Written by: Whitney Eakin, PT, DPT, ATC
An Amazing Adventure
If you had told me in 2015 when I graduated from physical therapy school that at 3 years into my career I would be working only 6 months out of the year, taking a 5 month long trip around the world, with a couple weeks off at home, while barely touching my savings, I certainly would not have believed you! But here I am, doing just that. And I think my life will look a lot like that for the next few years, not just this year.
Making the choice to pursue traveling physical therapy has been life changing for me. And I’m not alone. Many therapists and other healthcare professionals have tapped into this role and aren’t looking back!
How Is This Possible?
Many know that as a traveling therapist, you make more money. How you choose to spend this extra money can dramatically change your lifestyle.
Personally, my boyfriend Jared and I have chosen to live frugally, and for 3 years we worked back to back to back contracts only on the East Coast of the US, minimizing unpaid time off. We have been saving up to take this amazing 5-month trip to over 10 countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Between the additional income we’ve been able to earn as traveling physical therapists, making early investments to produce passive income, as well as utilizing credit card rewards and other travel hacks, we have been able to take this trip with only a small impact on our total net worth.
Other travel therapists choose to take time off between contracts to take shorter trips, perhaps a week or so to explore part of the US while they travel from one contract to the next, or a couple weeks here and there to take trips out of the country. This is also a great option and is all possible with the flexibility and extra income that travel therapy provides.
An Alternative Lifestyle
By choosing to be travel therapists and go out of the country for half the year, we have perhaps “given up” some other things that many of our friends at home have, such as having a house, having kids or pets, or being in close proximity to family. We hope to enjoy those parts of life at a later time, but for now we are so happy with the flexibility and endless adventures that our lifestyle choice has afforded us!
Plus, no two travel therapists are alike. We know travel therapists with homes, and children, and pets, who get to see quite a bit of their family. The best part about being a travel therapist is lifestyle flexibility!
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been considering pursuing travel therapy, all I can say is give it a try! The best part about travel therapy is you can do just one 13-week contract and not be tied down to being a traveler forever. If you try it and it doesn’t work out for you, then you can always take, or return to, a permanent position. But, you may just find that an alternative lifestyle is right for you too. It’s been the best choice of our lives, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Travel therapy may not be for everyone, but if you can make it work for you, it can open the door to financial freedom and unlimited adventure!
If you have questions about starting your travel therapy journey, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to help get you started!