There are many reasons why traveling is amazing — new sights, different cultures, and perfect Instagram material — to name just a few. But beyond being an adventure, traveling gives us the opportunity to grow into better, well-rounded people. If traveling is part of your lifestyle like it is for many travel nurses, all of these benefits of travel multiply. Here’s why.
1. Meet new people
The more people we meet, the more we learn about ourselves. When you travel, you’ll meet people like taxi drivers and waitresses who can tell you more about a destination than any guidebook ever could. Travel nurses meet co-workers and patients who will change their lives.
Take Angie Kyler for example. During a travel nursing assignment, she cared for a patient who had just undergone a procedure that makes her sensitive to light and sound. Angie sat by her patient’s bed, and they spoke quietly about each other’s lives. A month later, the patient sent Angie a thank you card and a purple angel pendant. Both their lives had been changed.
2. Improve your problem solving skills
Let’s face it. Traveling isn’t always Instagram-perfect. There can be kid (and adult) tantrums, missed trains, confusing maps, and culture shock. But when traveling gets hard, that’s when we grow the most. Nurses are in the business of problem solving, and traveling helps them hone that skill. Sometimes, you have to get creative while traveling, and you’ll learn to roll with what comes your way.
“The initial adjustment period is a tough challenge for a traveler,” travel nurse Teresa Hamilton says. “You must be open to change. Once you settle in, you make new lifelong friends.”
We know how stressful work can be, especially for nurses. You’re working long hours in high-pressure situations. It’s difficult not to get tired, and that can lead to feeling burned out. Traveling lets you take a break and breathe. Once you’ve recharged, you can go back to your work reenergized and rededicated. This benefits everyone around you.
Travel nurses get the best of both worlds, because they get to travel for their jobs, plus they get the flexibility of going on vacations whenever they want to. For example, Annette Bauer is a travel nurse who goes to South Africa every few years for four to six weeks. Don’t worry, we’re jealous too!
4. Get smarter (really!)
When you travel, you are constantly expanding your understanding of the world. This, as proven scientifically, makes you smarter. Scientists studied chimpanzees, and they found that the chimps who traveled further were more resourceful and intelligent. We’re not that different from chimps. When you travel, you also improve your memory, and higher mental stimulation means higher brain function.
5. Bond with family at home
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and they’re not wrong. Sometimes the day-to-day of being with family can make us take each other for granted. When you travel, you get to take a moment to reflect on your family and appreciate them.
Travel nurse Fran Shew knows about the balance between family and traveling: “One of my concerns is that I would miss my grandkids,” says Shew. “My kids know I’m not a stay-at-home grandma, and they have been so supportive of my decision to travel. The flexibility travel nursing affords means I can travel to see my kids and grandkids, and spend that precious time with them.”
6. New sights and new perspectives
It might seem obvious to say that traveling is good for experiencing new sights and cultures. But there’s more depth to new experiences than people might think. When you see a new culture, even if that different culture is just a few hundred miles away from your hometown, you gain new perspectives. This allows you to think more critically about the world around you.
This applies to famous sites, too. Landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Niagara Falls, or the Empire State Building might seem like standard tourist checklist items, but they’re famous because they inspire awe. They tell us about our world and our history. Seeing these things in person keeps you informed, and those experiences are priceless.
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of travel, and get paid while you do it? Check out our open travel nursing jobs.