Being a travel nurse keeps things interesting. You get to travel to new, exciting places on a regular basis. You get to network with other hospital professionals all over the place, and you get to learn a lot from all the different hospitals you serve.
Unfortunately, being a travel nurse also probably means that you’re away from your family and friends more often than you’d like to be. Because of this, you may occasionally get homesick. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get your mind off missing home. Here are a few things you can try out:
Explore your surroundings
As a travel nurse, you’ll work long shifts and odd hours, like most nurses. The difference between you and other nurses, however, is that you’ll be away from your family and friends when your workday is over. You may fall into the trap of spending the bulk of your free time resting and recuperating at home. Unfortunately, too much time on the couch in a new city can make you feel a bit isolated. To avoid feeling this way, make sure you get out a few times a week and explore your surroundings. No matter where you’re living and working, there are interesting things to discover. Something as simple as taking a trip to a local art museum can lift your mood and help you feel more grounded in an unfamiliar place.
Skype, e-mail, and call often
Staying in contact with your loved ones will help you feel connected to them, even when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Email is a good, convenient way to stay in touch. Regularly Skyping with and calling your loved ones will also help you feel less disconnected in your new surroundings. We’re very fortunate to live in the digital age, which offers us so many tools to connect with each other, even if we can’t easily meet up in person.
Adopt a pet
If you find that you’re having a difficult time adjusting to life on the move, adopting a dog, cat, or other pet who can serve as your travel companion is a great idea. A pet can function as a constant in your life and can help lift your mood on days when you feel more homesick than usual.
If you don’t already have a pet and decide to adopt one, you may want to consider middle-aged and older animals. Taking care of a kitten or puppy on top of everything else you have to do could be a challenge.
Check out sites like Meetup.com
You should absolutely try to branch out and meet new people as you travel for your job. Doing so will make your short-lived stays in different locations more meaningful. Meetup.com is a website that helps you find and meet up with likeminded groups of people. It’s a great place to find a book club, hiking group, or just about any other kind of special interest group, anywhere you’re living. You can use sites like Meet up to make new friends and feel more socially connected wherever you go.
Make the most of your job
Finding purpose in what you do and doing your job well will enrich your life. There will be a lot of opportunities for professional growth at the different hospitals that temporarily employ you. You should try to take on as many new responsibilities as you can at each of your job sites. Fully embracing professional opportunities will help you appreciate your time as a travel nurse, even when you find yourself missing home.
Homesickness is sometimes an inevitable part of being a travel nurse. The good news is that you can make every place you live feel like home. So, try out the tips listed above, and remember to enjoy yourself!