While some travel nurses travel with a spouse or travel nurse friend, the majority head out independently, going solo to their next new and exciting destination. It brings the opportunity for many new experiences, like sampling tasty local cuisine and taking part in recreational activities or cultural attractions that you may not get to enjoy back home. At the same time, this rewarding adventure can also come with a little anxiety, with one of the most common fears among travel nurses, especially first-timers, being the thought of having to make new friends and the fear of being alone. Moving every few months is a great way to explore various parts of the country, but it can also become a little lonely at times.
The good news is that connecting with people while you’re working on a travel assignment away from home is probably much easier than imagine – you just need to know how to go about it the right way.
Take Advantage Of Social Networking
Social networking may be one of the best ways to start. It’s a fantastic way to find potential new friends and allows you to begin the process before you even get to your new destination. Perhaps first reach out to your own friends on Facebook and other social networking sites to find out if they known someone living in the area where your assignment will be based. They may be able to facilitate a conversation between you two, and then who knows, you might have a new friend by the time you arrive. Facebook offers a number of travel nursing groups for connecting with other travel nurses around the country, such as Gypsy Nurse the largest to date with nearly 80,000 members. Here you may be able to find nurses who are working at the facility, or in the same city, that you’ll be traveling to.
There’s An App For That Too
There’s an app for pretty much everything and that includes apps for socializing and networking with other healthcare professionals. The AllNurses app focuses on the power of connections, providing you with the ability to connect and chat with other travel nurses before you get to your next travel nursing job. It’s a great way to get familiar with your co-workers and other healthcare professionals working in the area, perhaps even setting up a coffee or lunch date you can look forward to once you arrive.
Code Happy is a mobile nursing community app that might make you smile just opening it up. It’s great for reaching out to other nurses, wherever they might be, to offer support and to vent when you’ve had one of those inevitable rough days. You might make some new friends in the process too.
Meeting Like-Minded People
Of course, not all your new friends have to be nurses or work in the healthcare industry. You might want to connect with people who have other things in common, perhaps interests like running, hiking, cycling, going to movies, playing an instrument, reading, knitting, or just about anything else. Meetup.com is a great option for this as you’ll find “meet ups” in nearly every destination across the country.
Your new neighbors make potential friends too. While they can be hard to meet with such busy schedules these days, you can get to know some of them by visiting Nextdoor.com. It’s kind of like Facebook but for neighbors, allowing you to connect with people who live in your neighborhood or city online. It’s also a good way to gain insider tips about the best places to eat, shop, get your hair styled and so on.
Get Out And Mingle
Meeting friends the old-fashioned way, face-to-face works too. Take a walk around the neighborhood or downtown area and explore some of the local coffee houses and cafes. Find your favorite and make a point of visiting regularly to make it easier to start a conversation. Smiling and saying hello to people wherever you are, utilizing common safety precautions of course, not only makes for a better day, but it can lead to some wonderful long-term friendships too.