| July 4, 2016 |
Howdy Fellow Dreamers – I’ve got some news for y’all!
It’s been hard to keep this secret from this blog, but due to my recent travels and transitions, I’ve been a little too busy to give into temptation to share earlier.
We’ve talked about my feeling of being “stuck” in Florida after 13 months living the salt life, followed by an inspirational trip in Tanzania where I reached a catharsis – my “aha” moment. Once I saw I no longer belonged in Florida and it was time to rejuvenate in New York, I thought, What’s next? I opened my heart to a new path to fulfill my deepest desire to live outside my comfort zone and explore the world so I could learn and grow exponentially. I started exploring my options and realized that opportunity is everywhere!
Which brings me to today…
Unlike many world travelers and bloggers, I am quite passionate about my full-time work as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Though I have an intense craving for the gypsy/nomad life, a large part of me also wants to continue growing in my field. Sheesh, I didn’t go to school for SEVEN years for nothing!
But how could I combine these lives without feeling like a two-faced, dysfunctional dreamer? The answer came to me about two years ago, but it wasn’t until today that I was ready to pursue it…
At my interview for graduate school (at the same university I fulfilled my B.S. Psychology), I was asked if I had any regrets at the time, and what I would change these feelings. I responded with the embarrassing fact that, despite loving to travel, I had decided to stay in New York for ALL my educational endeavors (and was pursuing a graduate degree again in New York). I knew I wanted in-state tuition for graduate school, plus the Entry-Level DPT program I was applying for was superior to other programs. My interviewers then asked:
What will you do to feel fulfilled?
I thought about this. Why would I lock myself into three more years in New York when there was a whole world waiting for me? Will there be any other time to explore the world and find my place in it? I recalled hearing about travel physical therapy in my years working as a Physical Therapy Aide, and realized – WOAH! – that could be my remedy! I could pursue my degree in New York, then rack up some experience, and use my hard-earned DPT to embrace a life of travel! I imagined living across the United States and explore new places, people, workplaces, subdivisions of my field, and learn infinitely. I answered the interviewers with a definitive, unwavering:
I will be a travel Physical Therapist.
With three pairs of interviewer eyes peering at me, I proclaimed my goal. I sent my dream out into the Universe, and knew I would one day live a semi-nomadic lifestyle – breaking free of my New York borders.
Flash forward to post-graduate days. I took the first step toward this proclaimed dream when I left New York to work in South Florida for 13 months. I mustered up a great deal of strength and independence, realizing I was capable of moving somewhere on my own. In the back of my mind, I heard my voice in the interview room.
I will be a travel Physical Therapist.
When I became too comfortable in Florida (and realized it couldn’t be a “forever” home for me), I realized it was time for a change. Maybe – just MAYBE – it would be the right time to begin working for a recruitment agency? Was my resume strong enough?
Lo and behold, I was ready. In fact, as I write, I am sitting at the desk of my first Air BnB stay in Olympia, Washington. Tomorrow, I have orientation for my first travel assignment in adult orthopedics. So here I am.
I am a travel Physical Therapist.
AH! Two years after graduation, I am living my dream. It’s surreal.
I’ve never been to Washington State before, nor did I know anyone before I arrived yesterday. So far, I quite like it here, and there’s a TON to discover out here. I simply can’t WAIT to share all my experiences as a travel Physical Therapist – it certainly has been a whirlwind thus far. From piles of paperwork and rejected fingerprints to planning travel and adjusting to a new location, I definitely have some insight to share (and would love to hear yours, too!).
I will be in Olympia, WA for at least three months, then who knows where my path will lead! The freedom to take another assignment or travel is comforting, and the unknown seriously sends shivers down my spine.
Let’s see where our journey unfolds, Fellow Dreamers!
Questions and comments are always welcome 🙂
Enjoy the journey…
I’d like to extend a wholehearted thank you to my family, friends, professors, peers, patients, and readers for supporting me in every chapter of my life – the good and bad, my strengths and weaknesses.