The holidays can be a tough time for travelers, especially if you’re new to travel. You’re away from family and possibly in a new city that you’re unfamiliar with. It can be daunting but there are so many positive opportunities to be had here! You can be at work saving lives, giving your time as a volunteer or building lifelong connections with your peers. The opportunities are limitless.
As a traveler, the likelihood of you having to work major holidays is pretty high (unless negotiated during your hiring process). It doesn’t have to be all bad though. There are some perks to being at work during the holidays. For many, the goal of being a traveler, is making as much money as possible, and people jump at the great pay that holidays offer. Talk about an incentive! To some, an even more rewarding prize is being able to make a difference in the lives of the patients that are spending their day in the same place, the hospital. This is your chance to brighten someone’s day with some amazing bedside manner. Take the time to get to know your patients and their backstories; it’s a great time to forge strong connections.
If by chance you’re off work but can’t make it home, you can always get involved in the community and gift some of your time. The holidays are a tough time of the year for some, and the smallest sign that someone cares could change a life. You can volunteer at a local homeless shelter to feed the people that call that place home, or visit and/or share a meal with a senior in a nursing home. Many of those men and women don’t get visits at all, let alone during the holidays. Your visit could put a much needed smile on their faces. Volunteering is always a fulfilling experience where you give a little and get back a lot.
Try planning a get together with your “extended” family, i.e. your coworkers! Hopefully over however many weeks you’ve been on assignment, you’ve had a chance to get acquainted with the people in your facility. See what they have on the books; if they’re free, plan something! Be it a department potluck in the break room or a “family” dinner at someone’s house, apartment, or hotel. This is an opportunity to bring multiple traditions and dishes together and get closer to the people you spend 8-12+ hours of the day with.
Those are just a few nontraditional ways to spend the holiday season. When you get down to it, no matter where you are, the holidays are what you make them! So step out of the norm and try something new. Who knows, you could turn this into your new holiday tradition!