How to Become a Professional Adventurer

127 hours rock climbing

Getting paid while travelling the world? Yes, please. Even though having a full-time office job can be incredibly rewarding, no-one can say that earning your living by going on adventures isn’t amazing.

If you love travelling and want to turn this hobby into a job, then you might want to consider becoming a professional adventurer! Many people call themselves adventurers, but only those who dare to go after what they love get to experience truly incredible adventures.

Since becoming the next Indiana Jones is not an easy job, you need to decide whether this is a job you can do or not. As Alastair Humphreys argues, making a career from adventuring is challenging, and only if you first arm yourself with the appropriate knowledge and experience, can you ensure you are ready for it.  

Humphreys has spent time in Asia and Africa working on various photography and publishing projects. As such he provides some excellent insights, so you can see if the life of an adventurer is for you.

This article presents what professional adventurers, like Humphreys, Tom Allen and Tim Moss, have to say about their job to help you prepare for a career that’s packed with super fun, adrenaline packed activities. Let’s take a look…

See also: The Best Travel Jobs

Types of adventurers

The upside to becoming an adventurer is that you get to go off on expeditions to educate yourself. Currently, there are many self-styled adventurers on LinkedIn, all of whom are self-employed. Even though these people come from different backgrounds and industries, they regard travelling as a fundamental part of their professional life. Their work varies from accounting and finance, environmental services, real estate to photography and writing.

As such there are many types of adventurers, and there’s no specific way to start your adventure career. There are those who choose to combine work with leisure and regularly choose to spend the majority of their time travelling. Whereas others prefer to work for three to six months, and then they spend the rest of the year on a big adventure.   

So whether you are an active volunteer, a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie or a backpacking fanatic, you too can become a professional adventurer.

Why become a professional adventurer

There are many reasons why someone would want to become an adventurer and regularly go on trips:

  • It’s a ‘healthier’ job as opposed to office jobs.
  • It provides you the freedom to work – or not to work for that matter.
  • It expands your horizons e.g. becoming familiar with other cultures.
  • It allows you to get to know yourself better.
  • It helps you expand your professional knowledge and practice looking at different perspectives.

As travelling can offer you so many unique experiences, you get to challenge yourself in an attempt to become better. What you do defines who you are, and who you are, is reflected by the things you’ve lived and have seen.

Earning money

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘if I had more money I would travel the world’? Perhaps the only thing that pops up as a barrier to becoming an adventurer is the lack of money. Since it’s often easier said than done, you have to make sure you will be able to sustain yourself before you head off on your next journey. As many other professional adventurers have said, the secret is to create multiple streams of income instead of relying on a single job.

Humphreys suggests that there are endless possibilities as far as it concerns making money to fund your adventure. He says that the following activities will ease your financial constraints:

  • Public speaking: One way is to take up motivational speaking or storytelling, but this takes years of experience and practice. Learning something that not everyone knows means that you have to do something that not many people have done. Look at Humphrey for example. He went out travelling the world on his bike, a journey that lasted for 4 years. After that, he had plenty to talk about.
  • Writing: Writing a book or working on articles for magazines and websites is a great way to get some cash. Do you feel you have something to share with the rest of the world? Or feel like talking about your adventures? This is a good place to start.
  • Film-making/Photography: Get your camera and start making your face known to the world. This ties up pretty well with the ultimate social profile of an adventurer. Also, explore a little, take some pictures of the things you see and sell your work online or in prints.
  • Blogging: As a blogger, you are raising awareness, building your personal brand and creating a loyal customer base. A professional adventurer needs all the help he can get from social media, which can also help you make some money in the long run.

Hacks and tips

Tom Allen says that learning how to live with less stuff can be extremely beneficial for an aspiring adventurer. Your lifestyle choices can make it easier for you to adjust to a life where the bare necessities are all you need. No matter how expensive living in a country seems to be, it always comes down to your lifestyle preferences. So, you can choose not to buy expensive stuff you will never need, avoid eating out and start using your own feet and bike for transport.

When trying to define ‘adventure’ Tim Moss, said that you can experience it without leaving the country. The way he sees it there are many little ‘everyday’ adventures that often go unnoticed. Camping outside for a night, not taking a map with you when you go out, or putting a strict cash limit for a day, all can be seen as equally exciting and challenging adventures.

Ready for adventure

In the end, ‘the biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams’. Whatever you regard as an adventure might represent your own definition of happiness. Having a 9-5 job can also be considered as an adventure depending on how you choose to look at it.

That’s because adventure refers to living an ‘unusual and exciting experience’. Essentially it means that you are taking risks while following your instinct and getting the best out of a situation. If your job is able to provide you with that kind of spark and enthusiasm, then you are indeed living your own adventure.

What you need to do is think about what you want to do, and chase it. Don’t let the days, months or years run you by. Go out and do what you love. Find a way to combine your passion, skills and interests to create your next adventure.

So can you become a professional adventurer? I would say it depends on numerous factors… After what you’ve read, do you think you have what it takes? Let me know what you think in the comments below…