Traveling recreational therapists have the unique opportunity to combine their passion for therapeutic activities with the excitement of exploring new places. If you are a recreational therapist looking to embark on a travel adventure, here are some ideas to consider:
1. Traveling Rehabilitation Centers: Many rehabilitation centers offer short-term contracts for recreational therapists to travel and provide their expertise. You can work with patients who have a range of physical, mental, or emotional conditions while discovering different locations across the country or even internationally. This option allows you to make a difference in various communities while expanding your horizons.
2. Camps and Retreats: Investigate opportunities to work at specialized camps or retreat centers. These locations often host events for individuals with specific needs, like autism, developmental disabilities, or mental health disorders, among others. As a recreational therapist, you can contribute to the camp experience by designing and implementing activities that promote therapeutic growth while enjoying the camp environment.
3. Cruise Ships/Resorts: Consider working on a cruise ship or at a resort where you can cater to guests’ recreational needs while traveling to different destinations. Cruise ships and resorts often have dedicated recreation staff who organize activities and events for guests. Applying your skills in these settings allows you to engage with diverse populations and explore various ports or locations during your free time.
4. Community-based Programs: Look into community-based programs that offer recreational therapy services to different populations. Some organizations have initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for specific groups, such as seniors, disabled individuals, or veterans. By joining such programs, you can travel to different locations while providing therapeutic activities and improving the well-being of those you work with.
5. Adventure Therapy: For those who enjoy outdoor activities and adventure, consider adventure therapy programs. These programs use nature-based activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, and more to facilitate personal growth and therapeutic experiences. Adventure therapy programs can be found in various locations, including national parks, therapeutic wilderness programs, or outdoor therapeutic schools.
6. International Volunteering: Explore international volunteering opportunities as a recreational therapist. Many organizations and nonprofits around the world offer placements for professionals who want to contribute to different communities abroad while utilizing their expertise. Volunteering abroad not only gives you the chance to help others but also exposes you to diverse cultures and experiences in unique destinations.
7. Locum Tenens: Locum tenens positions provide temporary coverage for healthcare professionals, including recreational therapists. Working as a locum tenens therapist, you can fill temporary staffing gaps in hospitals, clinics, or rehabilitation centers around the country or internationally. This allows you to travel while providing your services and gaining exposure to different healthcare environments.
8. Professional Conferences/Seminars: Attend professional conferences or seminars in different locations. These events often bring together recreational therapists, offering opportunities to network, exchange knowledge, and engage in continuing education. By attending these conferences, you can combine your passion for travel with professional development.
9. Traveling Private Practice: Consider starting your own private practice and taking it on the road. With the advancements in technology, teletherapy has become more accessible, making it possible to provide services remotely. You can work with clients online while traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures.
10. Traveling Education: Explore opportunities to teach or train other recreational therapists in different locations. As an experienced therapist, you can share your knowledge, techniques, and approaches with other professionals. Look for teaching positions, guest lectureships, or training workshops that allow you to travel while imparting your expertise to fellow therapists.
Remember, before embarking on any travel adventure, it is essential to research and understand the requirements and regulations of the specific location you are interested in. Ensure that you have the appropriate certifications, licenses, and insurances necessary to practice as a recreational therapist in different regions.
Traveling as a recreational therapist enables you to have a fulfilling career while satisfying your wanderlust. Embrace the opportunities to learn from others, explore new environments, and make a positive impact on the lives of those you serve.