to the company’s list, she said. During a recent trip, she traveled from Milan to Lake Como, to Tuscany, then further south to the cities of Amalfi and Positano, she said. Her next trip to Puglia, she said, “is because she is beautiful, resilient and very popular at the moment.”
Amy Ropner of Red Savannah said her work focuses mainly on Italian villas as well as rental homes in Greece, Spain and the Caribbean. “I’m always ready to go at any moment … we’re always moving.”
Source: Red Savannah
About 90% of homes are privately owned, Ropner said. She meets with the owners and analyzes everything from the size of the deck by the pool to the beds (“there is a difference between a British king and an American king”).
Most orders involve children, so she checks that stairs and balconies are safe for all ages; if not, the company notes it on the website, she said.
“It simply came to our notice then [know] whether there are cats in the estate, or down the dirt path … which will obviously take a little longer to get to … where the sun rises, where the sun sets, ”she said.
Ropner often stays at villas rented for $ 5,000-200,000 a week, she said. She also explores local areas, so can advise on restaurants, boat rentals and new services such as e-bike rides and gelatin classes, she said.
“I think people think it’s all glamorous [but] it’s a lot of work, ”she said, noting that she had seen 50 villas in one trip.
“It’s glamorous,” she said, “but it can also be tedious.”