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Getaway Winner Grabs the Allied Travel Prize

Physical therapist Sarah Veseling makes the most of every allied travel location, like visiting Sunset Cliffs in San Diego.

By Megan Krischke, contributor

What should you give a physical therapist who loves to travel? More travel!

Sarah Veseling, PT, DPT, was recently selected as the winner of Med Travelers’ Getaway Giveaway contest that ran through the spring, and her prize was a $3,000 travel voucher. She has already started planning a trip with friends; they are considering exotic locations such as Thailand and Vietnam or Australia and Fiji.

“The travel voucher will go a long way toward covering my flight,” she commented.

Travel adventures are nothing new for Veseling; she has enjoyed them for years. In fact, she first worked as an allied travel therapist in 2010, right out of school, and has worked travel jobs primarily since then.

“I was intrigued with the idea of working as a traveler and I talked with a number of other travelers about their experiences. I didn’t have somewhere I wanted to settle after graduation, but knew I wanted to get away from the Midwest and see what else was out there, meet new people and have the opportunity to learn from various practitioners and get mentored by people all of the country. Traveling seemed like an obvious choice,” she reflected.

RELATED: Leaving the Big Easy for a New Grad Travel Career

Making the most of each location

San Diego was the location Veseling set her sights on, but it took a while for the timing and physical therapy job opportunities to align.

“San Diego did prove to be my favorite location, hands down,” she said. “But I really enjoyed my time in both Ft. Worth and Plano, Texas. In Ft. Worth, I got to live downtown so I enjoyed the walkability to restaurants, bars and historical sites. The people were also really friendly and it reminded me of my home back in Springfield, Illinois.”

“I always try to take in as much of my location as I can. While I was in L.A., I went to the beaches, to Hollywood and did a lot of hiking with my dog,” she continued. “I often have long-term residents of a city tell me that I have seen and done more in their town in three months than they have over a course of years.”

Ironman & orthopedics: Pursuing her passions

Veseling has a passion for the outdoors and swimming, and will soon be competing in a half-Ironman relay with a group of friends she met while on assignment in Texas.

Travel jobs haven’t just been good for her sense of adventure, they have been good for her résumé, as well.

“I’ve learned so much from all the different places I’ve worked,” Veseling commented. “There are distinctive ways that people practice PT all over the country--in how they provide treatment and in what they consider most valuable. I’ve grown a ton as a therapist and I try to learn as much as I can from both good and bad experiences, and to take advantage of different continuing education opportunities.”

“Right now I’m working for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego,” she continued. “I’ve appreciated their continuing education opportunities, because after receiving instruction, we focus on practicing what we learn back in the clinic. I’ve been really impressed with my current work environment and people’s willingness to teach what they know.”

Veseling completed one assignment in a skilled nursing facility, but her travel physical therapy jobs have primarily been in outpatient orthopedics, which is her passion.

RELATED: Demand for Physical Therapy Jobs on the Rise

Sarah Veseling enjoys hiking with her dog on days off from travel physical therapy jobs.

Rooming with her four-legged travel companion

Veseling has traveled with her Boxer mix dog since she got him in 2013.

“I enjoy traveling with him. It is a good adventure for both of us. It is nice for the companionship and I feel safer living on my own in new places. He also helps me to meet people in parks and beaches,” she noted.

Veseling arranges her own housing for her temporary physical therapy jobs because she likes to have more control over where and how she lives. She takes advantage of Med Travelers’ housing stipend to cover the costs. Another option that travelers can choose is free, company-provided housing, which is usually a furnished, private apartment; the recruitment team can also find pet-friendly housing on request.

Having a dog as a roommate can make housing choices a little more challenging and expensive, but Veseling hasn’t found it to be overly limiting.

Before moving to a new location, she researches the area to get an idea of where she wants to live and then arrives a few days early so she can unpack and get oriented.

Her advice to other travel therapists

“I’d advise potential travelers to be open-minded, flexible and to try to go with the flow. Also, every experience is an opportunity to grow as a person. I also like going out with co-workers because that makes work even better. I invite people to do things with me and I’ve made great friends everywhere I’ve been.”


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