A Taste for Travel Nursing (Including My Favorite Eats)
By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
One of the benefits of travel nursing is really getting to put yourself out there and try new things. I always encourage new travelers to start out day one by treating their assignment like an adventure.
I realize that every travel nurse may not be a natural-born adventurer. Some nurses love the idea of traveling to get more experience and pump up their résumé, but venturing far outside their new apartment isn’t their thing. But even if you are a little shy in new situations, like I tend to be, don’t let that hold you back! Get out, explore and surprise yourself.
Eating new things can also be a great adventure, according to Aaron Moore, MSN, BC-RN, and his wife, Christina, who frequently took the opportunity to try new restaurants on travel assignments.
When my wife and I traveled for my assignments, one of our favorite things to do was to go out and eat like the locals. This meant trying new foods and expanding our taste buds. We enjoyed it all--from traditional favorites like crab cakes in Baltimore, to surprisingly good sushi at Fuji Bay in Sioux City, Iowa, to gluttonous offerings like Big Kahuna’s burgers in San Diego.
The way I look at it is, “Ya gotta try it once,” right? OK, maybe twice.
Getting out to restaurants and pubs is a great way to meet people, as well. We met some great friends going out to the bar around the corner for Monday Night Football wings, enjoying Taco Tuesday specials, etc.
Eating is a natural thing that we must all do, so why not skip making mac ‘n cheese at home again and go out for some local delights?
I always asked people at work about good places to eat, and they were more than happy to give advice. In fact, people don’t just like to tell you where to go, they like to take you there. (Bam! Instant new friend.) And although I’m not a food writer or chef, I think I have a pretty good idea of what tastes good, and I’m not afraid to try new things.
What about you? If you’re brave enough to try travel nursing, I think you can handle one night of sashimi at the place around the corner where they only speak broken English. Trust me, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably amazing.
Some of my favorite food spots for travelers
So, I will leave you with a short list of some of my favorite, off-the-beaten-path places to eat, and some of their top dishes. There are so many, I could go on forever, but I’ll leave you with just a taste:
1. El Cotixan in San Diego; not one item in particular, just make sure you try the California Burrito;
2. Café Gia’s in Baltimore offers some awesome Sicilian style food; and of course there are lots of local places that serve those delicious crab cakes;
3. Thirst Turtle in Portland is perfect for a cheap, post-nightshift breakfast, then hit up Greek Cusina for a plate-smashin’ good time at night;
4. Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub in Alexandria, Va., has great fish and chips that you can enjoy along with some live Irish music;
5. Meskerem serves authentic Ethiopian food in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; and,
6. Vatan in the Flatiron district of New York City is my pick for “hot” vegetarian, Indian-style food.
Like I said, I could go on and on, and I’m sure my picks are not on everyone’s list, but that is the best part about traveling: it’s a different experience for everyone!
Find your favorite food spots, then share with other travelers on Facebook
So get out there, try something new, step out of your comfort zone and find places that YOU like. Or if you already have some favorite restaurants and foods you’ve found while traveling, please tell the rest of us; just share your favorites on Facebook. I’d love to hear what you recommend!
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