As a traveling nurse you are already aware of the freedoms that accompany your position. You have the option to choose where you want to go, the type of place you want to live in, and the length of time you’d like to work. With so many choices, travel nursing is much like picking a place to go on vacation. However, these “vacations” are more often than not experienced by you and you alone.
After a few assignments you will become familiar with what it takes to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings: how to meet new people; how to get involved with social activities; where the nightlife is; and perhaps learning certain lingo that is associated with the culture of the area. All these experiences can be applied while you take that much needed break from your daily routine as a travel nurse.
Traveling alone is certainly something that takes a special person. It takes one who is open to the new and unexpected. Those who have never traveled by themselves before often paint their first solo vacation as a righteous affair. With no companion or family to distract your adventure the choice is yours. You can decide what time you want to start your day, where you want to eat, what you want to see and do, and so on. Choice equals freedom and freedom is the spirit of traveling.
It is easy to throw caution to the wind and leave all your worries behind while on vacation, because this is what a holiday is all about. However, it does not mean leave your common sense behind. Be open minded and at the same time keep your guard up. We’ve all heard of the horror stories associated with traveling alone, but most are rare and extreme situations.
In order to enjoy yourself you must first let go and realize there are billions of people on this great planet Earth and most of them share the same human needs, desires, fears, doubts, losses and happiness. Being a traveling nurse, you are fully aware of these basic human qualities and the connections we all share, but don’t forget about your safety first and foremost.
As mentioned above there is a remote possibility of something negative and unexpected that could happen and the only way to prevent this is to be aware. While you may not have a traveling companion, remember it may actually be easier to blend in to the background without accompaniment than it would be for a group. Here are some other tips to help prevent you from being involved in any questionable situation while traveling alone.
Dress appropriately – Male or female, dress modestly, cover up, wear less jewelry and you will invite far less attention than you would otherwise.
Meet fellow travelers male or female – While traveling alone you may experience some sort of harassment, but with a group it is less likely. Try meeting some other travelers and hang with groups in order to detract attention.
Fake it – This may sound outrageous but it can work better than you think. If you are married, wear your ring. If you are not, wear one anyways.
Avoid direct eye contact – Avoid eye contact and exit any situation that makes you uncomfortable quickly. If needed ask for help to extinguish the situation.
Ride don’t walk – If you are leaving a local club or restaurant at night even though it is in close proximity of your hotel make sure to have a reputable taxi to give you a ride home.
Instincts – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Keep valuables in a safe place – Don’t carry all your money with you, ask the hotel for a safe deposit box or safe to use.
Carry identification – At all times carry a few good forms of identification and in different places
Be seen – Try and navigate yourself where there are people around. Avoid dim light areas or paths less traveled.
Be confident – Make it seem like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Blend in with the crowd – Avoid looking like the typical tourist.
Plan ahead – Before heading out from “home base” make sure you have a good idea of where it is you’re going.
These are just a few important tips that you can put to use while vacationing alone or in any situation you may come across as a travel nurse. Now that you have a reasonable idea of what to expect while traveling alone, spin the globe and pick your next destination! All aboard?
Links to sites offering vacation packages for singles, traveling tips and ideas: