I was once in your shoes. As a new travel therapist, I had no idea what to expect of my first assignment. How would people react to me? Would I be able to provide the same level of care that I did at my previous job? What if something bad happened; would there be little support for me?
Now that I’ve been on the road for over 10 years as a traveling speech pathologist, it’s so clear how rewarding this career path can be!
Here are 10 signs you might want to consider pursuing a travel therapy career.
1. You’re an adventurous person who loves to explore new places
A career in travel therapy can take you all over our beautiful country. There is so much to explore from coast to coast. Many travelers have become expert foodies, National Park enthusiasts, hikers, runners, and all-around adventurists. If this excites you, a career in travel therapy could be for you.
2. You want to explore different clinical settings
The beauty of travel as a clinician is that you can work in many different settings and locations in a short amount of time. In the span of a year, you could work an outpatient job, home health, a skilled nursing facility, and a hospital. What other career would give you those options?
To start searching for a job in a specific setting or state, you can search for jobs on MedTravelers here.
3. You’re an introvert who needs time alone but also craves human contact
There’s a misconception that travelers are extroverted or that you need to be extroverted to travel. As an introverted person myself, I find travel therapy is perfect because you get both solitude and variety in your days. It’s really the perfect fit for an introvert.
4. You enjoy traveling
People can either love or hate the actual act of travel. Traveling takes you outside of your comfort zone and pushes you to be a more independent and self-sustaining individual. If you enjoy traveling and jumping into the unknown, this is for you.
5. You’re not afraid to be alone with yourself
Being alone with myself is something that I was okay with when I started to travel, and it’s something that has improved greatly as I’ve traveled.
6. 14 days of PTO a year are not enough
Travel is the perfect way to find a work-life balance as a therapist. If you want more than 2 weeks off a year and time to explore, travel is for you. As a traveler, you generally work 3-month contracts. When the contract is over, you have the choice of when you want to start working again. While some travelers work all year round, others take months off at a time.
Personally, I’ve worked an average of 9 months out of the year for the past 5 years. This is something that I could never do as a full-time permanent employee.
7. You are thinking about leaving the therapy field
Are you feeling burned out? Ready for a change and thinking about leaving the field of therapy altogether?
Travel is a great way to spice up your career and avoid some burnout. Working at a job for only 3 months alleviates a lot of stress from a job that you work at year after year.
Travel also exposes you to new situations and gives you freedom of time to explore other career options. Many travelers who felt burned out from our field have ended up transitioning to non-clinical roles or out of the field altogether.
8. You enjoy a challenge
If you get bored easily and constantly need a new challenge, then travel is a great way to keep your mind active. Each assignment comes with new patients, new staff, new electronic medical records, and a new routine. Your mind is constantly active and problem-solving while you travel.
9. Learning about and working with new cultures is exciting
There are so many diverse cultures and subcultures within the United States. If you enjoy learning about new cultures and languages, you will enjoy the cultural diversity and education that travel allows you to explore.
10. Your instincts are telling you to go for it!
So much of travel comes down to your instincts. Is your gut telling you to travel? If yes, then take that leap. There are things that will inevitably go wrong, but at the end of the day, travel is incredible and an amazing career experience. If you feel like you should become a traveler, then do it!
Do you love to travel? Want a job that lets you work in new settings anywhere in the country? If so, then a career as a travel therapist may be perfect for you. Let me know in the comments below which one is most accurate or resonates with you most. I’d love to hear from all of our readers out there who might be interested in travel!