Adjusting To Your New Travel Assignment
1,600 ish miles, 30 ish hours, and many goodbyes later - it's time to start over, again! We are officially in Houston, Texas, and we are so excited for the next three months.
Starting a new assignment brings out so many different feelings, feelings that are somewhat familiar to me at this point in my travel journey. You may feel excited, anxious, nervous, unsure, ready, etc. just to name a few. Just as you were getting settled in one home, it's time to start over somewhere new!
For some reason, my first two weeks in Houston have felt much different than my first couple of weeks in New Haven or Boston. I feel like I'm finally finding my groove and fast ways of adjusting, all while remaining grounded in what I know.
There are a few things that I feel make adjusting much easier and enjoyable. Here are some of my tips -
1. Do A Drive-By
The more prepared you feel, the better. For many assignments, you will be in a different place for orientation than where you will be working your shifts on the floor. I suggest arriving at your new city/town one to two full days before you start your new assignment. Map out where you need to be for orientation AND where the hospital is located. Know your parking situation, factor in traffic, and double-check your itinerary. This relieves so much anxiety and makes you feel a bit more in control.
2. Make A Bucket List
Ah! This is my favorite one. What better way to get excited about your 13-week contract than researching all of the fun activities/places you want to see/do during your stay. Exploring new places has to be one of the many reasons we are all on this crazy journey of travel nursing. TAKE ADVANTAGE and see all that your new home has to offer. I recommend writing down the things you want to see/do on paper so that you can refer back to it. Easy ways to create a bucket list include googling the must-dos near you, asking your locals, and following the city's social media accounts.
3. Plan Out Your Off Days
Now, I'm not saying that every single off-day you should have plans; however, three months can FLY by. Don't let time get away from you. Make an effort to check off a couple of bucket list items a week, if you have the time! If you have a stretch of days off, take a road trip to nearby towns/cities.
4. Be Social
Let's all agree, life is more fun with friends! You may not find your bestie at every assignment, but you can definitely enjoy good company during your stay. There are several ways to be social, but this will require some effort on your end. Ask a coworker to grab a coffee, connect with old friends that may live nearby, or invite friends and family from home to explore your new city alongside you.
5. Put Aside Time and Money For Self Care
This is so important. Burn out is real, especially with what we do. We are constantly taking care of others, and at times we forget to care for ourselves. Dedicate time to relaxation and rejuvenation. This assignment I'm making an effort to spoil myself with a facial/massage every four to six weeks. Why? Psh, no justification needed.
6. Keep Up Your Good Habits
Ford and I love cooking and running. It keeps us grounded, healthy, and sane. Don't give those things up just because you are in a different location. It makes a new place feel like home. What is your good habit? Maybe it's going to a physical church, playing basketball, grilling, whatever it is - keep doing it!
7. Pick A Good Living Situation
I will always spend the extra money for a good living situation. After a long day/night at work, you want to come home to a place that you enjoy. I recognize that a good way to pocket extra money is cutting back on housing costs; however, is it worth it if you don't feel safe, like your roommates, or are driving an hour to and from work daily? To me, no. I want to feel at home for 13 weeks. Spend the extra money for an ideal living situation, it's totally worth it.
8. Keep A Journal/Diary
That's pretty much what this blog is for me. What we are doing is so cool, and not many careers offer this incredible opportunity of traveling the country while making great money. Keep a journal of your experiences, good and bad. It's a wonderful outlet. You will meet very few people who understand this journey.
9. Keep In Touch With Friends and Family
Make sure to talk to your loved ones on a regular basis. They want to hear from you and enjoy this experience with you, even if it's from afar.
What are some of your favorite ways of adjusting to a new assignment? Drop them in the comments!