For me, the answer has been the right
job, and making a lot of sacrifices;
I work a seasonal specialized construction job. For 6-8 months of the year, the company owns my ass. I go where they want when they want. I work a full years worth of hours in that time. I make only a modest wage, but the overtime is gravy. They also provide me with a company truck, phone, housing and an allowance. I also use my personal credit card for company reimbursed expenses and get 2% back. I worked very hard at my job to get where I am and earn these perks, and I very much enjoy what I do.
I also am very diligent about saving money. Every paycheck gets the majority transferred into a savings account that is not touched until work is done.
I do not own a house, make any payments or carry any sort of debt on anything. I don't smoke, drink little, and am careful about what I do spend my money on. I am also single, as are most of my co-workers that have the same job as me. For some reason, being away from home for months at a time and having a job as a priority doesn't seem to jive well with the significant other.
The trade off is getting every winter off and not needing to work financially. My friends think I have the best thing going, but I can assure you it is not all sunshine and lollipops. Everything I own is in a storage container and I don't really have a place I call home.
I have done this now for the last 6 years, spending 5 of them traveling outside the country in my time off. I think you can travel in a modest and comfortable way and spend less than you would staying at home.
To the OP, what about a government job?
Government jobs over here, although who knows about the future, are very secure jobs with plenty of time off not really a problem. I'm outside NYC and toyed with it for a while but ultimately decided to try and find something I love to do, not just go to work.
My sister and her husband both work for the foreign service. Traveling at the taxpayers expense is pretty nice, but they have 3 university degrees each and are very hard workers. They are currently on a 4 year posting in Tokyo, living in a very nice house. Having 2 kids and the recent events in Japan, the last month has been rather hellish to say the least for them.