Most of us are scared to leave everything behind and live a life of travel. Humans are designed to overthink, most especially about the future. The what ifs and the buts are part of the planning system and more often than not, you can never come to a conclusion on how you will finance your long-term travel.
It’s scary. I knew someone who left his job, sold everything he had, traveled the world and ended up going back home because it didn’t work. In most cases, I believe that it’s on us to make our life of travel work. Traveling long-term is beautiful and you have to believe me when I say that everything’s up to you. To be able to eradicate those bad feelings about leaving home to travel the world, I’ve listed five (5) short courses you can take before the big flight.
Uncertainty and being the poorest of the poor happened to me too but I didn’t do all these before leaving home. I just discovered it along the way but to give you less doubts and fears, you can do all these beforehand. Here are 5 certificate courses you can take to finance a life of travel.
You can actually do this online, when you already hit the road. However, there are some people who prefer to do it in the field aka language centres. I’ve taught English mostly in South America and it’s something that works well for me because I can quit it whenever I want. I only stay in one country for three months maximum (except for Argentina, Brasil and Peru because I totally loved it) and teaching English gave me the flexibility to earn money and travel at the same time. If you are about to backpack Southeast Asia, this is your best option. The demand for English teachers in Asia are increasing every year compared to the rest of the world.
TEFL stands for Teaching English As A Foreign Language. It is the foundation/first course in teaching English abroad. If you want to develop your career as an English teacher, further studies/certificate courses are recommended:
- CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) – This is for new teachers or people teaching without a formal teaching qualification. It can be full/part time or face-to-face/online with teaching practice.
- YL Extension to CELTA ( Young Learner Extension to CELTA) is a developing phase and is highly recommended to people with CELTA who wants to teach children and teenagers. It is better to take this course in the field than online.
- TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) is a foundation/developing course and is for new teachers who want to develop their confidence and improve their job prospects. This includes exams with a flexible and modular format.
- CELT – P (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Primary) is a foundation/developing course that is recommended to teachers who want to teach in schools/universities, particularly working in primary schools (ages 4-11 years). It can be done online, modular with optional face-to-face elements. This course is assessed through an exam and teaching practice.
- CELT – S (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Secondary) is a foundation/developing course like CELT – P but for teachers who want to work in secondary schools, ages 12-19 years.
- ICELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching) is a developing/proficient course for existing teachers who want to develop their teaching knowledge or refresh their skills. This is done with a face-to-face course with teaching practice and distance learning support.
- DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers looking to update their teaching knowledge and improve their practice. It is a flexible modular format combining coursework and exams with distance learning support, local tutoring and assessed teaching practice.
- IDLTM (International Diploma in Language Teaching Management) is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers looking to move into management. It is a face-to-face introductory course, followed by flexible distance learning.
- Certificate in EMI Skills (English as a Medium of Instruction) is a proficient/expert course for academic staff working in higher education whose first language is not English, but who have to deliver their course subjects in English through lectures and seminars. It combines online learning with optional face-to-face tutor-led sessions.
- Train the Trainer is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers who are going to train teachers for CELT-P, CELT-S and TEFL courses. It is a combination of face-to-face and online learning.
Okay, I think that was too heavy. I was thinking of developing my career as an English teacher that’s why I wanted to share to you the different courses (just in case you want to do it too.) However, bear in mind that if you only want to sustain your travels, a TEFL certificate will be enough. Of course, if you want to score bigger job opportunities, you can take other courses that will suit you.
Maybe you’re not the English teaching type. Maybe you’re that sporty dude who seeks adventures and finds pleasure through water sports. Then this course is for you! There are a lot of diver-level courses and in order for you to be a dive instructor, you have to go through all the basics. I did my PADI in the Philippines gazillion years ago and now I am planning to do my teaching license in Honduras.
TIP: The Philippines and Honduras are the cheapest countries to take your diving course(s).
Here are the levels/courses you can take if you want to pursue a career in diving while traveling the world:
Open Water Scuba Instructor
Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Master Instructor Rating
Imagine traveling to the best dive spots in the world and doing this for a living — can you see it? Who knows, you might even build your own dive shop/school in a country of your choice!
Maybe you are blessed with therapeutic hands and massage is something you’re good at. I wish I can do it too but I have tiny hands and as a part of my yoga/meditation practice, I am not fit to receive heavy energies from other people.
This might not work if you are planning to backpack in Asia because massage is popular all over the continent however, you can take your teaching course in Thailand! Extensive courses are available for people who want to pursue a career in the massage industry and let me tell you that in continents Latin America and Europe (where massage is not too popular), pay can be really really good.
Probably my favourite! Though I have freelanced in Colombia as a yoga instructor, I have not taken an extensive course to be able to teach yoga professionally. If you are a beach person like me, yoga jobs are easy to find now that it’s becoming more popular all over the world.
Should you want a professional accreditation, these are the four main yoga teacher associations you can chooses from:
- The British Wheel of Yoga
- Alliance UK
- Yoga Alliance International
- Independent Yoga Network
Countries like India offer a good teaching training program too. Additionally, yoga is in demand everywhere so there is no particular country/itinerary for you to target your long-term travel endeavour. It can be anywhere!
5. Cruise Ship
Now this is the perfect description of “get paid to travel the world.” Maybe working on a luxury cruise ship is your dream job? If yes, this one is for you! If you do not have an experience in the Hospitality Industry (aka never studied tourism), you need a certificate course to be able to join the Cruise Ship world. It can be done online or face-to-face and the companies you’ll enroll to will also help you score a job! I enrolled here before and backed out the last minute because one of my best friends got pregnant and I could never see her child if I go on a cruise. Plus, I will be forced to change continents so I didn’t push through. Here are some of the basic modules you will have to deal with when doing your cruise ship certificate course:
- Introduction to the Industry
- Cruise Ship Types
- Cruise Line Profiles
- The Passenger
- Cruise Geography
- Ports of Call
- Nautical Times & Time Zones
- Cruise Terminology
- Hierarchy of a Cruise Ship
- Master Rules & Regulations
- Living Onboard
- Working Onboard
- Customer Service at Sea
- Health & Safety Onboard
- Safety & Emergency Equipment
- Procedures & Drills
- Security & Port Authorities
- Essential Skills at Sea
Additionally, cruise ship job varies: you can be assigned in the kitchen, front desk, casino, service, etc — depending on your skills/choices.
I was thinking on how to close this article with an impact and I realised: one day, when my future childe decides to travel the world, I will never ever force him/her to go to University and study something she doesn’t like (plus drain my finances). I will suggest these career options instead.
If you are still uncertain about leaving everything behind to travel the world, these courses will definitely lighten the load of your unending train of thoughts. Finally, consider logistics as these courses will involve a lot of money but I’d like you do consider it as an investment.