Way over yonder

Photo courtesy Scott Rosevear
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Tired of the nine-to-five? Many young Aussies are heading overseas in pursuit of a life of adventure. Madeleine Neale reports.

By Madeleine Neale

Imagine calling a luxurious yacht your office. Sipping cocktails while you sail through Greece or Turkey or whatever Mediterranean country you’re lucky enough to be working in today. Only taking a break to cool off in the crystal blue water surrounding you. Picture being able to explore the bustling streets of Barcelona, photograph the stunning New York City skyline or sample traditional Thai cuisine in Bangkok and get paid for doing so.

Scott Rosevear, Megan Jerrard and Madeline Daniell are among the thousands of Australians who call this their reality after leaving home to pursue international career’s in the tourism industry. The tour guide, professional travel blogger and flight attendant have all found ways to make a living while seeing the world.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 92,000 Australians departed the country in this year alone, finding jobs internationally either with large companies or working for themselves.

For Scott Rosevear, leaving his life behind in Melbourne to become a Contiki tour guide was the greatest decision he has ever made. “The best thing about my job is the fact that you are constantly learning,” Scott says. “A small restaurant that serves great local produce is great to share on to your travellers and the only way to find them is to explore yourself.”

A Contiki tour through Europe has always been an Australian rite of passage for young people looking to see as many countries as they can in a short amount of time. The 28-year-old’s job as tour manager is to ensure all travellers make the most of their trip which means getting involved in all activities, often partying until the sun comes up and then making sure everyone is safe and accounted for.

Even though he has seen the Colosseum more than 20 times, taken way too many clichéd Leaning Tower of Pisa photos and lost more money than he would like to admit at the Monte Carlo Casino, Scott says all tours are unique because of the different personalities on each tour who create their own inside jokes and memories. “My most memorable moment would be taking a small group of people to the Great Pyramids of Giza. Riding a camel around the huge pyramids was definitely one of those pinch yourself moments.”

Like Scott, Madeline Daniell has also moved her life abroad to work as a flight attendant. “Every week I’m traveling to at least one or two different countries,” Madeline says. “In this job I have been to places I never thought I’d visit nor even thought about for example Chengdu, Jakarta, Muscat, Entebbe and Seoul”.

Although she never considered getting into this profession, Madeline had forever dreamt of having a job that could take her places. Instead of completing her last year of an education degree at Monash University, the 23-year old packed her bags and headed to the Middle East for a life of adventure.

“I didn’t really decide to be a flight attendant, it just kind of fell into my lap! I always wanted a career that involved travel, hence studying teaching, it being a universal career. So when this opportunity came up that involved travel and living abroad I couldn’t pass it up.”

Taking in the sights of Bangkok. Photo courtesy of Madeline Daniell
Taking in the sights of Bangkok. Photo courtesy of Madeline Daniell

Aside from the constant jet lag and never knowing what time or day it is, Madeline says it is the travel benefits that definitely make it all worthwhile. “The best moments in my life have been when I’ve been travelling, the world is such an amazing place with so much to offer and learn from. If you can create a career based on travel, I don’t think there is anything better than that!”

With the rise of technology, being able to work from anywhere in the world has become the everyday for professional travel blogger Megan Jerrad, whose blog www.mappingmegan.com, has been featured in the likes of National Geographic magazine and online travel website Viator.

“I travel because I love living, and I truly believe that traveling the world has given me a more well-rounded education than I have taken away from school and university,” Megan says.

After graduating with a double degree in journalism and law, Meg started a travel blog recording her journey and creating guides to share with her followers. As her readership grew, so did her blog and what once was a way to share her trips with family and friends, was suddenly a career in itself.

Even though her job has given her the opportunity to explore more places than the average person could even dream of, the travel writer says meeting her husband is still her most memorable moment. “We were two solo travellers who met at the hotel at the base of Mt Kilmanjaro. We chatted all evening and well into the night until we had to go our separate ways the next morning.”

In Iceland. Photo courtesy Megan Jerrad
In Iceland. Photo courtesy Megan Jerrad

After returning to their home countries, the pair kept in touch meeting up wherever they could. After two years of a long-distance relationship, Aussie travel blogger Meg and American wildlife photographer, Mike, were married and now continue to travel the world together documenting their travels online. “Having a location-independent career means that we can work from anywhere in the world so long as we have an internet connection,” Meg says. “And that means being able to accept opportunities whenever they arise and on a whim if need be.”

The couple spend their days either travelling to exotic new places or writing about their experiences. Whether it be the best way to explore Vietnam on a bicycle or a guide to the best things to do in London over Christmas, Mapping Megan has pretty much everything covered. “Travel days could be anything from summiting Mt Kilmanjaro to snorkelling with sea turtles in the Galapagos,” Meg says. “Blogging days are “office days”, though that said my office could be from an apartment overlooking Iceland”.

Three very different careers have taken these Australians to all corners of the globe. For Scott Rosevear, his job as a tour guide is his definition of living the dream. “My advice for people who want a career in travel is to be warned that its almost never a ‘two-year experiment’ type of job. It changes your perspective on life so much that you won’t see yourself doing anything else ever again.”