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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.

Check out these spring festivals coast-to-coast

Spring has officially sprung, which means you can head outside and spend more time enjoying the gorgeous weather, fresh greenery and other splendor Mother Nature has to offer. While many will escape to their backyards or neighborhood parks to enjoy the spring sunshine, travel therapists like you can pack up and head to a gorgeous location for an assignment with a spring festival nearby.

Looking for a fun new destination to check out this season? Consider pursuing a job near one of these spring festivals happening in the country over the next few weeks:

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gifted Washington, D.C. 3,000 cherry trees as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the U.S., according to Arlington National Cemetery Tours. As a celebration of these floral tokens, Washington D.C. holds the National Cherry Blossom Festival every spring. This year, locals and travelers alike will gather between March 20 and April 14 to celebrate with various events that entail blossom viewings by bike, art gallery views and the Pink Tie Party.

California Poppy Festival in Lancaster

Looking for a floral celebration on the West Coast? Check out the California Poppy Festival. Presented by the city of Lancaster on April 27 and 28, this wildflower celebration gives visitors a chance to soak up the sun and experience the joy of blooming poppies. Enjoy entertainment by dance, orchestra and vocal performers and pursue various family-friendly attractions like the petting zoo, arts and crafts zone, and the car show.

Head to Lancaster for the California Poppy Festival.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

Looking for an enriching experience down south that showcases the best food and drink Louisiana has to offer? The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will celebrate its 27th anniversary this year between April 4 and 7. It’s a celebration that emphasizes over two dozen of the city’s restaurants and brings a selection of 1,000 different wines from all over the world for visitors to indulge in cultural splendor. What’s best? The festival is also a charity and has raised over $1.2 million for many local non-profit organizations since its inception.

Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York

Spring is all about celebrating the rebirth of Mother Nature’s finest, and Rochester, New York, takes part in the love for flowers as well. The Rochester Lilac Festival in Highland Park is the largest free festival in the country, encouraging visitors to check out the gardens, musical performances, special events and other fun and exciting exhibits the town has to offer. Art in the Park, the Lilac Parade, Garden Battles and the wine and beer tasting expo are among the events to check out between May 10 and 19.

Looking for a travel therapy assignment located near one of these fun spring festivals? Browse through the Jackson Therapy Partners database today to look for opportunities in your desired destination.

4 new year’s goals for Traveling Therapists

continuing education

How are you doing with your new year goals, so far? While some of you have focused on bettering your  health – especially with exercise or improved diet – others of you are getting organized or letting go of past grudges. Maybe you’ve even considered a new career path or simply bettering your current position professionally. The truth is, it’s tough to self analyze and come-up with attainable goals every year. So, this year, we did it for you.

1. Explore new perspectives, advance your education

Therapy is an incredibly diverse field that’s rich with case studies, differing viewpoints, and the latest techniques. As you know, there’s always something new to learn. This year, don’t just spend time continuing your education. Instead, engage in new dialogues, join new groups, or even take a course studying a perspective you’re not fully aligned with. Perhaps you can do your own research and build a 2019 reading list challenge for yourself. At minimum, attend a conference or workshop near you. Use 2019 as your year to grow.

2. Start practicing what you preach

No matter what type of therapy you practice, you’re intervening in a patients life to help them heal, overcome, and progress forward. What do you need to overcome? What’s standing in your way of being more healthy, more clear-headed, or just more? This year, practice what you preach. When you suggest a new type of exercise, try it yourself. If you’re recommending a plant-based diet, give it a go for a month. If you’re advocating for a new option for stress relief, check it out on your own. Don’t just help your patients, help yourself.

networking

 3. Network more 

As a traveling therapist, there’s an everlasting drive to explore. Sometimes, the adventurer in you can take priority over your professional growth. Don’t miss the opportunities locally and online to rub shoulders with other professionals in your field. According to the Career Addict, not only can you help up-and-coming professionals through mentoring, but you’ll open doors for yourself whether it’s a move-up, a move geographically, a move into becoming more of an “influencer” in your field through speaking events or writing opportunities. If for no other reason, life as a traveling therapist isn’t all roses so, you can benefit from the positive reinforcement of being with others just like you.

4. Get outside of your comfort zone

Yes, travel therapy is for those with a case of wanderlust, but you may have found yourself slipping into activities or living in areas inside your “comfort zone.” It’s time to challenge yourself and grow a little bit. Start by reevaluating where you’ve traveled over the last few months. If you’ve ended up on the east coast for most of your career in travel therapy, head to California for an assignment. It’s a new culture with a new environment and certainly, a new world of adventure waiting for you. If you’ve stayed in the continental U.S., check out the job opportunities in Hawaii or even Alaska.

No matter what year it is, your end goal should be to grow as a traveling therapist. We hope these resolutions will help you throughout the year to increase your chances for sustainable professional and personal growth.

Working away from family during the holidays? Here’s 4 things to do..

 

The holiday season has officially arrived. While normally a time filled with cheer and excitement, you may be feeling a bit different this year while traveling on a therapy assignment. With your family back home celebrating, it might seem more difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Don’t let this get the best of you – there are ways to cope with being away during the holidays and still ensure you enjoy the season.

To ease the stress or strong feelings that come with working away from family during the holidays, consider the following tips:

1. Reserve a seat at a local community theater production

If you’re looking for a nostalgic activity that’ll help you get into the Christmas spirit, head to a local theater for a production of one of your holiday favorites. This time of year, many theaters in towns near you put up their own version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,”  “A Christmas Carol” or other festive plays that are sure to help you feel less lonely around the holidays. Holiday songs are the best way to beat the blues.

2. Visit a theme park on Dec 25th

Are you a thrill seeker who loves riding roller coasters? If you’re away from family, this time of year is perfect for checking out your favorite theme park. Because it’s the holiday season, you won’t have to worry about navigating through a congested theme park and you probably won’t have to wait in any lines, either. Some of the destinations recommended by lifestyle blog Fodor’s Travel include Walt Disney World, Stratosphere Casino Tower and Six Flags Over Texas. If your assignment is on the opposite side of the country, check into your local theme parks and see if they are affiliated with any events happening this winter.

 

3. Check out the Christmas displays in area neighborhoods

No matter where your assignment takes place, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the country. Run a Google or Bing search for popular neighborhood displays, print off a map and make yourself a big travel mug of hot chocolate. Plug in your heated blanket, roll down the windows and enjoy the spirit of the season!

4. Buy a ticket to a local game

Whether you’re a regular sports enthusiast or you rarely watch sporting events, winter is the perfect time to attend your local team’s game. Maybe it’s basketball, hockey or football, or something more unique like roller derby – splurge and buy yourself a ticket to a sporting event around Christmas. Even if you’re not a big sports fan, you can still enjoy the food, drinks and atmosphere!

No matter how you choose to spend your time away this season, always remember why you chose this career path in the first place. Travel therapy provides an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and expertise while caring for others across the nation, all while traveling and discovering new and exciting destinations. Keep this in mind if you start to feel lonely or isolated – your return back home will feel more satisfying and thrilling when you complete your assignment on a high note.

7 hacks to make packing and unpacking easier for travel therapists

packing hacks

Moving once a year can be frustrating, but traveling therapists often go through the moving process every 13 weeks. Having to pack and unpack your life every three months or so can be a challenging part of working as a travel therapist.

Luckily, there are many hacks that can make packing and unpacking faster and easier. Check these out next time you move for an assignment:

1. Make a master moving checklist

Lists are your best friend when it comes to managing a move – they corral lots of important information so it’s not all bouncing around your head! Have a master moving checklist that contains everything you need to do to carry out your move successfully, from renting a moving truck to having your mail forwarded.

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