Life as a traveling health care professional is thrilling, filled with new experiences and endless exploration. However, amidst the adventure, many bear the same heavy weight – a feeling of loneliness and missing out while on the road. A nomadic career means leaving behind social circles, friends, family, and the comfort of familiarity; leading to depression, anxiety, and isolation. As a fellow travel nurse and board-certified Holistic Nurse Coach who specializes in working with travelers, I have witnessed the burden of loneliness on many travelers. With a lack of resources available for helping travelers overcome this, I created this guide to help you cultivate connection while living a life on the road.
Hi, what’s up? I'm Chelsea Gallagher — a travel occupational therapist, solo female traveler, yoga instructor, free diver, and aspiring entrepreneur. Over four transformative years, I've fused my love for occupational therapy with my passion for exploration, seeking pediatric contracts in breathtaking destinations like Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands. Fuelled by an adrenaline rush, I've embraced heart-pounding adventures that have left an indelible mark on my journey. Yet, it's the connections and communities I've formed along the way that truly resonate with me.
I swore I would never get a dog as a traveler. I had every intention of getting one in the future... but once I was settled somewhere, not traveling. Having a pet comes with responsibilities, and in my head I believed these responsibilities would be doubly difficult on the road and would limit the possibilities of what I could do while I lived this lifestyle. It was not until my third contract when I was living with two other travelers with dogs that I realized that it is way more doable than I thought, and before I knew it I was getting a puppy of my own. That was back in 2020, and me and my pup Zoey have come a long way since then. But the most important thing I learned since she came into my life? No matter the challenges we face, I couldn’t imagine life without her in it anymore. So if you already have pets of your own, or are considering getting a pet during your travels, here are some of the biggest things to consider......
Living in Las Vegas ruined me- and I say that in the best way possible. Vegas is a city like no other with a constant stream of things to do, no matter what you’re interested in. Want to go on a nice hike? Red Rock National Conservation Area is right around the corner. Want to escape the heat? Mt. Charleston is 45 minutes to an hour drive, depending on where you’re living. Want to get away for the weekend with a change of scenery? There’s a whole host of options all under five hours away. Want to go out for an amazing meal? Not only are there countless incredible restaurants on the strip, but there’s also so many underrated places scattered all throughout the valley. Want to go out for just a casual beer? No problem, there’s multiple breweries on brewery row in the Arts District. There’s no way I could ever list out all of the things that Vegas has to offer, but I did gather a list below are some of my top picks after living there throughout all the seasons. I hope you enjoy!
9 Essential Steps to Becoming a Traveling Healthcare Professional: Your Passport to a Rewarding Career
Are you a healthcare professional who dreams of exploring new places, meeting diverse patients, and embarking on exciting adventures? If so, a career as a traveling healthcare professional might be the perfect for you. I started my travel nurse journey over nine years ago and still think it was the best decision of my life. In this blog post, I will guide you through the nine essential steps to becoming a traveling healthcare professional. Lets dive in!
Being a travel nurse, something that I love the most is the freedom and ability to explore new places both in the form of new cities while on assignment, and leisure vacations in between contracts. I love planning trips and finding unique experiences to do within that destination!
Over the years, I've made some expensive and timely mistakes, but also researched and learned lots of great tips and tricks for traveling both domestically and internationally. Check them out below!
The title is a little daunting. It’s never easy to step out of your comfort zone or overcome loneliness but being lonely can really take a toll on your emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical health!
As an extrovert, I thought traveling would be a piece of cake. I accepted my first assignment thinking it would be great and everyone would be nice and helpful, however, I was wrong. 12 hours into my contract, I was canceled. I was sad and defeated, with it being my first contract, I thought, “This is it, I’m going to be staff forever.”
I wallowed in self pity for about 3 days before switching agencies and getting a new contract. During this time, I was at an all time low. With the last bit of courage I had left, I went to my next contract in Boston, MA and prayed that it was the right decision. After being there for a week, I started to get my groove back. Thankfully, there were other travelers on my floor that I connected with right away....
To be completely honest, I started looking into travel when I was still in grad school. I knew that I wanted to work with the pediatric population for the duration of my career so my first concern was how to become a travel PT and still only work in pediatrics. I almost put the idea of travel on hold because it didn’t seem like there were enough short term travel contracts with peds to be able to get back to back placements. However, that’s when I began considering traveling as a school-based physical therapist.
Right off the bat, I found that there were quite a few pros and cons to this idea, so as a list person… making a pros/cons list was exactly what I did.
As a travel nurse, I often tell people that I live my best travel life 13 weeks at a time, which is typically the length of one contract. Thirteen weeks in a new place are full of ups and downs – the excitement of starting over, the horror of realizing you’re starting with zero other people in your social network, meeting new people and finding friends and having a grand old time, and then all of a sudden, your contract is over and it’s time to start the process all over again in a new city. It’s this cycle fueled by the adrenaline of everything and everyone shiny and new, made even knowing you could just dip after your contract if you’re just not feeling the vibe.