I’m terrified of heights, but I had to do it. I hiked a two-mile trail in the Mount Hood National Forest when I finally arrived at a clearing. It echoed with the sound of rushing water falling from the cliffs before me. Through the waterfall, a cave was exposed. In order to reach it, I would have to climb across a bed of rocks, slippery from the mist. I looked at the steep climb, the rushing water, the ravine below, and I was dizzy at the thought of it. Yet, I didn’t come this far to stop now. With shaky nerves and slow moves, I made my way across the rocks. Before I knew it, I was standing in the cave looking out at the Oregon landscape from behind the waterfall. I faced my fears, and that was the first time that it truly hit me how travel changes you. Traveling takes you out of your comfort zone; it alters your perspective and exposes you to a different point of view. In the end, through new people and new experiences, it inspires you to do more.
My story isn’t unique, and I’m sure anyone who travels has similar tales to tell. Travel nurses, though, have the additional benefit of earning money while having these experiences. There are many benefits to travel nursing, from top pay to a killer resume. However, how travel changes you both professionally and personally is arguably the most impactful benefit of all.
How Travel Changes You: Five Ways Traveling as a Nurse Will Change You
Here are five ways that traveling as a nurse will change you for the better – not just as a nurse but in all aspects of your life.
Alter your point of view.
You can read books and study cultures, but nothing will alter your point of view quite like immersing yourself in diversity. Just like my experience hiking behind a waterfall literally altered my point of view, exposing yourself to new ways of life will change how you see the world. In travel nursing, you’ll work in urban settings and rural settings, in wealthy neighborhoods and in poverty-stricken ones. In learning to adapt to these new situations your perspective will change.
Force you out of your routine
Forget about routine when you’re on the road, but also prepare to find predictability in your spontaneity. Once you arrive on assignment you might establish some routine, but at the end of the day, you’re in a brand-new place. You’re going to want to see and do as much as you can while you’re there, and you won’t have much time. Therefore, you can expect a routine that consists of spontaneous plans, new experiences and lots of unpredictable situations.
Expose you to a new reality
Know that your tiny bubble of a world will burst. Depending on where you grew up and how much you’ve traveled so far, you have a very limited view of the world, whether you realize it or not. If you pursue a career in travel nursing, realize that you will be exposed to a new reality. You may have certain assumptions right now about different religions or socioeconomic backgrounds that could change, for better or worse.
Introduce you to new people
The more people you meet, the more you’ll learn. You’ll care for patients who are rich and poor, young and old, and who have different ideologies than your own. Start conversations, listen to what they have to say. You’ll be surprised how much they can change you while you’re taking care of them.
Inspire you to do more
Change triggers creativity. There’s a reason people seek careers that have more of a work-life balance. Vacations, and taking somewhat of a “mental break” from the pressures of daily routine, can return you to a more positive outlook. Traveling gives you fresh ideas for how to improve your quality of life. For travel nurses, this reset button is basically pushed every time they arrive at a new contract.
Are you ready to let a transient lifestyle transform you? Find out first-hand how travel changes you and apply today for a travel nursing job!