Going on travel nursing assignments opens a lot of doors, career-wise and experience-wise. You get to see places you may have never seen before, work with people you'd never have met otherwise, and learn how a variety of medical facilities operate. You'll have new experiences and expand your skill set in every new location. With all these benefits, it's easy to make the argument for picking up as many assignments as you can, but that doesn't mean it'll be a breeze. When you're on assignment, sometimes your social life takes a hit.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to combat loneliness and make friends no matter which city or state you end up in. We have some suggestions for you to get started!
1) Why not join a club? There are often weekly or monthly classes and meet-ups in most cities, and you can find details by searching online, particularly Facebook. Many of these groups allow drop-ins or new members to show up anytime, so it's a great way to both do something that interests you and meet people who share your hobbies. Fitness or running clubs are an option, as well as book clubs, writing groups, game nights, and more.
2) Don't forget to be a good neighbor! Wherever you end up, you're likely in community housing. Get to know your neighbors. Knock on doors, introduce yourself, and maybe bring some cookies, yes, cookies! Ask them if there are community events, or if they're interested in grabbing coffee or watching movies. You never know where you might find a Game Of Thrones buddy.
3) Check out social networks like Meetup, Facebook, and mobile apps for nearby activities and gatherings. Gravy is a great app that lets you find local events to fit your mood, and Like A Local gives you recommendations from people who live in the area. Wondering where to eat or find some great nightlife? Go online!
4) Say yes to invitations. If you're an introvert, it may be tempting to go home to your couch after a shift and clear your head, but if you want to make connections, maybe it's a good idea to take your coworker up on that invitation to after-work burgers. When people extend a hand, take it!
5) Remember the Golden Rule: treat others as you'd like to be treated. If you see someone who looks a little lost and lonely, strike up a conversation. Say hello to strangers who could become not-strangers. Smile and invite people out. You'll gather up pals in no time!
Traveling far from home can be tough when you're on your own. Just try out some of these tips and that won't be the case for long!