from yachts to the United Nations

Many people travel occasionally for work.

But for some, travel is at the heart of their work.

CNBC Travel spoke to people from four sectors of occupations where working from home – or an office for that matter – isn’t an option.

A year of travel

Name: Sebastian Modak
Work: former New York Times “52 Places Traveler”

Modak was one of 13,000 people who applied for a role that sent one person to each destination on the New York Times “Places to Visit” list in 2018, the first year the paper hired for the position.

He didn’t get the job.

“A year later I thought, why not try again,” he said. “This time it worked!”

As the “Traveler with 52 seats“For 2019, Modak traveled every week to a new destination – from Bulgaria to Qatar and from Uzbekistan to Vietnam – in a year he described as thrilling and exhausting.

“I often say it was one of the greatest experiences of my life … but also the most difficult,” she said. “I haven’t had a day off for a whole year and it has been difficult to cope with the constant pressure of deadlines.”

Modak, who is now the general editor of travel publisher Lonely Planet, said his advice for aspiring travel writers is to admit that you know nothing. “The first step in finding and telling compelling travel stories is asking questions and admitting that you have so much 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 photographs and videos, he said.

“It was very!” He said. “In addition to storytelling skills, they were looking for someone with the stamina to make it through the whole year.”

He mostly credits luck with getting the job, but said he believes his education and enthusiasm for travel helped. Modak’s father is Indian and her mother is Colombian, he said, so “as a cultural compromise, they essentially decided to relocate constantly.” As a result, he grew up in places like Hong Kong, Australia, India and Indonesia, he said.

Modak said the work, which was heralded as the quintessential “dream job“- it was exhausting, stressful and even scary at times, but characterized by constant growth and adventure.

“I wouldn’t take it back for the world,” he said. “He opened my mind wide, introduced me to people on six continents … and cemented my love to go to a place and look for a story.”

‘humanitarian hero’

Sandra Black (left) with women participating in a carpet manufacturing project at a resettlement site after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique in 2019.

Source: IOM / Alfoso Pequeno

Black wrote about displaced people from Cyclone Idai in 2019, one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded in Africa, while working for the United Nations International Organization for Migration. He recalled meeting a woman named Sarah who climbed a tree with her baby after her house collapsed due to flooding. The woman said she was rescued seven days later.

A native of 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. He said his language skills are part of the reason she was urgently deployed to deal with humanitarian crises.

“At night, I write until I can no longer keep my eyes open, and then I start again at 6 the next morning,” he said in an interview for the UN. “humanitarian herocampaign in 2014.

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

From head to captain

Name: Tony Stewart
Job: Yacht captain

Stewart said he plans to travel for nine months in 2022 at the helm of the 130 foot three deck “All Inn” motor yacht. He has already moved from the Caribbean to Central America and Mexico. From the west coast of the United States, he will go to British Columbia’s Inside Passage and continue into Southeast Alaska, then fly to Florida and finish the year in the Bahamas, he said.

It’s slightly longer than a “typical year,” he said, partly due to an increase in charter business this year, he said.

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 in cooking, Stewart changed careers.

Tony Stewart has captained three motor yachts since 2006, he said, including the 130-foot Westport three-deck yacht called “All Inn”.

Source: Fraser Yachts

“I decided I wanted to work to get my license and become a captain, at which point I took a job like [a] sailor and I started my journey, “he said.

The job requires strong problem-solving skills, organization and a high stress tolerance, Stewart said. The captains do “a little bit of everything,” she said, from travel planning and accounting to “human resources functions” for the crew and golf reservations for guests.

As for it being a dream job – “it absolutely is,” said Stewart.

We endure long days, and sometimes weeks without days off, “he said, but” I couldn’t imagine doing this … and not loving him. “

Expert of Italian villas

Last name: Amy Ropner
Job: Villa manager at UK based luxury travel and villa company
Red Savannah

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

He travels from London to Italy to evaluate the company’s “exceptionally high-end” villa collection and to evaluate new homes to add to the company’s roster, he said. On a recent trip, she traveled from Milan to Lake Como, down into Tuscany, then further south to the towns of Amalfi and Positano, he said. Her next trip is to Puglia, she said, “because it’s beautiful, rugged and very popular right now”.

Amy Ropner of Red Savannah said her work focuses mainly on Italian villas, but also rental homes in Greece, Spain and the Caribbean. “I’m always ready to go anytime … we’re always on the go.”

Source: Savana Rossa

About 90 percent of the homes are privately owned, Ropner said. He meets the owners and analyzes everything from the size of the pool decks to the beds (“there is a difference between a British king and an American king”).

Most bookings are for children, so make sure stairs and balconies are safe for all ages; if not, the company notes it on the website, he said.

“We need to [know] if there are cats on the estate, if it’s on a dirt road … which obviously takes a little longer to get to … where the sun rises, where the sun sets, “he said.

Ropner often stays in the villas, which they rent from $ 5,000 to $ 200,000 a week, he said. She also explores local areas, so she can recommend restaurants, boat rentals, and new services like e-bike rides and ice cream lessons, she said.

“I think people think it’s all fascinating [but] it’s a lot of work, ”he said, noting that he once saw 50 villas in one trip.

“It’s fascinating,” he said, “but it can also be tiring.”