How to turn adventure into a career

Want to make a career out of adventure?

Thanks for joining me in this series of posts about helping you to achieve your adventure dreams. It is great to hear about all of the amazing things that you have been achieving. This post comes from a slightly different slant but it is a question that I hear a lot. 'How do I make a career out of adventure?' The options for making adventuring into a career have never been better, and the number of those successfully making a living this way is on the increase. Unfortunately there are an even greater number of people who want to live this dream and competition can be tough. In this sense it is just like any other career, there is no easy way to the top but if you are prepared to put in the time, work and effort then you can make your dream lifestyle a reality. Here are some ways of making adventuring into a living and some tips for getting started:


Being a sponsored athlete - For some people this is the ultimate dream. It is highly competitive and those most likely to succeed in making this a reality are those with experience of competing at an elite level or undertaking some serious, ground breaking expeditions.

Blogging - Anyone can blog about their adventures, you have no editor to please and you are free to style it your own way and share your own passions. The down side of everyone being able to blog is that everyone does. To make money from your blog you will have to work hard at both the content and the promotion, we are talking about turning your adventure into work, so some work from your side is to be expected.

Writing - There is a growing desire for good quality adventure travel writing. Unlike with blogging you will need to pitch your ideas to editors and write in a style and about a subject that fits their requirements.

Photography - Photography is a highly competitive area. See if you can find a niche that works for you, maybe you have a skill for identifying wild flowers, can you produce guide book quality images of rare species? You can sell prints or online images or alternatively you could take freelance contracts photographing events, expeditions or products.

Film making - As with photography this is highly competitive. You may need to fund your own films at first to show case your work. There are lots of film competitions that you can enter to get your work noticed. Everyone likes a good film of their adventure so you could start by offering your services to fellow adventurers to build up your film portfolio.

Speaking - Motivational speaking is a common way for adventurers to supplement their income. There are a number of agencies who specialise in booking motivational speakers and may be happy to take you onto their books.

Environmental surveys - Companies wishing to undertake environmental surveys often need people with the skills to access remote places either to undertake the surveys or support those who are undertaking them.

Ropes access - This is one for the climbers out there. Those with skills and qualifications in roped access can find that there is some quite well paid work available.


Guiding - While conducting research for your adventure, you may have been surprised by how many companies there are out there offering all sorts of expeditions all over the world. From races in the Antarctic to dive surveys in the Red Sea. The business of adventure travel is expanding and all of these companies need guides. You will have to invest time and money into obtaining the appropriate qualifications, but once qualified there are both employed and freelance opportunities available.

Start your own adventure company - This one is close to my heart, since I started Narwhal Expeditions providing high latitude sailing expeditions. As with guiding you will need the relevant qualifications and insurance for the types of adventures that you will be providing and expect a lot of hard work, but I think the rewards of sharing adventure with people are hugely satisfying.

Instructing - As with guiding there are opportunities for full time or self employed instructors. The rates of pay are not always that high and people often choose to supplement some time spent instructing with some time doing a different job.


This is part of a new series of blog posts that I am trying out for 2018. They are all about sharing our expedition and adventure planning experience to help you achieve your own goals and dreams. The aim isn't just to talk advice but to give you tools that you can actually use to make success happen. I would really love to hear how you are making use of it, what adventures you are planning and what you would like to learn more about. I would love to hear from anyone out there with experience of making adventure into their career. If you have found this helpful, please click on the share button below and spread the joy of adventuring :)


For lots more information on making your adventure dreams a reality, check out Katherine's book How to have an Adventure.