Strangers are friends you have yet to meet – Part II

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Finding commonality is key in starting a relationship, whether friendly or romantic. Finding those few things you share an interest in can take you a long way. Perhaps your workplace has different groups or clubs you could belong to that appeals to you, such as a biking group or book club. You could volunteer for any of your organizations philanthropy initiatives or start your own group. Finding coworkers with similar interests guarantees that you have something to bond over that’s not just work.

Outside of work you may find it easier to find different groups and clubs to look into to. No matter what city your travel therapy job takes you to, you will certainly find others with common interests. Finding smaller pools of people also allows you to interact with people in a closer, more personal way.

If you’ve tried everything I’ve previously mentioned and nothing is happening… Try taking matters into your own hands. Spread the word around the workplace about meeting after work for some happy hour beverages, organize a pot-luck lunch or try and start your own recurring group activities like a poker night or something to that affect. Any reason to get you and your cohorts away from the job and doing something fun.

If the various social settings are doing nothing for you, there are still other alternatives. Depending on the size of the city your living in while on a short-term therapy contract you can search the internet for local sites, you can even check the tried and true, Another good way to meet folks are dating sites, sure it’s more for meeting significant others but can also be a great avenue to make connections.

Sure making friends isn’t as easy as it was when we were growing up, but all you need is just that one friend to get the ball rolling. Remember, most people are just like yourself and may be timid to approach others, but if you make an effort you’ll be surprised at just how friendly people really are.

Here’s a link to first part of the series on ‘Strangers are Friends You Have Yet to Meet.’

Top running road race destinations for travel physical therapists

travel physical therapist running in road raceIf you like running road races then you already know how much fun they can be, whether it is one of the small town community races or the big nationally known ones.

If you haven’t ran one yet you should so you can see what you are missing out on. You don’t have to be an Olympian for it to be fun.

Running in them is a great way to meet new people and experience a new city and as a travel physical therapist you can use your assignments to add to the list of races you have run.

Here are some resources to help you find a road race near your next assignment:

Get deals where you are traveling as a PT

living social websiteIf you are a traveling Physical Therapist who has not heard of LivingSocial.comyet, it is definitely worth checking out.

It is simple, here is how it works:

  1. You sign up with your email address.
  2. sends you one deal each day with discounts of up to 90% at restaurants, bars, spas, theaters, and more in the city you are in.
  3. If you are interested, you set up your account and buy the deal and receive a link to your voucher the next day.
  4. Here is the catch, but it is a good one – if you share the deal with your friends and 3 other people buy it using the link you gave them, then your deal is free.

What a cool way to find and do fun stuff in the city your travel physical therapy assignment is in. Check it out.

Your a mobile PT, why not have a mobile TV?

man holding TVIf you take a travel physical therapy job far enough away from your home that you need to set up housing, one thing you will have to deal with is setting up cable while you are there if you want it. There are companies that pay for your cable and that makes the cost easier to deal with. Some companies will even set it up for you, but that is still a pain waiting around for the cable guy all afternoon.

But there is an alternative. Slingbox.

Slingbox is fairly new (its been around a couple years already), but lately it hit me how awesome it could be for a traveling PT.You basically hook up the Slingbox to your TV at your home and it lets you watch your TV at home on the Internet through your laptop, PC or SmartPhone, no matter where you are.

Here is a video about it.

If you have it you don’t have to deal with the headache or cost of setting up cable at your housing while on assignment. It is definitely worth checking out.

If you have used or are already using it during your travel physical therapy jobs let us all know how you like it.

Go for a run during your next travel PT job

traveling pt jumping on the beachIf you are like me and don’t feel like you have visited somewhere until you ran there or just love to run during your travel physical therapy assignments then is for you. This robust site for runners (with sister sites for hikers, cyclists, triathletes, mountain climbers and walkers) offers some great tools for the traveling runner.

It has tons of great features, but for traveling PTs one of the places to start is the “search for run” tool which is super easy to use, just input your city and voila mapped out runs with distances and descriptions. These runs are submitted by users like you, so when you discover a great route while out for a run during your next assignment join the community and share it with others.

Some of the tools available to all visitors of the site (without sigining up)  include:

  • Run look-up
  • An event look-up
  • A community forum

You get a lot more if you sign up for a free account, but you do have to put up with ads if you don’t sign up for a premium account, which costs $5.99 a month or $29.88 a year for the Bronze membership, $11.98 a month or $59.88 a year for the Silver membership or $19.99 a month or $99.96 a year for the Gold Membership. However, if you are big into your running and workouts then it is probably worth it.

Some of the other tools available to members of the site include (vary based on membership level):

  • Workout History Archive
  • Workout Reports
  • Unlimited Mapping of your Runs
  • Elevation Charting
  • Gear Tracker
  • Groups
  • Leaderboard
  • Goals & Challenges
  • New Blackberry App
  • Printed Maps
  • Training PlansPartner
  • Virtual Event Discounts
  • Virtual MapMyFitness Events
  • Store Discounts

Some other cool stuff I saw offered on are:

  • Import from Garmin – Import Map / Route Data right from your Garmin GPS Device.
  • Nike+ Integration – Download your Nike+ Workouts right into your Training Log.
  • Polar HRM Integration – Download your Polar HR Workouts right into your Training Log.
  • Facebook App – We are building out our Social Apps: Facebook, Google Gadgets.

Signing up is simple and asks for:

  • Basic info (gender, email, age, etc.)
  • Fitness info, height, weight, resting heart rate,
  • Starting location (which becomes the default starting point for your runs, but you can change it anytime
  • Privacy options
  • Newsletter Sign Up
  • Sign up for discounts and promotions

Don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter profiles too. They also have a new site cooming soon too, that looks like it will be a little cleaner and more intuitive.

So before you head out on the first run of your new travel PT assignment check out first. is a great tool for traveling PTs

foursquare is a great site for traveling ptsDo you want a fun, and slightly addictive, way to tell your friends and family what you are up to during your travel physical therapy assignment? If you have a smart phone, then give foursquare a try. If you don’t have a smart phone (iPhone, Google Android, BlackBerry or Palm) then you can text your location or use a laptop too, but I don’t think you will get the same experience out of it.

foursquare is a combination of a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game where you are rewarded for being interesting and doing interesting things. Their goal is help you keep up with the places your friends go and encourage you to explore new places.

The premise is simple:

Go somewhere cool? Check in.
Go somewhere new? Check in.
Go somewhere often? Check in.
Go somewhere popular? Check in.
Go somewhere late at night? Check in.

When you do those or similar things you earn badges and then you can brag. Go somewhere enough and you can be the “Mayor” and who doesn’t want to be Mayor. In bigger cities where foursquare is catching on a lot of business are starting to offer discounts to foursquare users and even special customer status to “Mayors”.

And if you are kind of a nerd then you will enjoy the detailed stats that measure things like:

  • Days checked in
  • Number of checkins
  • Avg checkins when out
  • % of checkins at new places
  • New places discovered
  • Distribution by day of week
  • Distribution by day
  • Top friends 
  • Number of different friends you’ve checked in with
  • Most frequented venues 
  • Number of different venues visited
  • Most frequented cities  mayorships 

You can not only check in and let your friends know where you are or have been, but you can also give them tips about the locations you have been to. You can of course check on their locations too if they are sharing them.

If you come across a location that is not already in the foursquare database, don’t worry you can add it.

You can even follow brands (like the ones below) and find new cool things to do or places to eat.

Lucky M.
Lucky M.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
Bon Appetit Magazine
Bon Appetit Magazine

Set up is super easy too.

First you build an account by giving some basic information name, email, gender, age, etc, phone number. After your account is set up it asks you if you want to look through your Facebook profile or Twitter account for friends or followers that may already be using foursquare. Then it gives you the chance to invite any friends and followers you have who aren’t to join you, you can also send people an email that asks them to join you. Then when you’re done it gives you the chance to connect with your Facebook page or Twitter account if you have so they are all synced up.

And if you are a private person, there are privacy options you can turn on to limit what see people see of your check-ins. And deleting your account is easy too.

What is cool about foursquare for travel physical therapists is that you can get badges all over the country. It could be a really fun way to look back over a year or two of traveling and see where you’ve gone, who you met etc. Take a look and let us know what you think.