From yachts to UN

Many travel occasionally for work.

But for some, travel is the focus of their work.

CNBC Travel has spoken to people in four industries about occupations where working from home – or the office – is not an option.

One year of travel

Name: Sebastian Modak
Jobs: Former New York Times “52 Place Traveler”

Modak was one of 13,000 people who applied for a role that sent one to each destination on the New York Times “Place to Go” list in 2018 – the first year the magazine hired him for the position.

He did not get a job.

“A year later I thought, why not give it a shot again,” he said. “This time it works!”

As a “52 place traveler” for 2019, Modak travels to a new destination every week – from Bulgaria to Qatar and from Uzbekistan to Vietnam – in one year he described as thrilling and painful.

“I often say it was one of the biggest experiences of my life, but also the hardest,” he said. “I didn’t have a day off for the whole year, and it was hard to cope with the constant pressure of time.”

Modak, who is now the editor-in-chief of Lonely Planet, a travel publisher, says his advice to aspiring travel writers is to admit you know nothing. “The first step in finding and telling essential 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 them on social media to taking photographs and videos.

“It was a lot!” He said. “In addition to storytelling skills, they were looking for someone with endurance to get through the year.”

She credits most of her luck with getting the job, but she believes her upbringing and motivation for travel helped. Modak’s father is from India, and his mother is Colombian, he said, so “as a cultural compromise, they basically decided to move on.” As a result, he grew up in places like Hong Kong, Australia, India and Indonesia, he said.

Modak said the job – which has been hailed as the best “dream job” – was tiring, stressful and even scary at times, yet one of constant growth and adventure.

“I will not take it back to the world,” he said. “It opened my mind, introduced me to people from six continents … and strengthened my love for going somewhere and finding a story.”

‘Humanist hero’

Name: Sandra Black
Jobs: Communications Specialist for the United Nations

Black’s job doesn’t take him to the usual travel spots and his work trip is nothing more than an overnight.

Since 2008, he has lived and worked in Senegal, East Timor, the Central African Republic, Iraq, and most recently in Mozambique, lasting several months to several years.

“Each [place] It has cultural highlights and warmth, ”he said.

Since October 2021, Black has managed external contacts for the Mozambique office of the United Nations Population Fund, a United Nations agency that focuses on reproductive health and rights and which is funded entirely by grants, according to its website.

“I personally feel driven to support those who need it the most,” he said.

Sandra Black (left) with women participating in a carpet-making project at a rehabilitation site after Hurricane Idai hit Mozambique in 2019.

Source: IOM / Alfoso Pecueno

Black writes about people displaced by Hurricane Iday in 2019 – one of the worst hurricanes on record in Africa – while working for the United Nations Migration Agency. He recalls meeting a woman named Sarah who climbed a tree with her baby after her house collapsed in the flood. The woman said she was rescued seven days later.

Originally from New York, the national languages ​​of Black French, Spanish, Portuguese and Senegal are a basic level of Olof and speak the Tetum language spoken in East Timor. He said his language skills were partly why he was urgently deployed to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

“At night, I type until I can no longer keep my eyes open, and then start again the next day at 6 am,” he said in an interview for the 2014 UN Humanitarian Heroes Campaign.

“The most meaningful part of humanitarian communication is to provide a platform for people affected by conflict and natural disasters to tell their stories,” he said. “Many sincerely want the world to know what happened to them and their communities.”

From chef to captain

Name: Tony Stewart
Job: Yacht Captain

Stewart said he expects to travel nine months in 2022, leading a 130-foot tri-deck “all-in” motor yacht. He has already moved from the Caribbean to Central America and Mexico. From the west coast of the United States, he will fly to British Columbia’s Inside Passage and southeast Alaska, then fly to Florida and end the year in the Bahamas, he said.

It’s a bit longer than a “normal year”, he said, in part due to growth in the charter business this year, he said.

Stuart said he started the yachting industry as a chef in 1998 and “instantly fell in love with lifestyle, work and travel.” After cooking for a year and a half, Stuart made a career change.

Tony Stewart has led three motor yachts since 2006, including a 130-foot Westport tri-deck yacht called the “All in”.

Source: Fraser Yates

“I decided that what I really needed to do was get a license and work as a captain, so I got a job. [a] Deckhand and I start the journey, ”he said.

Work requires strong problem-solving skills, organization and high tolerance for stress, Stuart says. The captains “do something,” he said, ranging from trip planning and accounting to “HR duty” for the crew and golf booking for guests.

Whether it’s a dream job – “it absolutely is,” Stuart said.

We endure long days, and sometimes even weeks without holidays, “he said, but” I never imagined I would do it… and I don’t love it. “

Italian villa specialist

Name: Amy Ropner
Jobs: Head of UK-based luxury travel and villa company Red Savannah

Of the 300 villas that Red Savannah works with, about 120 are in Italy, Ropner said. He estimates that he has visited about 80% to 90% of them.

He traveled from London to Italy to evaluate the company’s collection of “extraordinarily high-performance” villas and to evaluate new homes to be added to the company’s list, he said. During a recent trip, he traveled from Milan to Lake Como, Tuscany, then further south to the cities of Amalfi and Pasitano, he said. Her next trip is to Puglia, she said, “because it’s beautiful and rough and really popular right now.”

Amy Ropner of Red Savannah says her work focuses primarily on Italian villas, but also rented homes in Greece, Spain and the Caribbean. “I’m always ready to go at any time … we’re always on the move.”

Source: Red Savannah

Some 90% of homes are privately owned, Ropner said. He meets with the owners and analyzes everything from the size of the pool deck to the bed (“there is a difference between a British king and an American king”).

Most bookings involve children, so he checks that the stairs and porch are safe for all ages; If not, note it on the company’s website, he said.

“We need [know] Whether there are cats in the estate, whether it’s under a dirt track… which obviously takes a little longer to reach… where the sun rises, where the sun sets, “he said.

Rapner often lives in villas, which rent $ 5,000 to $ 200,000 per week, he said. He also explores local areas, so he can advise on new services like restaurants, boat rentals and e-bike travel and gelto making classes.

“I think people think it’s all glamorous [but] It’s a lot of work, ”he said, adding that he once saw 50 villas on one trip.

“It’s glamorous,” she said, “but it can also be tiring.”

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