Since my current job keeps me pretty rooted in one place, I recently interviewed a series of professionals in diverse careers whose jobs let them earn a living and see the world at the same time — the goal is to provide some information and inspiration to all the cubicle dwellers out there who are feeling restless.
Kim is a former host and anchor for the NPR affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, who packed her bags seven years ago to start a new career as a college professor in Cairo, Egypt. She usually travels internationally six or more times per year both for fun and to attend academic conferences. She also takes time to explore her adopted country through desert camping trips, beach excursions to the Red Sea, sand boarding, and other adventures. She shares her thoughts on music and more on her blog, Radiogirl Blog.
Name: Kim Fox
Job: Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at The American University in Cairo in Cairo, Egypt
What motivated you to pursue this career? How did you find the job you’re in now?
I’ve worked in media, in particular radio, for decades. Teaching just came naturally.
I located my current job the way many college professors locate jobs – I saw a listing on the Chronicle of Higher Education website, applied, interviewed, etc. It was a typical academic job search except I did not visit the campus in advance of accepting the position.
What are the perks of this career?
Living outside of the U.S. has it perks, and living in Cairo, specifically, definitely has perks like warm weather and sunshine. The opportunity to travel in the region is plentiful with many desirable locations only two to three hours away – and often for less than $300.
What are some of the challenges?
There’s a lot of concern about safety in the Middle East, but there are safety concerns about some cities in the U.S. as well. Surprisingly the language barrier is not the biggest challenge – navigating the city with just English language skills works out nicely. As with any travel, be smart, pay attention, use your intuition.
Do you have any advice for others considering this career?
Get some experience both academic and practical, depending on the discipline. Also, networking is essential. Different universities have different criteria for hiring for both full-time and adjunct positions.
What’s one lesson that you’ve learned in all of your work-related travels?
Travel inconveniences are typically out of your control – don’t stress over things that you can not control like connecting flights. Always make time to explore outside of work-related activities.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t let the cost of travel be the reason that you don’t travel internationally. The cost of travel fluctuates, and you can benefit from planning and letting people you where you’d like to go. Inexpensive flights can be found.
Don’t be afraid to use social media to help navigate customer service for travel-related issues. Airlines are fairly responsive and some have Twitter accounts dedicated to troubleshooting travelers’ issues.
Banner image: Kim on Prison Island in Zanzibar