Teaching Traveling: Today we have a different type of teacher. Turner Barr is a man who travels around the world, taking vastly different odd jobs at a rapid pace, and teaching his readers about them through his blog, Around the World in 80 Jobs! Wait until you hear about some of these gigs…
Turner, tell us about your background.
Turner: Well my name is Turner. I am 28, a helpless travel-holic, and I love the hustle. I have been travelling basically on and off through university and since graduating in 2007.
I have been pursuing a lifestyle of living abroad full time for the past 6 years. In a nutshell, I go to different countries, and do different travel jobs, and write about the experience.
Sometimes it is an odd job just to have an interesting experience, such as harvesting agave on a Tequila farm, other times, it is a job where you can make money, like street tour sales in Rome.
TT: Neat! Tell us more about your travels.
T: I travel so much that it is hard to say what is work and what is play. I try to combine the two. But one of my last pure travel experience, where work couldn’t be done, as there was little to no Internet, was in Cuba in May.
I spent three weeks, enjoying mojitos, sexy dancing, and novel-worthy beaches. I have been to few countries that make me both sad and inspired. The architecture, live music, dancing, and vibe are beyond words, so I won’t even attempt.
TT: Wow! How did you find this travel opportunity?
T: I was in Mexico, just finishing up working on an avocado farm, and the farmer, a young budding entrepreneur, told me about how great and intense Cuba was. So I had to check it out for myself.
TT: How do you fund all your travels?
T: All of my travel I fund through the jobs that I talk about on my website, such as running my own copy-editing/copy-writing business, expertproofread.com, or other jobs from my site that also make money. As I mentioned, not all jobs that I have done on my site pay, but some jobs like Timeshare Sales do pay, and pay well.
TT: Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly funny.
T: I recently was working in a pizzeria in Rome. This was a particularly funny event, as letting me anywhere near a kitchen or expensive machinery is a pretty bad idea. I am clumsy with a pen and even clumsier with a knife.
So needless to say, watching my poor co-workers having to deal with my blunders in the kitchen made for an interesting experience.
TT: Have your travels helped you in your career?
T: Yes. My travels inspired me to look for a permanent way to live abroad. But I wasn’t blessed with computer skills, I studied political science, and at the time (and still for the most part), the information available online about working abroad was vague and I couldn’t tangibly see anyone doing it.
It was just BS sites built for Adsense clicks — peddling information, or some article written by some guy on a travel blog site farm talking about top five best dream travel jobs, without even the slightest real account of the job or how to get it, since they never had done the job themselves. Which is why I am doing what I am doing. If a hopeless unemployable klutz like me can do it, anyone can.
TT: How have your travels impacted you as a person?
T: My travels are who I am. I have been on the road for so long it has become a part of me, and my identity. It is not just a hobby, but it is part of what makes me tick as a person.
From gaining cultural knowledge, to understanding the pain and love that went into the tequila that I drink more than occasionally comes from, to learning from entrepreneurial jobs I attempt – both in success and failure. These travel experiences are more than just an impact; they are me.
TT: What advice do you have for teachers who are dreaming of travel, or travelers dreaming of teaching?
T: Do it. Take action. Plan a bit, but take action. You don’t know until you have tried, and the direction and impact will be different than expected, but that excitement is what life is all about. I think the quote goes, “I would rather live a life of ‘Oh Wells’ than a life of ‘What ifs’”. Do it.
TT: Thanks so much, Turner! Readers, what questions or comments do you have for this remarkable traveler?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!