Making the Most of Your Assignment Destination: Be a Tourist in Your Own City
One of the biggest draws of travel nursing is right there in the name: travel! Being able to settle in new places means more than just meeting new people and working at new facilities. It also means getting to explore the country and experiencing the uniqueness each city, state, and region has to offer. While you’re sure to be hard at work in a facility that needs your skills, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to get out and have an adventure in whatever area you’re assigned to.
Travel nursing is for work and play
Travel nurses get the opportunity to travel across the country and make money while doing it, and this opportunity should not be taken for granted. If you have an all-work, no-play mindset, what is the good of traveling for work? Travel nursing gives you continuous opportunities to be a tourist in your own city and explore lots of local events and sights.
It’s completely possible to balance work and leisure while on a travel nursing assignment. All you need to do is find opportunities outside of work to enjoy on your days off. Not only will traveling the city be lots of fun, it will also help you settle into your assignment more easily, make new friends, and truly connect with the culture and people of the community you’re serving.
Preparing for your travels
As you prepare to leave for your assignment, take time to prepare for your “fun” travels, as well. Making a plan ahead of time can get you excited about what your city has to offer, whether you’re interested in local events, history, landmarks, food, or other offerings. Tailor your plans to your personal interests.
To learn more about your future “home,” research online for top places to visit in the area. Many cities will have websites tailored to visitors so you can get an idea of what’s in store. Write down the things that interest you the most, then go do them once you arrive.
When in town, visit your local visitor’s center or chamber of commerce and ask for recommendations for places to visit. Ask about the top local eats, famous landmarks, and museums where you can learn more about the community’s history.
Another great way to see the city is to just take a walk and see where your feet take you. Walking tours can uncover hidden gems and truly local places the visitor organizations might skip over.
Maintain a work/life balance
Although seeing the city and having fun are important aspects of travel nursing, make sure you’re not overloading yourself — in work or in leisure. Leave time on your off days to get out and have fun, but also make sure you’re getting adequate rest and downtime so your travels don’t interfere with your work performance.
And, of course, maintain a connection between your travels and your work. Immersion in your new city can help you connect with patients and the community, and you may develop a love so strong you won’t want to leave.
If you want to stay longer, talk to your recruiter about extending your assignment or finding a new assignment in the area. Or, if you’re ready to move on, your recruiter can help you find a new place to visit, too!