See Part One here.
Achieving a true work/life balance is difficult in the best of circumstances; the life of a travel nurse is most certainly not the best of circumstances and can present its own set of difficulties. When you are hours from home and all you are familiar with, how is it possible to accomplish a balance to make your experiences as productive and beneficial as possible? We’ll examine some options here.
Part two: Explore
One of the best parts of being a travel nurse is the traveling itself and while it can be said that it’s about the journey rather than the destination, where you end up for your assignment can open doors to all sorts of new experiences. While every location will have its share of typical activities that can be found in any town in America, why not look for specific things that are unique solely to your new temporary home?
For example, Longview, Washington has an established squirrel bridge to cut down on rodent roadkill known as Nutty Narrows. Odds are you would never have known this charming little attraction existed unless you happened to grown up in the area. Now you can seek out these slightly bizarre, off the beaten path sights yourself at www.roadsideamerica.com. You can search by state, city or by the name of the attraction and the website has directions, tips and posts from visitors who share their opinions on these oddities. Not only can you utilize this incredible wealth of offbeat information, you can be a contributor, as well. They have an app you can download to your phone, although there does appear to be a cost to download it. Trip Advisor can also be useful and Groupon can be a great place to check for deals as well as ideas of things to do.
State parks are another great way to get out and explore your new area. According to The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), there are 10,234 state park areas in America. These contain 43,000 miles of trails and over 200,000 campsites. You can search for a nearby park by visiting their website, www.stateparks.org. The benefits of unplugging from our digital and wireless worlds of instantaneous information should be immediate and obvious but science backs that up, also. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shared the results of a study that tested the impact of a 90 minute stroll through a “natural environment” on volunteers. Participants “reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment. These results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.”
Given that our cell phones now have cameras comparable to the high-quality DSLR cameras of professional photographers, it seems negligent not to mention the power of photographs. Social media usage (and selfies) aside, being able to capture an experience in a picture helps you to relive the moment you witnessed something that moved you in some way. Whether wonder or awe, laughter or drama, these are cheap souvenirs that last a lifetime and can inspire countless conversational trips down memory lane.
How do you find a work/life balance? Please comment below!