“What activities did you do on your travel nursing assignment in ___________?”
You are going to have a really hard time answering that if you don’t get out and explore and see what is out there!
Most recruiters will tell you that their travelers are most happy on assignment when they are out and about and enjoying their temporary home and exploring their community, outside of work. Getting our and about is a great way to fend off homesickness, even for the most experienced #GypsyNurse. Even if you do not know what to do, no worries! We have collected some great ideas from fellow travelers, just like you. Even if you do not have hobbies, or you might be kind of shy- there are still ways for you to get out and enjoy your surroundings. The key is to get out and take that first step.
Beat Travel Nurse Boredom
Here is list of a few ideas that were submitted by fellow travelers. There is sure to be something that will appeal to you.
- Meetup.com – a website dedicated to helping people in a specific geographic area meet up, get together, and plan outings or get togethers.
- Local parks- these are great places to sit, relax, get some fresh air, maybe read a book. Maybe hike the trails and enjoy nature (pick up a book at the library on local birds or wildlife)
- Bike rentals- great exercise alone or with a group
- Ask the locals- a great conversation opener with coworkers. Ask them what they like to do for fun, and then invite them along!
- Geocache- fantastic way to get out and adventure, locating little hidden caches that are placed in specific areas. Geocaching.com has a great explanation, and list of caches by city.
- Google the ‘Top 10’ things to do in the area- great way to get local recommendations on restaurants, festivals, historic locations, etc.
- A lot of people like antiques, or second hand stores, etc. Spend a day off exploring the shops and you might find something unique to remind you of your assignment to take home.
- Chamber of Commerce- this is a great resource for local activities. For Example: strawberry picking, peanut festival (Virginia)
Are you stuck in your comfort zone?
Gypsy Nurse Ambassador, Patricia Carter said, “Some people are simply afraid to get out of their comfort zone. The activities, events & festivals are there, you just have to want to get out & explore. What I do varies with location. I am on the East Coast. I am a Ballroom Dancer, I don’t leave home without my dance shoes ! I ask the Nurses I work with that live in the area…. best recommendation! They can tell you where not to go! There are day City Tours , Hiking , Dance Studios, Restaurants. I find out if there are other Travelers in the hospital & organize a Meet & Greet.”
Check the Network group on Facebook for local Meet & Greets! If you do not see one posted, create one! Baseball games, football games, museum tours, etc. There are so many things to go and see and do! The key is getting out and doing them! Make memories on your assignments. If you like taking pictures then go explore your surroundings, and take your camera with you. You never know what you may find.
- TripAdvisor.com has a list of free things to do in just about any area.
- Check out the state/city website. Most have a website with a list of local free or “Under $25” activities.
- Ask your waitress, or bartender what they recommend. They can be a wealth of information on fun, interesting things to do in the local area, or within a short drive.
- Apps, Apps, Apps- one overwhelming response from fellow travelers was see what apps are available for a specific area. They are usually loaded with great ideas on what is going on around you.
As active as our jobs are you would think that we get enough exercise, not necessarily, and the more active you are, the healthier you are. Look up local running or walking clubs. You would be surprised how many people get together and just walk, or even go running together. Check out the local YMCA for Zumba classes, yoga, swimming, or dance classes.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a coastal area, why not try snorkeling, scuba diving, or even surfing. Community centers are a great place to learn arts and crafts, painting, pottery, even take a photography class.
Another great suggestion is check out Groupon or Living Social for local activities that are going on or coming up in the area, or within a short drive. Better yet, get a group of other travelers together and make a day of it.
In the winter months you might be a little more limited, but you can still get out and enjoy yourself. What a perfect time to take a beginner skiing class, or even snowboarding! Check with the locals! They can tell you the best non-touristy things to see and do. Ask around at work- several of the travel nurses on the Network ice skate and the first thing they do is search out the local rink.
Regardless of what you choose to do for fun while you are on assignment, make sure you get out and explore your surroundings. You never know what is out there if you do not get out and go!
Don’t forget to post your adventures on the Travel Nurse Network and submit your photos here