The Gypsy Life: How travel nursing opens your heart and your mind to new experiences

The gypsy life is all about becoming the person you want to be.

The gypsy life is all about becoming the person you want to be.

Travel nurses get to have a life that many others would envy. Not everyone is able to experience completely different parts of the country while enjoying the benefits of steady employment. As travel nurses move from one contract to the next, they maintain access to enviable benefits such as health insurance, 401(k), referral bonuses, housing compensation and even license reimbursements. Meanwhile, they have the chance to see the entire country, from coast to coast.

Here are some other personal benefits that travel nurses experience when exploring the country:

Get inspired

Creative thinking skills benefit nurses as much as they do artists and those in other fields of study. While taking a relaxing coffee break or sitting by a tree can help you overcome difficult problems at work and make you feel “inspired,” staying in one place, at the same job, for long periods can dampen the creative spirit and squelch inspiration. As Scape Living noted, travel can help get you out of that routine and become more open minded. Travel nurses are exposed to more types of thinking than those who remain at the same facility for years.

Creativity can also be sparked by interacting with new cultures. The U.S. is large enough to contain a number of unique cultures, each with different traditions, cuisine, attitudes and ways of thinking. By getting out of the culture you grew up in and experiencing others, you can energize the creative side of your brain.

Find yourself

Travel can also help you better understand your own ways of thinking (and others). During your travels, you may find yourself thinking more deeply about your opinions and biases, eventually chipping away at some of your more ingrained thought processes until you discover what’s really the core of your belief system. This can certainly make you more confident in your own abilities.

Associate professor of education and psychology at the University of Southern California, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, speaking with The Atlantic, had this to say about her studies of inter-cultural experiences: “What a lot of psychological research has shown now is that the ability to engage with people from different backgrounds than yourself, and the ability to get out of your own social comfort zone, is helping you to build a strong and acculturated sense of your own self.”

Even nurses who travel with their families can build deeper relationships and grow stronger together. The gypsy life is all about learning, gaining new skills and becoming the person you want to be.

Discover the grass isn’t always greener

When people get into a steady, comfortable lifestyle, they can lose sight of what’s really important in life. It’s all too easy to become jealous of what others have. People who travel, however, get the chance to see first-hand that not everyone is afforded the same opportunities in life, good or bad. Shimi Kang, M.D., writing for Psychology Today, reported that travel can help you learn to be grateful for what you already have – a key to being happier and more positive in your interactions with others.

Are you a Travel Nurse? We’d love to hear what you’ve gained from your experience in the comments section below.