Around the World in 80 Jobs: An Interview with Turner Barr

Turner Barr on Making a Living Abroad

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Copyright Turner Barr

Most people dream of packing up a bag, jumping on a plane and traversing the world to make a life abroad - but Turner Barr is one of those who did it. Six years of travel have taken him quite literally all around the world, from Europe to South America to Southeast Asia. Here, Turner shares his insights and tips on living and working abroad.

Turner's Best Job - From the Austrian Krampus to Thailand Elephants:

"I would say my best job would have been that of the role of the Krampus in Austria.

 The Krampus is part of the Alpine Christmas tradition. It is basically a yeti/demon/ghoul that Alpine men dress up as and go through the streets on December 5th, “punishing” boys and girls who have been bad that year."

"It was a super unique experience, and one that involved Christmas markets, Salzburg, drinking copious amounts of beer and weaving through the Austrian Alps in a toboggan with Austrians that spoke no English dressed in these strange outfits."

"I also really liked volunteering and working with elephants in Thailand - the elephants are so kind and gentle. You get a real sense of just how human their emotions are when you work with them up close. This was probably my most rewarding experience."

Turner's Worst Job - Timeshares to Tigers:

"My worst job – that is a tough one. It would be a toss up between timeshare sales or working with tigers at tiger temple. Timeshares sales, although you are living in paradise, for me thread a lot of questionable ethics on what you are selling.

I saw some ridiculous behavior by other salesmen while selling timeshares in Mexico."

"As for the volunteering at the Tiger Temple, it was amazing and surreal be so upclose to such majestic animals, but I also felt there was a lot of questionable ethics going on there. Sleeping in a room with scorpions, spiders and frogs probably didn't help."

Turner's Tips On How To Find a Job Abroad

  • "First, I would say to be social and interact. You can wait around and rely on things to just happen to you, so talking with people will get the ball moving."
  • "Two, as I mentioned above, is to be flexible and not be pushy. When you are interacting with new people don't be get all up over them asking them for things when you first meet them. Provide value to them. In other words, connect them with other expats you meet, bring people to their bar, offer them social media help…whatever it is, but people will want to help you if you don’t come pandering to them."
  • "Third, be appreciative for the experiences and jobs you get, and like with number two, once they hook you up, leave them in a better position than when you started. Introduce people to them. Promote what you did and tell people about them etc. The world will give back to you when you give to the world."
  • "I think Expats, e.g. boots on the ground, is the way to go. Expats often have relocated their entire lives into another country. They have may have lived there for many years, know other business owners and know what is going on there and who are the other players/actors. As such, they are wealth of knowledge as to the happenings there and a streamlined way for you too as a foreigner in a different culture to know how to get involved."

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