Adventuring Sponsored by Travel Therapy
I love guest posts!! This month's guest post is written by none other than one of my all time favorite human beings, my super hot and funny husband! Joel and I first started dating in our junior year of high school (which may or may not have been over 10 years ago....) After high school we broke up and got back together a few times before getting our shit together (: In 2014 we finally got married and in February of 2015 we started this travel therapy adventure!! Before starting travel therapy Joel had already worked as a PTA for some at a nursing home, but being a traveling therapist (think traveling nurse, but with therapy obviously!) is a great way for new grads to earn a good income, pay down those student loans, and build a resume by getting experience in various states and types of facilities. If you have questions about being a traveling therapist, please feel free to comment or email me and I will make sure Mr. Good answers (:
I hope you enjoy reading what my sweet hubby has to say about travel therapy! -AG
Both Alix and I have always loved the experience and thought of travelling. Seeing new things and making memories across the US and hopefully the World has been our dream ever since we began dating way back in high school, when we first started getting to know each other. It was a natural step for us to want to begin a new adventure as a travelling therapist family (dogs included ☺) after we got married. Our thought was, what better opportunity was there to be able to travel the country for work and being able to change locations every 3-6 months. It has truly been a great adventure! Although seeing new landscapes, travelling, and experiencing the different things that our country has to offer, it has been the personal growths that I’ve been most pleased with!
As a travelling PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant) you have to be able to adapt to new settings without delay and have to be personable enough to get along with your new co-workers. This was probably my biggest challenge starting out. If any of you are like me, the first 2 weeks at a new job (in any setting or career) is always the worst 2 weeks of my year! Trying to figure out where you fit in and recognizing the overall flow and precise expectations for a new job is exhausting and stressful. While this was one of the biggest curses starting out as a travelling PTA, it has now become one of the greatest blessings for my career! Like any other skill or attribute, as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect! After two years of being a travelling PTA I now know that I can go into any workplace environment and know that I can adjust with ease and fluidity. Knowing this has given me more confidence in my work and in my personal life as well. When we first started out on this adventure it never even occurred to me that it would help develop the tools and experience I needed to turn one of the things I dreaded and struggled with the most into a skill that is now easy to manage and has improved my personal and professional lives. One of the most positive changes I’ve had in my career so far. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!
One of my favorite things about being a traveler is meeting the different types of people and experiencing the various cultures that our great country has to offer. Trust me, the culture and lifestyles in Maryland are not the same as the ones in Texas. The differences are even noticeable between Ohio and Maryland, and they are only a short 6-hour drive away from each other! Maryland is a fast paced, liberal, nostalgic, in your face, upscale state that is densely populated with a huge amount of diversity (especially as you get closer to DC). Texas on the other hand is slower paced, conservative, has grounded and personable people (what you see is what you get, “come on over for dinner and a drink”) with easily visible convictions. Although Texas has a huge population, it is scattered across the whole state with small towns and a few metropolitan cities.
You can really get a good feel for the varying cultures and people by working in the healthcare field. Every new facility I work in has at least 6-10 new patients that change almost on a weekly basis. Each person bringing new perspectives and experiences from both the current and the past (the good ole days). In Maryland I heard lots of tales of people working for the federal government, having jobs that sent them all over the world, fishing and boating stories, and even had one patient that worked for the FBI! In Texas I’ve heard a lot of tales about ranching, how things changed with the oil boom, what it’s like working in the oil industry, people going to old school rodeos and line dances, what it means to have “Texas pride”, and even a man that used to run contraband across the border! Each person that you meet gives you new perspectives and ultimately a new way of looking at life. Not one is necessarily better than the other, just different and unique in their own ways. These experiences with new and different people have changed me forever, I believe for the best. We are all different but even after all the superficial differences of culture, opinion, language, lifestyle, wealth and everything else that comes with being a human being, you start to realize that deep down we really aren’t all that different. We all care about the same fundamental things. Family, friends, happiness, freedom, and health.
I’m not sure how much longer our travelling family with continue in this direction but I know we will always be grateful for and appreciate the different friends and experiences that we’ve had. These will ultimately make us better people and a stronger family. And for these two reasons I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be a travelling PTA.