The greatest thing (besides the money!) about traveling as a therapist are all the wonderful places you get to visit. Better yet, if you’re a therapist with a passion for music, traveling therapy and rehab jobs can really rock. Just think of all the places your favorite bands and performers before you have gone; the hotels they’ve trashed, the studios they’ve recorded in, the famous halls they’ve performed in… The landmarks are endless, the stories infinite and with a traveling therapy or rehab job you can retrace all those (in)famous steps.
There have been numerous books published about the origins of rock ‘n’ roll and where famous performers have come and gone. One book in particular covers all those bases and is available for free download on the site MusicArtStyle.
“Journey through America’s rich rock ‘n’ roll history with the musical landmarks detailed in this extensive collection. Nearly 600 locations, including birthplaces, concert locales, hotel rooms, and graves, are neatly compiled and paired with historical tidbits, trivia, photographs, and backstage lore—from the site where Elvis got his first guitar and Buddy Holly’s plane crashed to Sid and Nancy’s hotel room and the infamous “Riot House” on the Sunset Strip. The rowdiest and the most talented rockers are all featured, with sidebars on musical greats like Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and U2. Learn the locations of the secret rehearsal for David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album, the club where the Sex Pistols played their first and last concert in the U.S., the house where Kurt Cobain died, where Keith Richards threw a television set out of a hotel window, and hundreds more sites from the past.”
Download the eBook, “Led Zeppelin Crashed Here: The Rock and Roll Landmarks of North America” and start mapping out your traveling adventure.
August is here and autumn is close behind. The days filled with sunshine begin to shorten and the lush pastures of green slowly begin to fade to hues of gold and brown. Shoes start to become the norm and the flip-flops are thrown into the dark corners of our closets (this may be true for some, but for me I try and wear my flippy-floppies for as long as humanly possible – without getting frostbite).
Just like the seasons are beginning to change – so should you. If you’ve never given much thought to becoming a traveling therapist or rehab specialist, I strongly suggest you do. In no other industry are you given the chance to visit so many different places, all the while learning new methods of practice from your peers. You may live in a part of the country that is either this or that when it comes to temperature and weather. Do you not know what it’s like to rake your yard? Whatever you are lacking in seasonal experiences, traveling therapy and rehab jobs will give you the opportunity to be exposed to it all and what better season to start with than Fall?
Take a position anywhere in the Mountain, Central and Eastern time zones and you will surely see the beauty of the autumnal season. The leaves on the trees begin to turn colors from gold to vivacious reds and the air has a fresh, crispness about it. And football. (Go Big Red!) Oh yes… it is right around the corner! I’m not sure about you, but for me, sitting amongst 84,000+ people in 40 degrees temperatures, screaming and cheering is what the fall season is all about. So now’s the time to start thinking about where you’d like to spend your time working before the Christmas season is here. OMG-Christmas. I’m writing about Christmas in August. Oy! Besides the football, there are the beautiful vista views that will surely take your breath away and all the other seasonal activities that come along with it.
There are a number of websites out there that will show you the absolute best places to experience the beauty that fall has to offer. Here are a few I found that may help guide you to new traveling therapy and rehab jobs.
Exploring the Shades of Fall
Top 10 Places for Fall Foliage
Fall Foliage Deals from $100
One reservation we hear sometimes about taking a short-term and/or travel therapy contract is that it is not a “real job.” And if by real job you mean you don’t work in the same boring setting day in and day out, then no, travel therapy jobs are “not real jobs.” But, if by “not a real job” you mean that they are not stable and you are afraid you could go months without working then you would be wrong.
There are three easy (you could even call them magical) ways you can have all the advantages of a travel therapy career and the stability of a “real job.” First I am going to assume you are already aware of the great pay and benefits available to traveling therapists. OK with that said, here are the three ways. Alacazam!:
- Extend your assignments – When you extend on an travel physical therapy for example you could easily only work at two different locations during an entire year, there are fast food workers who love to have that kind of career stability.
- Work in your home town- The word travel can be misleading here. Think of it instead as a short-term contract temp job. You just don’t get the same tax-free Per Diem allowance that can be available to you if you travel for your job, but you still get the great pay.
- Follow the needs – The shortage for all therapy positions (SLP, Physical Therapist, PTA, Occupational Therapist, and COTA) is so large and growing that you could easily just follow the needs around the country, from California one assignment to Wisconsin the next. Imagine the adventures you would have doing that for a couple of years before you settle down – if you still want to after traveling that is.
There you have it. Three magical ways to make short-term travel therapy jobs into a long-term travel rehab career.
Okay, so you’re about to embark on a traveling rehab/therapy career and you’ve got the whole country to choose from… Where’s your first pick? Well, let’s start with this question first. What are some activities you like to participate in? Are you an outdoors type of person who likes to camp, hike and explore the unknown? Or maybe you’re more of a city slicker and like what a major metropolis has to offer, like shopping, nightlife and people, lots of people. What ever it is you like to do, just remember there’s always more than just one place that has everything you’re looking for, not just the most popular locations.
Instead of picking the most obvious destination to satisfy your interests needs, why not pick somewhere else? Say you like to ski, you need mountains, where are there mountains? Colorado? Yes and Utah and Vermont, New York, Wyoming, California, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Yes, all those states offer skiing and probably better skiing than the place you were thinking of. Just because you associate an activity with a certain city or state, does not mean there is nothing else like it elsewhere. In fact, you’re probably better off going with the “unbeaten path” than the well traveled one. You may just discover a hidden treasure that you would have never found had you taken the assignment that everyone and their mother picked too. Perhaps you stumble upon a beach with no one else in sight for miles, or a fishing hole that seems to have an endless supply of trophy catches… The chances are limitless.
So when it comes time to pick a place for your next traveling therapy or traveling rehab job do a little more research. Try a google search on the “Best Places to (insert your desired activity)” and you’ll be sure to find an alternative to your first, second and third choices. Remember, to be a good traveler you have to be a little open minded. There could be a time when there won’t be a position available in the city of your choice and you have to be ready to accept an alternate route. You never know, you just may not want to leave – it’s that good.
“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, through the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.” – William Congreve
A quick follow up to Patrick’s last post about 3 Reasons to Consider Travel Rehab and Therapy Jobs.
Another reason the money can be so good for travel therapists is the cost of living differences across the country.
Well, if your permanent residence is in a state with a relatively low cost of living like Oklahoma or Arkansas, then the money you make in high cost of living states like California or Washington D.C. is going to be worth a lot more back home, when you go to buy a car or house for instance.
And conversely if your permanent residence is in a high cost of living state you can travel to and live in low cost of living areas and make major purchases there and scope out cool, new potential places to live, without committing to them.
This rule holds true whether you are a physical therapist, PTA, occupational therapist, COTA or SLP. Use sites like Payscale.com to see the difference for yourself.
I’m discovering how new the idea of being a traveling therapist really is because there really isn’t much out there on the web regarding this profession. That’s what we here at Rehab and Therapy Jobs.com are trying to fix. Any and all information we can find that will help you in your careers we will post and today I found a couple things.
There is a blog site written by a current traveling therapist and it is called, “The Ramblings of a Traveling Speech Therapist.” As the author describes it, “This blog will detail my travels and provide a contact point for all those who I meet along the way.” So take a minute or two to read about her travels. She has had some great experiences and some not so great, but that’s life ain’t it? You take the good, you take the bad and there you have… Hopefully I’m not dating myself with that little lyric but I probably am. Anyways, read some of her posts – she gives great insight as to what you can and cannot expect on your traveling therapy job.
The next site I discovered that can help you with your career as a traveling therapist is MedTravelerClub.com. This site is dedicated to providing prospective and current traveling therapists a place to share information regarding staffing agencies, interviewing, locations, etc… There is also a great page of links to associations, certifications and so forth. There is also a forum to share your stories and experiences with other current and past travelers. This would be a great way to find out about a location you’re thinking about or perhaps just making friends to meet out while on assignment. So check it out!
As I said, there isn’t much out there for you travelers yet, but we’re working on it so check back and we’ll keep you informed!