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Gearing up for adventure: National parks edition

yellowstone national park

Being a traveling therapist or traveling allied professional can come with some serious perks. At the top of the list is your freedom to travel and explore the U.S. Maybe there’s a state you always wanted to explore? Maybe you’ve always wanted to follow Lewis and Clark’s footsteps? Or, hike the Appalachian trail?

Take advantage of a traveling career and gain access to some of the most beautiful landscapes America has to offer. Here are four gorgeous national parks that our travelers have visited and loved:

Glacier National Park

Located in northern Montana, this protected land is known as the Crown of the Continent. Canada might think differently, but it’s hard to deny Glacier National Park’s natural beauty. Apart from breathtaking mountains and tranquil lakes and rivers, Glacier National Park features some of the best archaeology anywhere in the U.S.

While you may not find many dinosaur bones, Glacier National Park is full of early human artifacts, some of which include stone tools.

glacier national park

Grand Canyon National Park

Home of one of the natural wonders of the world, Grand Canyon National Park is found in Arizona. This park has numerous attractions, least of all are its multiple viewing areas, which allow you to stare out at the massive canyon space. Feel up for journeying down? You can rent a mule or take a hike.

The bottom of the Grand Canyon contains several refreshing natural springs that you can swim in. Just be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time as space is limited.

Yellowstone National Park

Located on top of a gargantuan super-volcano in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, Yellowstone is a treasure of various environments and thrilling nature. This is America’s first national park and is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. You can camp, boat, ride horses and take guided tours across the vast wilderness preserve.

Of course, you’ll have to see the geysers. Every time one of them erupts, be thankful. This is how the magma underneath Yellowstone relieves some of its pressure. If you’re there in winter, be sure to check out the superb skiing opportunities.

yellowstone national park

Yosemite National Park

California ranks as one of the best places to be a registered nurse and part of the reason is Yosemite National Park. According to the official site, one of the chief draws of Yosemite is its waterfalls, which run numerous and beautiful down the sides of its many mountains. However, there’s more than meets the eye to the natural water here. If you’re in the mood for natural hot springs, Yosemite has several nearby that can relax your tired muscles. Other places to visit include the valley itself as well as the Mariposa Grove, which is full of giant Sequoia trees. Those looking for peace can visit the Hetch Hetchy, a stretch of undisturbed water that hides in between several of Yosemite’s mountains.

yosemite national park

Summer’s coming.. have you thought about cave diving?

travel therapist scuba diving

Out of all of the excursions you can go on as a traveling therapist, cave diving is one of the most thrilling and exciting options. Described as an unbelievable adventure by Dive In, cave diving offers a unique glimpse at natural beauty that you’ll never forget:

“Exploring the underground world is an indescribable feeling; leaving a narrow part of a cave decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, which then opens up into a huge chamber will take your breath away.”

With as breathtaking and incredible as cave diving can be, it’s a challenging opportunity that can not be taken lightly in terms of safety. There are various steps you need to take to ensure your own well-being.

Before diving into an unforgettable adventure, consider the following safety tips:

1. Go through the training process prior to cave diving

You might be confident in your ability to dive, but don’t trust your instincts if you’ve never gone on this excursion before. We recommend you go through some training to understand the uniqueness of cave diving and any new equipment you’re working with before entering a cave system.

Always follow your light source while cave diving.

2. Always stay in the light

It’s very easy to lose visibility underwater while cave diving. To ensure you don’t get lost, Scuba Diving magazine recommended always staying in the light. You should also bring a few backup sources of light just in case your main source fails.

3. Stick to the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds for gas engagement is an important aspect of cave diving that will help you breath for a long period of time under water. This means you’re only using one third of your air on the way in, and another third of it on the way out. You should always leave a final third of air in the tank just in case you run into an issue while diving.

4. Find a focal point and stick to it

A deep-sea cave can seem like a maze, whether it’s man made or a naturally occurring landscape. Pay attention to the underwater landmarks and set focal points for yourself so you always have a place to return to if you think you’ve somehow made your way off of the route. Make sure there’s always a main focal point near your exit.

5. Avoid small spaces

Once you’ve reached your cave diving destination, be sure to stay out of confined areas and small spaces. Stick to the main route to avoid getting stuck because of predetermined cramped crevices, or becoming victim to confinement because of fallen rock.

6. Remain calm and enjoy yourself

Don’t forget why you went on the excursion in the first place. Use this awesome adventure as an opportunity to explore, relax and enjoy yourself. Stay calm while underwater, follow instructions and regulations and always remember to enjoy the surroundings of the deep blue while diving.

Best way to get to know an area? Coffee shops. Here’s our favorites.

So, you’re a traveling therapist who loves coffee. Here’s a list of our favorite  spots where you can grab a cup of Joe and take-in the local culture from New York to Seattle.

1. Panther Coffee in Miami

Nestled in the stylish and popular Wynwood neighborhood in Miami, Florida, Panther Coffee is just a 3.5 hour trip from Orlando but an experience unlike any other. Immerse yourself in the colorful and ever-changing Miami lifestyle while taking in all the sights of the city in the heart of this bustling art district. Here, only the finest coffees from around the world are sourced to guarantee each sip is as flavorful as the last. Great care and dedication is poured into every cup, creating a memorable and satisfying experience every time.

2. Toby’s Estate Coffee in Brooklyn

The flagship store and brew school are located at the Toby’s Estate Coffee flagship store in Brooklyn. A La Marzocco Strada AV espresso machine fills the shop with an aroma just as satisfying as that of the fresh locally baked goods that fills the shop. What’s best? You can get a monthly subscription of your favorite brew delivered right to your doorstep (for days you pressed the snooze button a few times too many, of course).

Enjoy Toby's Estate Coffee in Brooklyn while on assignment.

3. The Original Starbucks in Seattle

A traveling coffee lover who’s never visited the original Starbucks in Seattle? Impossible. The Pike Place Starbucks store, also known as the Original Starbucks, was established in 1971 and remains one of the most popular and cherished shops in the country. The history here is as rich as the coffee. Every piece in the shop has it’s own unique story. Due to its significant past, the design remains mostly untouched and is truly a sight to see. Here, you can grab your favorite specialty coffee or the most simple cup of Joe no matter the time of day.

4. Blue Bottle in Oakland

California is a true haven for coffee lovers, as there are enough unique and unforgettable shops to go around. With 21 locations across the Golden State, Blue Bottle has turned itself into a household name, roasting delicious small batches of organic coffee beans in vintage machines, according to Food and Wine magazine. Much like lovers of Toby’s Estate Coffee, you don’t necessarily have to go to a Blue Bottle shop to enjoy its unique brew.  You can create a customized subscription package, choosing between different blends, single origins and espressos all sourced by hand from sustainable coffee farms. Each shipment is roasted to order and shipped within 48 hours to ensure the freshest brew possible.

From the east to the west the love of coffee is a universal fact. Coffee shops have always been a hub for culture and conversation. When traveling on assignment to a new location, there’s no better place to get to know the area and meet new people. Whether you rely on coffee to get you through the day or you’re just a coffee enthusiast, there’s a coffee shop in every city waiting for you.

Heading to the Midwest this summer? Here’s where to kayak

Now that summer’s here, it’s a great time to start thinking about where your next travel therapy adventure awaits. If you’re looking for a destination that lets you embrace Mother Nature, the Midwest has an abundance of kayak spots that encourage you to get outside and soak up the sun on your off days.

As with any sort of activity, kayaking is a challenging recreational sport that can improve overall well-being. It also encourages self-dependence and allows you to become one with nature, which can induce mental clarity and wellness.

No matter your reason for kayaking this summer, here are a few places to get out there if you’re headed to the Midwest for a travel therapy assignment:

1. Lower Wisconsin River

Located in southwest Wisconsin, this river flows through Wisconsin to the Mississippi at 92 miles long. The river is wide and has various sandbars so you can take a break from your water trek to enjoy a nice picnic or even pitch a tent for the night, according to Midwest Weekends. Because the sandbars are constantly moving from the current, it’s important to go into this adventure as mindfully so you don’t get stuck, as Lynne Diebel, a Wisconsin resident advised.

“Always remember to wear a life jacket while kayaking as a precautionary measure.”

“It’s the kind of river where you’re mesmerized by the beauty, and your attention wanders,” Diebel told Midwest Weekends. “But you have to pay attention to the current, because the sandbars are constantly shifting, and you’ll run aground.”

Always remember to wear a life jacket while kayaking as a precautionary measure.

2. Chicago River

Kayaking doesn’t have to take place down a traditional woodsy setting. Those who live for city life can also paddle down the Chicago River while surrounded by breath-taking downtown sights. Rent a kayak from various vendors like Water Riders and enjoy this urban experience during your stay in the Windy City.

3. Multiple rivers in Huron-Manistee National Forest

If you’re looking for a spot that’s equally scenic and soothing, head the Huron-Manistee National Forest. There are five different wild rivers for kayaking, including Ausable, Manistee, Pere Marquette, Pine and White river. Each ranges from a light to average flow, so it’s perfect for those who want to take a pleasant stroll down the water. You can also fish for salmon, steelhead and more while you row, according to the National Forest Foundation.

Summertime makes it easy to spend your days off and time in between assignments out in the fresh air. No matter where you’re headed this summer, take advantage of the natural splendor, and try a new outdoor activity. If you’re intrigued by the kayak spots above and want to find a travel therapy assignment in the Midwest, search through the Jackson Therapy Partners database or contact a recruiter today.

Things to do while on assignment in Charleston this December

Winter is here and the holiday season is upon us. If you’re on a travel therapy assignment in Charleston, South Carolina this month, don’t worry about feeling bored or lonely. There are plenty of thrilling activities you can enjoy in this charming city without dealing with the crowds of people that often flood the place during the summertime.

With an average base salary for physical and occupational therapists in Charleston standing just below $80,000, according to Glassdoor, you’ll have enough funds to save for one – or more – of the following events and attractions in the beloved Chucktown:

Head to the beach

While the weather may not be as warm during this time of year, it’s still comfortable enough to take a walk in the sand down the shore line of one of Charleston’s beaches. Thrillist recommended checking out Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island Edisto, Kiawah, or Seabrook during your stay. All locations are free of charge.

Check out the aquarium

Another great activity for the sea lovers, the South Carolina Aquarium is a must-visit. Here, you can enjoy thousands of different aquatic animals ranging from otters and sharks to adorable sea turtles. According to Traveler of Charleston, the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery area of the aquarium is an exhibit you can’t miss – you can witness the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles and watch them released back into the ocean via TV monitor!

Invite your family to visit the aquarium during your stay in Charleston.

Walk down Rainbow Row

Known as one of the most iconic sites in all of South Carolina, Rainbow Row is a fresh breath of air. It’s a row of 14 houses painted in bright, pastel hues that can’t be missed. According to Free Tours by Foot, there are various theories behind the meaning of the colorful houses. One is that the houses were used to catch the attention of the drunken sailor to help guide them home. Another is that the merchants used it as an advertising scheme. Others believe that the bright pastels were used to lower the property temperatures during the warm months. No matter the history behind the houses, one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most beautiful, monumental sites in the world and can’t be passed up.

Visit Battery Park

According to Travel Pulse, a trip to Battery Park is the only way to complete a stay in Charleston. It’s cornered by Copper river on one side, and Ashley river on the other, offering gorgeous sights of the water no matter where you’re standing. Beyond its beauty, visitors can bask in the glory of its history – this site was named after the Civil War coastal defense artillery battery left here.

Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy wintertime during your assignment in Charleston. Set aside some time to try one of these activities with your coworkers, or invite close family and friends for a quick visit before you embark on your next destination.