On yet another late-night of schoolwork, my friend mused whimsically: “What if your job was to go on vacation all the time? Like if someone just paid you to do vacations for them?”
I know. This breakthrough isn’t that far from saying, “Why do we need money, anyway? Why can’t we just trade stuff and do things for each other out of looooooooooove???”
Ugh. I know. Socialist hippie dogma gives me a stomach ache too.
But then I thought… this is actually pretty conceivable in our culture. Millennials run out of time way too quickly and they jump at the chance to live vicariously via Internet.
It’s possible that with the right amount of charisma and wittiness, you can live life as a pampered, free-loading bum! No joke – the dream can be a reality.
Let’s consider my friend’s scenario: getting people to pay you to go on vacations on their behalf.
There have been a lot of comments about Americans not utilizing their vacation days. This is rooted in a number of things, but it does seem that people have little time for vacations.
Why would people that don’t go on vacation pay YOU to go on it though? It’s hard to assume that they just can’t bear to leave work. In fact, I would imagine that a workaholic is wistful, if not bitter, when thinking of people that just shirk off their responsibilities for a weekend in Paris.
However, what if they physically cannot travel? Maybe the only way they can see Paris is by having you take a camera there. Maybe the benefactor that you need in order to vacation for free is a wealthy person that is too ill to go on airplanes.
Vacationing for free would require you to 1) generate a unique experience and 2) advertise or generate interest in an area. This is part of what makes travel blogs successful. However, travel blogs don’t always get snagged up by book agents and even then, you would have to invest money and actually fund your own vacation.
There are so many jobs out there that look like a dream or at least a very ingenious creation and focus of energy.
Beachologists are writers that grew into the critic niche and became acclaimed for their opinions on beaches. Now they are paid by resorts to play at being beach bums. A few days in Bermuda, a few days in the Bahamas… life seems pretty sweet. How clever of these people to specialize in something so awesome! Seems ingenious!
The same thing goes for beer critics. Unlike their pompous cousins, the wine critics, beer critics wouldn’t just spit out the beer they are sipping. They would get to taste (a lot of it) and experience the flavor, the hops, what have you… Becoming a beer critic is more or less a self-declared title. People start up blogs and look for sponsors and after reaching a large enough audience, they get paid to get boozy! Wunderbar! Speaking of bars, another dream that has become reality is taste-testing candy bars! That must be by far the most exciting kind of quality control!
People start their own businesses about things they care about and you would be surprise about where there are profits to be had! So why not? Why NOT get paid for going on vacation? It seems silly and ridiculous, but with enough charm, you can present your presumably positive experiences as something marketable for the places you visit or for travel sites and advisories.
You can carve out a piece of the tourism pie for yourself! Someone out there is already doing this. A lot of travel writers are getting paid for their experiences. So why can’t you?
Because it’s still work.
I love hammocks. One of my best friends in high school had an awesome hammock between two trees that had the perfect amount of foliage/shade. That may be a small part of why I befriended him in the first place. But I would love to get paid for swinging in a hammock all day. Who would pay me for that? People that care about what I have to say about hammocks. I need to create an audience and spend time on a business model and a multimedia platform for my business. Suddenly, I have a lot less time to spend just sitting in a hammock.
No matter how sensationalized you make it, work is still work. If it’s not work, it will fail. Just look at Jean-Ralphio and Tom Haverford’s Entertainment 720! Their only business model was buying cool things.
Think of anything that would presumably be awesome and turn it into a job – it will become a lot more stressful. Try running a pornographic film empire: you have to think about the logistics of filming and the schedule for putting out (bad pun) movies. And would the internet be your sole distribution channel? How can you maximize profits? There. Porn just became not-fun.
In an age where clever opinions matter, it’s possible to make a living off of doing whatever it is you want. But you can’t support yourself without taking initiative and working hard to create a good product.
Motivation, though… Who’s got time for that?