Working as a travel therapist can be an exciting career. You get to help people while having an opportunity to see different cities and different parts of the country. However, sometimes it can be lonely moving from city to city and not putting down any permanent roots. Although the average travel therapist job only lasts about 13 weeks, that doesn’t mean that you have to stay holed up in your apartment after your shift. There are plenty of ways to feel at home in your new city, even when you’re only going to be there a few months.
1. Volunteer. Virtually all charitable organizations need volunteers, whether it’s at the local food pantry, a senior center or a “keep the city clean” initiative. Becoming part of the volunteer staff not only helps the community, but gives you a chance to meet and get to know people quickly.
2. Go to the park. Parks are neighborhood gathering spots. Whether you enjoy walking, reading a novel on a park bench or joining in a pick-up basketball game, you’ll find like-minded neighbors in the park.
3. Attend church. Most congregations welcome visitors and offer an instant community of like-minded people. Many churches also have affiliated social groups, periodic parish dinners and other events that you can participate in.
4. Dine-out solo. Why limit yourself to eating all by yourself at home? Get out and explore unique restaurants around your new town. Eat at the bar, chat it up with the local bartender, enjoy the game on the TV, and get to know other patrons. Flying solo to dinner is a great way to meet interesting people.
5. Walk your dog. Dogs are a universal ice-breaker. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog you have, people are just drawn to animals. You’re sure to meet your new neighbors as you walk your pooch around the block.
So, the next time you arrive in a new, unfamiliar city, don’t just resign yourself to feeling like an outsider. With just a little effort, you can become part of the community, if only for a little while.