Jobs … they’re the ball and chain around our ankles. To live we need food and shelter, and for food and shelter we need money, and for money we need to work. Like death, taxes and reality TV, employment is simply something in life that cannot be avoided.

If you’ve got the wandering gene, you’re probably frustrated that your job ties you to one place. But is it possible to combine travel and work. Here are some people who’ve escaped the shackles of the office.


1. A Way With Words

For Christopher Niven-Brady, the 9-5 is but a distant memory. “I got laid off,” he explains, “and started writing for a living as a means of paying the bills whilst I looked for a new job. In the end I found I preferred the lifestyle of a freelance writer, so it stuck.” Whilst Christopher sets his own hours, sometimes the 7-hour day is simply not feasible. “Some days you get no work, so you spend all day worrying about money. Other days you get so much work it’s tough to handle it all. For one spell I worked 11am ’til 3am three days solid. Its sounds tough, but it makes your working life more exciting. I couldn’t go back to the 9-5 grind now.” Christopher finds his work through online freelancing portals. If you’ve a way with words, why not upload your profile to freelancing sites and see who bites?

2. What’s On The Cards?

Playing poker professionally does sound enticing, but you can only make a serious living at it if you’re dedicated – so say poker pros Kristen Bicknell and Marc Kennedy, both of whom were profiled recently in interviews at the Full Tilt blog. “Typically I play about 200,000 hands a month,” says Kirsten. “I have had a few months where I have played over 400,000 hands.” Marc’s poker life seems equally frenetic. “This year I am playing just over 200,000 (hands) a month. I think my absolute maximum amount would be right around 500,000 hands in a month.” That’s a lot of poker-playing – if you think you’ve got the right amount of stamina, then poker-playing could be the dream choice for you.

3. Keeping Yourself in the Picture

For Jamey Nicholson, taking the plunge and quitting the 9-5 to follow her dream was the scariest thing she had ever done – but she has no regrets. The London-born photographer now resides in Montreal, and makes her living taking pictures and selling them online. “I’ve always loved photography and am entirely self-taught,” explained Jamey. “My father always taught me to follow my dreams, so that’s what I did, although jumping off the 9-5 wagon was terrifying in a way.” Jamey works just as hard at selling photos as she does taking them, maintaining her site and writing daily blogs. “It’s all about getting your voice heard,” she says. “You can’t sell photographs if no one knows where to see them.”

4. The Gold Medal Marketeer

When Andrea Bolder (then Anderson) won gold in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she knew she’d reached the pinnacle of her career. When it came to removing her running shoes and moving into the world of work, she knew that the 9-5 would not be for her, even though she had trained as bio-chemist. Instead, Andrea set herself up as an Internet Marketing speaker – and has never looked back. “My goal is to add value to people’s lives and help them create more freedom, fortune and fun,” says Andrea. The internet does seem a vast place at time, so if you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur, who better to listen to than someone with an Olympic gold medal?