We all have fantasies of what we'd rather be doing. Me, I'd like to run a beachside beer shack down Mexico way. I don't know what you're doing right now, but wouldn't you rather do it in, say, Bora Bora? The question is how to go about it. For some answers, consider one man's experience in On the Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide To Traveling Without Paying, by G. Michael Schneider.
Considering that the author worked his way around the world (and sometimes worked very hard), the title of his book is a little disingenuous. But that won't matter to any reader who has ever wondered how he can realize that same dream. Schneider, a Midwestern college professor, has made an avocation out of working vacations. He and his family have lived temporarily in Mongolia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, and a dozen other exotic locations while Schneider took short-term gigs as a computer science teacher and consultant. His frank narrative tells his family's joys and disappointments, but built into almost every chapter are concrete recommendations for anyone who wants to do as he did.
Among the bits of advice peppered throughout the book:
* How to pinpoint those companies around the world that might want to hire you on a short-term basis and how best to approach them.
* Where to find online resources that can help you find a temporary overseas job.
* What to expect (and what not to expect) from employers in getting you settled.
* What to do with your home while you're away.
* Ways to become part of the local community once you relocate.
Although Schneider has a leg up on many of us (he gets summers off and his academic specialty is a hot commodity worldwide), the author is insistent that almost anyone in any field can do what he did. After reading On the Other Guy's Dime, you may feel the same way. And if anyone needs a guy to run a beer shack down in, say, Zihuatanejo for a couple of months, you can reach me at email@example.com.
Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter.