Why is traveling therapy right for you?
The world of traveling therapy is full of unique personalities. There is by no means a single archetype that is “The classic travel therapist.” We come in all shapes and sizes. Introverts – extroverts, specialists – generalists, new grads – experienced clinicians, even part time – full time and even seasonal travelers. The one common thread however is an internal locus of control. A deep seated drive to be in control of the direction of ones life, professional and personal.
As permanent staff, my wife and I frequently found ourselves feeling as though we were missing out on life. Too poor to fly home for the holidays, not enough time off to travel to all of the places we wanted to see. We never even took a honeymoon! After getting married on a Friday in the middle of the San Juan Mountains, I had to be back to work the following Tuesday. Finally we decided we had had enough! Our circumstances at that time were not as fulfilling as we had hoped.
Since that time we have created a filter through which every life decision must pass. We simply ask ourselves:
Is this contributing to fulfillment in my life?
There are a few reasons why we use the word “fulfillment” as our benchmark. First, some derivative of a more superficial state, such as “happiness” or “joyfulness,” is too fleeting and subject to the whimsy of emotion and temporary circumstance. Second, by nature, “fulfillment” is a term requiring some further unpacking. What constitutes a fulfilling life is highly personalized and specific. It forces your focus to be aimed at a core set of life values that hopefully form the foundation of the plan you have for your life.
Fulfillment rarely presents its self in the form of a person (no matter how tall dark and handsome), a single location, or as a dollar sign. Fulfillment is an amalgamation of the experiences and relationships that accumulate as we pass through life. It is a sense of purpose, accomplishment, meaning, and value combined with wonder and awe. It is not a single moment but the montage of life.
For my wife and I, our picture of fulfillment heavily features outdoor adventures and purposeful work. We take tremendous pride in the clinical value we provide our patients and draw considerable satisfaction from helping everyone we can. We also each experience an almost indescribable joy or sense of peace when exploring a new and wild location together and with friends/family.
Take the time to contemplate what fulfillment is for you. Then work backwards from that vision and try to objectively assess whether life as a travel therapist is for you.
Written by: Stephen Stockhausen