Most people agree that traveling can be great fun. This is perhaps less true when you are traveling for work. However, travel nurses get to enjoy both sides of the spectrum: Having many wonderful adventures in locations they might not get a chance to travel in otherwise AND making a difference in others lives through their work. Whatever you do, don’t become bogged down by the responsibilities of work or the political/socioeconomic conditions of the location you are visiting, and end up not exploring your new location as much as you would like. If you are a travel nurse, this is the summer to take time out of your busy schedule and really enjoy your new assignment. Here are a few ways to make the most of living in a new city while working as a travel nurse.
Be a tourist for a day
On some your days off, pretend that you are a new tourist seeing the town for the first time. Don’t pay attention to your watch, go for a walk around town, try some new shop that you have always walked passed, eat at a restaurant and really taste the food, and interact on a personal level with local city dwellers. Not only will this practice help you savor your time abroad, but it will also help you experience a different, and perhaps more relaxed aspect of the culture. Medical centers are usually stressful, and if you spend all of your time there, you will likely feel stressed as well. Getting out and about in the city during your breaks will really help you feel a part of the community, and see a different aspect of daily life there.
Do your research
Nurses are notoriously good at research and planning. So if that is true for you, it can be a perfect time to plan ahead and really think about where you would like to see before you get there. Once you become swept up in your new assignment, you may not find the time to mingle with coworkers or start exploring. However, if you plan ahead and mark off a couple of places that you would love to visit, you will feel more prepared.
Ask the locals
When you are traveling, whether it is to another state or another country, you should ask the locals where the “must see” places are in the area. Not only will you get an insider scoop on the best places to visit during your trip, but you will also get to experience the most relevant and perhaps less well-known places in the area. Many times, visitors only get to see the most popular tourist destinations, or the locations that are right on main street. However, locals know where the best areas to visit are situated, even if those places might be a weekend driving destination.
Some become nurses because they dream for opportunity to travel, but then do not take advantage of their time as travel nurses. Remember to live in the moment and treat travel nursing as a privilege that comes with your medical education and skill set. Make the most of your time, and don’t let the experience this summer go to waste!