A few weeks ago, Jema Patterson at Half the Clothes sent out a newsletter with an intriguing bit of news:
Airline Hiring Paid Travelers
You and a friend have until May 14th to apply for:
• a $4,500/mo salary
• furnished apartment in the capital of Iceland
• ability to travel the world all summer.
Shoot, edit, and submit a short video travel guide about your hometown. If Iceland’s WOW Air picks you, the world is your oyster. You and a friend spent the summer flying all over the world making videos and Instagramming your travels!
Like probably everyone else on Jema’s mailing list, I was immediately intrigued. WOW Air wants to pay somebody to travel around and post about it? Two and a half months exploring Europe and the US and Israel and the Canary Islands! Living in Reykjavik as a home base! How is that not a dream come true?
But my enthusiasm was dampened when I read the application requirements: Apart from telling the airline a little about myself, I’d also need to send a sample/audition video of my current city. That’s simple enough, right? Except that to me it just sounded exhausting.
I had just returned from a trip to Utah for the Futurescapes Writers’ Workshop—a wonderful experience that turned out to be surprisingly hard on my body. Maybe it’s chronic illness. Maybe it’s aging. Maybe it’s something else altogether, or a weighted combination of all. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain by the time I made it back to Portland, and it took me a full week to recover from a three-day trip.
And if the thought of traveling around my own familiar city for fresh photos and a few minutes of video was daunting, did I really think I was up for the wear and tear of a full summer of travel? Dozens of flights, and dozens of trips through airport security, and weeks of reacting to strange foods and opportunistic illnesses and changing time zones . . .
I’m pretty sure the generous folks at WOW Air had in mind an enterprising millennial social media star when they launched their travel guide search, and not a middle-aged dysautonomiac who hasn’t decided whether or not she even wants an Instagram account.
Even though I realized that I already have enough photos and videos to put together a clever guide to Portland, I’ve (mostly) made the decision not to apply. I’m still in the midst of this Rune Witch rebrand, and that effort will span the summer months of the WOW gig. But if this opportunity appeals to you, GO FOR IT. I’ve had fun daydreaming about the opportunity, though, and I’d be hard-pressed to say no to anyone who wanted to bring me along as their companion traveler . . .