Jobs That Let You See the World: Marketing Specialist for a Tour Operator
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.
My next interview is with Miles, a fellow Bostonian, who has very successfully made his paying gig all about travel (I need to get some tips from him!). Even though he works on the marketing side of the business, he gets to travel internationally once or twice a year for work – and two or three times a year for fun.
Name: Miles McAlpin
Job: Digital Marketing Specialist, Audley Travel (Boston)
What motivated you to pursue this career? How did you find the job you’re in now?
Until this job, I had always separated my travel addiction with my career of the year – it seemed I was only at the majority of jobs for said year because there was always a trip “getting in the way.” I left my last job to spend three weeks taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow. Finally did I realize I had to make a career of traveling. I had been working in marketing for almost six years so I combined that experience with my passion for travel to land a digital marketing specialist position at Audley Travel, a tailor-made tour operator in Boston.
What are the perks of this career?
First and foremost, Audley understands how important that travel is to each and every one of their employees, so they are completely supportive of if not constantly promoting employee travel. Secondly, they are very generous with their vacation days to make this possible. Third, every year, each employee goes on an Audley trip – Country Specialists (our sales team) go on familiarization trips to their country or region of expertise and us non-sales folks get to join them.
What are some of the challenges?
I think the biggest challenge I face at work has been pushing myself to consider this a career and not just a job. I have spent so many years jumping from job to job to convenience my travel schedule that I haven’t until now felt I had a true career. I want stability, I want consistent benefits, and I still want to see the entire world. Audley is giving me the best shot at that being a reality and I truly see myself here for a long time because of it.
Do you have any advice for others considering this career?
I would just suggest that people take their time to get to know exactly what they want out of a career. People put too far too much into selling themselves and not focusing on what they want to do or where they want to be. It took me a while to realize this, but when I applied to work at Audley, I had figured out that I wanted them to sell me on a career at Audley…and they did.
What’s one lesson that you’ve learned in all of your work-related travels?
Traveling for work has interestingly enough led me to understand the importance of relaxing while traveling. When I travel on my own I am generally so obsessed with seeing and doing (and eating and drinking) everything a certain destination offers. Having traveled for work now, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of downtime while traveling – not just as a reaction to the work side of the trip, but also as a means of debriefing everything I’m experiencing on any given trip.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’ve spent a long time trying to find the right way into this business and I think that with patience anyone can take their experience and apply it to finding a career in the travel industry. Additionally, I am happy to discuss the job process or the potential for work here at Audley with anyone who is interested.
Banner image: Miles hanging around in Williamsburg, Brooklyn