Small Town or NYC, Travel Jobs Stretch You
By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
I was recently discussing the merits of traveling with a friend. He was telling me of his mega bus trip to New York City a few weeks back. As I listened, I was reminded of my amazing 16-week “trip” to NYC that I was fortunate to take as a travel nurse.
We had very different experiences, of course. He had been forced to jam tons of stuff into the five days he was in the city. My wife and I, on the other hand, got to experience NYC in all of its glory, seeing things at the pace that we wanted. We also had free housing, among other benefits.
But my travel nursing job in New York City almost didn’t happen, due to my own insecurities.
Fear of the unknown
I’ll admit it: New York seemed like a huge city for an Iowa farm boy like me to be traveling to. Although I had recently worked travel jobs in San Diego and San Francisco, The Big Apple was still a tad overwhelming. My wife convinced me, however, and reminded me that if we weren’t happy we could move on in less than three months.
She was right, of course!
We chose not to bring a car, and ended up very happy about our decision: traffic was crazy and public transportation was plenty. The memories and stories we have from living in NYC are so amazing, I’m glad we didn’t miss out on the chance to explore.
I could go on and on about our great experiences in Manhattan and its suburbs, but the main thing I learned is this:
There are numerous rewards waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.
RELATED: 5 Truths I Learned from Travel Nursing
I initially thought I would have nothing in common with people in New York City and I would not feel comfortable going out. I had always loved the outdoors, and when I learned the closest thing to nature was a place called Central Park, I wasn’t too intrigued. But the city quickly became my favorite travel nurse destination.
I met great people and came to realize that big towns are just a mash-up of lots of people from different backgrounds. Sure, it took some getting used to, but I fit in well. And so did many other travel nurses from smaller cities that I met while we were there.
But going from small town to big city isn’t the only way to stretch yourself. If you already live in a big city, why not try something different?
I have met many nurses who took travel jobs in smaller towns, for many different reasons. They also had the experience of getting outside their comfort zone. And isn’t that the essence of travel nursing?
Trying something new!
You don’t have to do it forever; most travel nurse assignments are just 13 weeks or less. But every place you work as a travel nurse will stretch you and become part of your life experience. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said,
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Which city will stretch you next?
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