Finding a great blog topic can be challenging for me – hear me out. Finding the right topic is not always easy when you want to write about something relatable to everyone in the field in which you work. I was struggling to come up with my next topic. Then an unexpected Facebook notification changed all of that for me. Jody P. tagged me in a meme she had made herself called the “7 benefits of traveling.” I knew right away that this is the topic I wanted to share in my next blog.
This is going to be a unique blog because, instead of coming from my knowledge and opinion, it will come from an experienced travel nurse who has been working travel assignments for over 18 years!
So, who is Jody? Other than being a person who is always leaving an uplifting presence on Facebook, she’s a current travel nurse eager to share what she has learned.
Why did I choose nursing?
Honestly, it’s not because I’m Florence Nightingale or have altruistic aspirations. The truth of the matter is I was in an abusive marriage and needed a way out that enabled me to go anywhere and still be able to support myself. But enough about that, that marriage is long over and I am currently married to the man of my dreams who is also an RN!
How did I get into traveling?
The girls had gone off to college! We decided to truly travel and pick a spot as far away from Michigan as possible – Salem, Oregon! If we weren’t working we were running the roads! North to Mt. St. Helens in Washington, south to California, west to the Pacific Coast, east to Bend, OR and the Cascades, and everywhere in between. We did more in those three months than we had in the previous three years!
Over 18 years later, Jody is still traveling and living life to the fullest. Now, she wants to share wisdom, advice, and her seven benefits of traveling. Read more below.
- It expands your mind.
By getting out of your comfort zone/rut/usual routine, you get to experience MORE. More of life, more of work, just MORE. And just as a different workout routine allows you to develop your muscles better, travel improves that “muscle” between your ears by making you see the same things differently, expanding your mind.
2. Gives you perspective.
I always tell people who express a fear of traveling that what I find as key to adapting is to look for the similarities, not focus on the differences. My way of doing something isn’t the only, or the best way. Watch, learn, integrate. There are many ways of accomplishing the same goal. And we all have the same goal.
3. Encourages self-reflection.
When you travel solo, as I have many times in my 18 years, you tend to spend more time alone. And being alone, away from friends and family and familiar surroundings, you get the luxury of more time to reflect on yourself, what you value, what you hope to accomplish, and what you have already accomplished. I find that I actually do enjoy being by myself more now. Is some of that the natural byproduct of maturity? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe traveling has made me more comfortable in my own skin. I like to think so.
4. Opportunity to relax and re–center.
Traveling to unfamiliar places allows for the opportunity to try new experiences or to adapt your go-to pursuits to the new environment. For me, this “working vacation” concept is vital in this context . Away from the pressures and responsibilities of “normal,” I can do whatever I want or nothing at all. Don’t feel like cleaning today? Don’t. Want to eat pancakes for dinner? Do. Discover what YOU want, not what you think your family/society wants for you. This can take some time to adjust to, but it’s worth it!
5. Boosts your mood and confidence.
For me, nothing boosts my mood more than a new adventure! The thrill of something new and different is exhilarating. And once you conquer your fear of something, up goes the confidence. Once you settle in at a new facility and get over the “first date” jitters, you discover that “Hey! I can DO this!” Because you can. You know how to take care of your patients. You’re good at it or you wouldn’t be there. Also, traveling solo increases your self-reliance. I learned to go to museums, restaurants, and concerts alone. And still enjoyed myself!
6. Exposes you to different people and ideas.
This is probably the most fun aspect of traveling – the variety of places to go. I’ve worked in Washington D.C. at a large university hospital. I’ve worked in small rural hospitals. I have never yet failed to come away from an assignment without learning something. When I worked at Georgetown University, I was assigned to a Neuro -Tele unit. ‘Heads’ are not really my thing and I was uncomfortable. But I asked questions. Lots of questions. Questions of the staff, questions of the docs, and I learned a lot. Outside of work of course are all the wonderful foods and people and places! People like you. People not like you. But I find that a smile gets you further, and the answer is always “No” unless you ask.
7. Rewires your brain and increases productivity.
Here’s one that does intersect with several of the other points. But I still feel it deserves its own category. Learning something new, whether at work or at play, exercises your mind and increases your ability to do just about anything and everything. And having the ability to change, adapt, and quickly reroute your plan is an integral talent to have in nursing. We all know that we sometimes have to shift gears at a moment’s notice, roll with the punches, be flexible, etc. If you have a larger wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from, your productivity goes up!
Here are a few final thoughts from Jody, “I’ve never regretted becoming a traveling nurse ’cause it’s a wonderful life! A working vacation! Travel to places you’ve never been, do things you would never get a chance to do otherwise.”
There you have it – seven strong benefits on what makes traveling an experience of a lifetime! I want to thank Jody for taking the time to share with everyone this great advice on what makes travel nursing so unique and exciting.
What benefits would you share with someone who is looking to travel? I would love to hear what you think in the comment section.
Marcus Benzel is a recruiter for the Aureus Medical Social Media Recruitment team.