Tom’s three favorite videographer jobs abroad

In all the years of being a travel videographer, there are a few perks that stand out because they inspired a feeling of “I can’t believe I get to do this and I’m getting paid for it.”

So here are my top three videographer jobs abroad, along with the videos that I captured along the way:

3. A helicopter ride over Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia.

Not only is Fraser Island absolutely beautiful and one of the most diverse islands in the world, with its lakes, sand dunes, rain forest, shipwreck, and miles of empty beaches, but seeing it from a helicopter is simply stunning. Looking out an airplane window is fairly restrictive but sitting in a helicopter right next to the pilot gives you an unobstructed 180-degree aerial view. Have a look at this video and you’ll see what I mean...

2. Flying in a hot air balloon over Melbourne and the Yarra Valley, just outside Melbourne, Australia.

Flying in a hot air balloon is even smoother and quieter than flying in a helicopter and there’s nothing between you and the view. Hot air balloons are the oldest successful flight technology to carry humans and there’s something beautiful about the simplicity of floating on hot air. Seeing the sun rise over the Yarra Valley, while Melbourne glided past below, made me really grateful for my job and in love with what I do. Here’s the video of this incredible experience…

1. Climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at 19,341 feet.

It may not sound like much of a perk, since it included sleeping in a tent at below-zero temperatures, walking seven hours a day, and occasionally suffering from altitude sickness. But this was the most memorable experience I have undertaken as a travel videographer, because of the sense of personal triumph and achievement. It took us six days to climb and on the final day we started walking at 1 a.m. so we could reach the top at 6 a.m. for sunrise. Only six of our group of nine actually made it to the top and the ascent was done in baby steps, one foot in front of the other, because the lack of oxygen really gets to you. But when you do reach the top, you feel like you’re at the top of the world and anything is possible. In this video, you’ll see some of the people I climbed up with, including a 70-year-old man...

My favorite perks may not match what yours might be (especially if you hate flying or hiking), but the beauty of being a travel videographer is that you get to choose what you want to do.

In addition to these trips, I’ve also spent time in expensive resorts, been spoiled rotten on safaris in Africa, stayed at five-star hotels and dined at renowned restaurants. So the perks and experiences of a travel videographer can be quite varied. The trick is to choose the experience you would most enjoy. The video you’ll create will be much more authentic and convincing when you really enjoy making it.

Also, while the above videos were shot in some pretty amazing places, quite a few of my travel videos are very rudimentary and simple in nature. Yet I was still paid to shoot them and they still sell vacations to this day. So don’t be afraid to delve in and get paid to film your dream vacation.

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