W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

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W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby ScannerSi » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:32 am

I have been quite nervous about putting something on here since finding the Refuse to choose book. In a nut shell, I am a scanner. For years I have wandered through life feeling guilty and almost ashamed that I could not find something that I could stick to and dedicate myself to (excluding my wife of course). I hate my career and although I try many many many interests, I hop from one to the next.

Moving on..

After reading the book I realised that my real passion in life concerns travel, different countries, different cultures. When I was a teen I wanted to go to college to to a travel & tourism course but my parents put me off that idea as i'd never make much money, and in those days I was very influenced by them and didn't know any better.

I have spent 12/13 years in IT and I am very good at what I do. I have become despondant with it though and for the last few years I have sought after a new career, spent countless hours on career websites, attending events and spending rediculous amounts of money on various different courses to try and edge myself towards that magical 'one career that satisifes everything'. Obviously, that doesn't exist.

I have learned to accept who I am now thanks to Barbara's book and I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. What I need help with though is fitting my passion in to my life....

I have a son who lives with ushalf the time and I am probably guilty of overcompensating when he stays with us, wanting to spend every spare minute I have with him, but he is growing up now (9 years old) and not a baby so doesn't need as much from me in that respect and I am learning to live a more normal life if you life with regard to time spent focussing on him and ignoring my needs in life.

So my question is, with a mortgage and a family how can I fit the passion of working in the travel industry into my daily life?

I have recently approached a couple of homeworking travel agents to see if i can spend some time volunteering with them but they have no space at home for an extra body.

I think i just need a list of possibilities of things I could do. I am a very motivated person but sometimes asking for help is not a bad thing.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:08 pm

I had a friend who was good at computer programing, and he worked as a subcontractor. He would take a programming job, and the job could be anywhere. He would finish the project, then take a vacation for several weeks, then sign on for another project and so forth. He did projects all over the U.S. but maybe it's possible to get jobs in other countries as well. He was quite good at computers, and relied on word of mouth to get new projects. Projects could be lengthy - up to several months.

Another possibility is to teach. Another friend used to fly all over the country and occasionally overseas and put on workshops on computer programing. He worked for one company, and that company would send him wherever for a few days. Then he'd be back home until the next assignment. He actually got sick of travelling he did so much of it. Some of his assignments were overseas.

Another friend of mine was a salesman, and he travelled all over the place. He ran out of frequent flyer miles about eight years after he retired.

Another friend swapped his home with someone in Sweden, and got to live there for essentially just the cost of the air fare. He did this as a vacation, not a job, but he spend about six weeks at a time in Sweden.

If you browse through some of the older posts on Wishes and Obstacles, you'll see a lot of ideas about how to travel very cheaply, and live in a foreign country.

Would it be possible to work part time and then go on extended vacations? Probably not exactly what you're looking for, but maybe it could work until something better came along.

I'm someone who struggles with information technology - I just get one thing figured out and then they update it and I have to go learn something new. So to me being good at IT is a very useful skill. You said you were sick of your job. Does that mean that you're sick of computer programming in general, or just the particular job that you have?

That's all I can think of. I hope you get your wish. Your son would be so lucky to be able to live in foreign courntries. What an education!
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby ScannerSi » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:28 am

Many thanks for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.

I think ultimately I would prefer to get out of the IT world. I have been doing it as a 'Good enough job' for so long now, and although it pays the bills and allows me to do most of the things I want to do, I cannot help feel I should be doing something else.

The travel industry interests me greatly.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Scenario Thinker » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:43 am

One thing, there's IT and there's computer programming. They are not necessarily the same thing.

My career went from actuarial (lots of programming and spreadsheets), to IT programming (14 years), then back to an analytical role (5 years and programming), now into a roll with lots of programming, but it is not IT stuff and not analytical, it's kind of in between.

We don't have the regimented structure that IT tends to have, and THERE'S NO ON-CALL!!! (it's in marketing).

One thing I have to ask is, to you LOVE to travel. I used to travel for my job a lot back in part of those 14 years of IT, and it was kind of exciting, but I could see it getting pretty old, pretty fast. Maybe I wasn't doing it long enough to burn out, but I could see it coming.

I just ask, because people say they love to travel, but it's fraught with its own set of headaches (of course traveling first class helps :) ), cramped seats, hot cabins, delayed flights, shuttles, cabs, hard to find healthy meals, etc. Also, of course, if you didn't actually move from place to place that much and spent a lot of time at each location, it wouldn't be as draining. And if you loved taking photos or writing, etc. it would be different than do a regular (IT) job, say.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Tituba » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:24 am

Yeah, I'm in the same place. Been in IT for over 20 years (running my own business now for 12). I've been doing alot of thinking about changing careers as IT doesn't do it for me anymore.

See
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 36750.html
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Scenario Thinker » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:38 am

Tituba wrote:Been in IT for over 20 years (running my own business now for 12).

Also, your IT is/was different than my IT (don't know what you did before in the corporate world). My IT was almost all in application development, production online and batch (ran over night) systems. Programming against databases.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Tituba » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:32 pm

Desktop support, rebuilds, help desk, training etc. Right now, I'm contracting doing Windows 7 migration along with running my own business. I'm burning out and want to do something new. (that obviously pays as well).
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu May 02, 2013 5:46 am

Your idea of volunteering to help the two travel agents was a great idea. If you're switching careers, you need to learn everything you can about the travel industry, and volunteering is a great way to get that knowledge.

You could research all the travel related industries and look for jobs that would work for you.
It sounds as if travel agent is speaking to you. Is that because of the possibility of traveling in the course of your job?

other possibilities are air lines, cruise lines, Elderhostel. Arranging packaged tours. Leading packaged tours. Would you be willing to use the IT (shudder, shudder) to get your foot in the door somewhere? Do you have other skills that would be useful in the travel industry?

Is money an issue (i.e. would you be willing to start at the bottom somewhere?)
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby ScannerSi » Tue May 14, 2013 1:02 am

Thank you so much for your reply.

To answer the very important question, money is definitely an issue. My wife and I are trying to save for a house at the moment so it is about juggling things and keeping priorities in mind, but this is very high on the list for me.

As for continuing IT to get in the door - definitely! If i saw a real opportunity to get my foot into a good company with great prospects then hell, i'd wash the floors! :lol:

In all honesty, i'm feeling very overwhelmed by everything. I know what I want but i dont really know where to start. I want to continue to earn roughly what I do now but i am aware this may need to drop slightly in the transition to a new career.

The ideas you listed are great but being a scanner, I just find myself wandering aimlessly through job sites for those things, not really understanding what each job is.

:(
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue May 14, 2013 1:36 pm

I think you're wandering aimlessly because finding a job is HARD. Maybe it's because you're a scanner, but maybe it's just because nothing makes any sense. I don't think I'm a scanner, but my eyes glaze over when i look at lists of possible marketing schemes, and I have no idea how to do any of them.

I've listed things that could lead to travel opportunities, but they're general, vague because, heck, I don't know exactly what's out there either.

Hopefully someone more travel-savey will post some more ideas.

Meanwhile, the first step is to gather ideas, and sift through them and see if anything sounds possible. Also to cross out ideas that won't work, or could work, but you wouldn't want to do them. For me, crossing out ideas is easier, and makes me feel as if I've accomplished something towards my goal.

You could also try looking through the old posts for "Wishes and Obstacles" and "Idea Parties". Other people have wanted to travel, and I think there are more concrete ideas somewhere there.

One more thought. What does your wife want? And your son? You need something that will work for all of you. And you have three people brainstorming ideas. Three people are about twenty-seven times more powerful than one. it sounds as if you're tuned in to their wants and needs. And that you're looking for something that will keep the bills paid, allow you to buy that house, and still allow you to travel. And that's a good thing.

(My husband asked me once, "do you love me enough to risk losing your house and living under a freeway?" The answer was "no.") :lol:
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Trish » Sun May 19, 2013 10:17 am

To get experience, why not volunteer to help some friends plan & arrange their vacations? I hate planning - I just like to go places. Fortunately for me, my husband is our vacation planner, but if I didn't have him, I would love a friend who would help me figure out hotels/cabins, trains or planes, where to go, etc. because all that just overwhelms me. You could get a little feel for what it is about working in the travel industry that appeals to you.

Maybe I'm not clear exactly what you are wanting. You said originally you like travel but then later you state that you are interested in the travel industry. The 2nd piece makes me think of working in travel agencies - the kind that used to be more ubiquitous before the internet came along and it became easier to plan your own.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby RoseClayton » Tue May 28, 2013 7:37 pm

Traveling is a great way of discovering things like you've never tried before. I could prove it since I am also a traveler and I'm a father. I managed to make those two things possible through some orientation and plans. So far I am very successful with in traveling as a father of one.
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby emspace » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:55 am

SannerSi,

I’m curious to know more before giving advice. Here’s the situation as I’m reading it now:

1. You’re nixing the idea of continuing to use your IT skills to travel.
2. You want to work in the travel industry.
3. You want to travel occasionally, but not constantly because you still need to be home and you’re thinking about buying a house.
4. You need to continue to make good money.

What kind of travel are you most interested in yourself? Where do you go when you get the chance? If money and time were no object, where would you go, what would you do, who would you take with you?

Is travelling more important to you or is working in travel more important? These are different, as Elaine has mentioned, and don’t necessarily have to go together.

I was going to write about how people make money in travel, but it sounds like you already know what you want to do: home-based travel agency. Is that correct? It seems to me you need some certifications to do this, especially if you’re aligning with a host agency. Could be mistaken about that, but something to look into. Do you need to go back to school for a short time to get certified?

And if you are thinking about the home-based agency, you definitely need to think about what kind of traveller you are and what kind of niche travel you want to specialise in.

Finally, here are some articles that may be of interest to you (though perhaps you’ve already done a lot of Google searching already):
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/col ... y/1881941/
http://www.indeed.com/forum/job/travel- ... CY/t388725

GOOD LUCK!
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby ScannerSi » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:03 am

Thank you all for your advice and thoughts.

I am evaluating everything at the moment so will add to this thread at a later date :)
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Re: W: A career / life within travel : Father of 1 & Husband

Postby Alpshiker » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:07 pm

ScannerSi,

I agree with emspace that you should answer this question first: What is the core of what you like about travel and/or the travel industry?

To answer this, it might be helpful to imagine your perfect (travel) day if money and responsibilities were not concerns. Would you be exploring France on a bicycle, taking a cooking course in Italy, leading a kayak tour of fjord in New Zealand, or what? Would you be sitting in the U.S. helping people set up hiking trips in another country? Or, would you be leading a tour somewhere? Would you be living in another country or visiting? Would you be staying in one place or exploring many countries on a grand tour? Would you be using your IT skills skills or not? Answer the what, where, when, with whom, etc. questions.

Once you determine the core of what you love about travel or the travel industry, you'll be able to obtain more specific advice. To make an analogy to the IT world, it's as if I said I was interested in computers/software and asked your advice on how to find a career working with computers/software. You'd ask me questions narrow this down.

Although it's difficult to give you a good answer without knowing more, here's an idea : Google "Rick Steves." His company has a current opening in their IT department. Rick Steves is the best selling author of travel guides to Europe. His company offers many tours in Europe. They are located in Seattle. This might be an opportunity to use your current skills to enter the travel business. You'd be working in the U.S. but would be surrounded by peers with similar interests. Even if the job is not a good fit, they might be a good source of information on how to use your skills in the travel industry.

Concerning your interest in the travel industry, I think emspace had a good question: Do you want to work in a travel business or just travel (or both)? I suggest finding out how employees in travel businesses actually spend their time on their jobs. Do these activities fit with the core of your interests in travel? Your idea to volunteer time at a travel business was a great way to find out what employees actually do. Also, investigate the travel industry thoroughly. There are probably countless jobs you've never heard of.

Investigate whether finding another "good enough job" to finance your travel is the way to go. Search this site for ideas. Form a team to brainstorm. Some ideas I've heard of are: 1) Find a better job in your field that allows you more time to do what you love; 2) Become a consultant; 3) Teach expats kids at a U.S. school in a foreign country; 4) Work in a seasonal business. (I know a guy that started a lawn cutting business as a way to travel. He lived in Minnesota, managed his lawn cutting/landscape business in the summer and spent 5 months per year during the winter traveling in Australia, Southeast Asia and South America where it was summer!)

Finally, don't despair! You've got a lot going for you. Read all of Barbara Sher's books, especially Wishcraft. Find what works for you. Use her exercises to determine the core of what you love about travel. Investigate the travel business to see if there is a job that is a good fit for what you love. Investigate "good enough" job options that would allow more time to do what you love. Use the planning flowchart in Wishcraft to set goals and determine simple tasks you can actually do tomorrow such as making a phone call. Start accomplishing small steps in your plan and you'll start feeling better. Meet with a group or a buddy to keep on track and overcome obstacles.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
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