Many people travel occasionally for work.
But for some, travel is at the heart of their jobs.
CNBC Travel spoke with people from four industries about occupations in which working from home — or an office for that matter — isn’t an option.
Name: Sebastian Modak
Job: The New York Times, formerly “The 52 Places Traveler”
Modak was one of 13,000 people who applied for a position that sent one person to each destination on the New York Times’ “places to go” list in 2018 – the first year the newspaper was appointed to the position.
He didn’t get the job.
“A year later, I thought, ‘Why not give it a chance again,'” he said. “This time it worked!”
As the “52 Traveler” of 2019, Modak traveled to a new destination each week – from Bulgaria to Qatar and Uzbekistan to Vietnam – in a year he described as exciting and stressful.
He said, “I often say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life…but it was also the hardest.” “I haven’t had a day off for an entire year, and the constant pressure of deadlines has been hard to deal with.”
Modak, now a traveling editor for travel publisher Lonely Planet, said his advice to aspiring travel writers is to admit you don’t know anything. “The first step to finding and telling compelling travel stories is to ask questions and acknowledge that you have a lot to learn.”
Source: Sebastian Modak
Modak said the job requires someone who can “do everything,” from writing articles and posting on social media to taking photos and videos, he said.
“It was too much!” He said. “Besides their storytelling skills, they were looking for someone with stamina to spend the whole year.”
He mostly credits his luck with getting the job, but he said he believes his upbringing and enthusiasm for travel helped. Modak’s father is from India, he said, and his mother is Colombian, so “as a cultural compromise, they basically decided to move constantly.” As a result, he said, he grew up in places like Hong Kong, Australia, India and Indonesia.
Modak said the job – heralded as the quintessential “dream job” – was stressful, stressful and even intimidating at times, but one characterized by growth and constant adventure.
“I won’t give it back to the world,” he said. “It opened my mind wide, introduced me to people on the six continents…and solidified my love for going somewhere and looking for a story.”
Name: Sandra Black
Position: Communications Specialist at the United Nations
Black’s job doesn’t take her to typical travel spots, and her business trips are nothing but overnight trips.
Since 2008, she has lived and worked in Senegal, East Timor, Central African Republic, Iraq and most recently in Mozambique, in roles that lasted from several months to years.
“all [place] It has its cultural attractions and its warmth,” she said, noting that living “where movement is restricted due to security concerns” is the most difficult part.
Since October 2021, Black has been managing external communications for the Mozambique office of the United Nations Population Fund, a United Nations agency focused on reproductive health and rights that is funded entirely from donations, according to its website.
“Personally, I feel driven to support those who need it most,” she said.
Sandra Black (left) with women participating in a carpet-making project at a resettlement site after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique in 2019.
Source: IOM / Alvoso Pequeno
Black has written about people displaced by Cyclone Idai in 2019 – one of the worst recorded cyclones to hit Africa – while working for the UN’s International Organization for Migration. She recalled meeting a woman named Sarah who climbed a tree with her child after her home collapsed in a flood. The woman said she was rescued after seven days.
Originally from New York, Black speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese and a basic level of Wolof, the national language of Senegal, and Tetum, a language spoken in East Timor. She said her language abilities are partly why she is so urgently deployed to cover humanitarian crises.
“At night, I write until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer, then start over at 6 the next morning,” she said in an interview with the UN campaign “Humanitarian Champion” in 2014.
“The most important part of humanitarian communication is providing a platform for people affected by conflict and natural disasters to tell their stories,” she said. “Many sincerely want the world to know what happened to them and their communities.”
From chef to captain
Name: Tony Stewart
Position: yacht captain
Stewart said he expects to travel for nine months in 2022 on top of the 130-foot All-N yacht. He has already moved from the Caribbean to Central America and Mexico. From the west coast of the United States, he’ll go to the inland passage of British Columbia and to southeast Alaska, then fly to Florida and finish the year in the Bahamas, he said.
This is a little longer than a “normal year,” he said, in part due to an increase in charter businesses this year.
Stewart said he started in the yachting industry as a chef in 1998, and “immediately fell in love with the lifestyle, work and travel.” After a year and a half of cooking, Stewart changed his job.
He said Tony Stewart has driven three motor yachts since 2006, including the 130-foot-tall three-deck Westport yacht called the All-N.
Source: Fraser Yachting
“I decided I wanted to work for my license and become a captain, at which point I got a job. [a] Decand and my journey began.”
Stewart said the job requires strong problem-solving skills, organization, and a high stress tolerance. He said the captain “does a little bit of everything,” from trip planning and accounting to “human resource duties” for the crew and golf reservations for guests.
“It certainly is,” Stewart said regarding whether it was a dream job.
““We put up with long days, sometimes weeks without days off,” he said, but “I couldn’t imagine doing that…and I don’t like it.”
Italian villas expert
Noun: Amy Rubner
Job: Head of Villas at UK-based luxury travel company Red Savannah
Of the 300 villas Red Savannah operates in, about 120 are in Italy, Rubner said. She estimates that she visited about 80% to 90% of them.
She said she is traveling from London to Italy to evaluate the company’s collection of “exceptionally high-end” villas and to evaluate new homes to add to the company’s listing. On her last trip, she said, she traveled from Milan to Lake Como, down to Tuscany, and then south to the towns of Amalfi and Positano. She said her next trip is to Puglia, “because it’s beautiful and rugged and really popular right now.”
Amy Rubner of Red Savannah said her work primarily focuses on Italian villas, but also focuses on rental homes in Greece, Spain, and the Caribbean. “I’m always ready to go anytime… We’re always on the move.”
Source: Reed Savannah
About 90% of the homes are privately owned, Roebner said. She meets the owners and analyzes everything from the size of the pool decks to the beds (“there’s a difference between a British king and an American king”).
Most bookings include children, so you check that the stairs and balconies are safe for all ages; If not, the company makes a note of it on the site, she said.
“we need to [know] Whether there are cats on the farm, whether it’s on a dirt track … it obviously takes a little longer to get to … where the sun rises, where the sun goes down,” she said.
She said Rubener often stays in villas that rent from $5,000 to $200,000 a week. She also explores local areas, she said, so she can offer advice on restaurants, boat rentals, and new services like e-bike trips and gelato-making classes.
“I think people think everything is magical [but] “It’s a lot of work,” she said, noting that she once saw 50 elephants in one trip.
“He’s charming,” she said, “but he can also be tiring.”