Apply now

Tandem Travelers Find Success in California

Physical Therapy love

Tandem Travelers Find Success in California

Med Travelers Kelly Ricker and Michael Rangel, who are not only physical therapists but newlyweds as well, started traveling soon after school. Michael was a year behind Kelly, who had graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. After school. she returned to her hometown in Chicagoland and started a full-time job with an area hospital. The couple continued their long-distance relationship.

After Michael graduated in the summer of 2016, Kelly and Michael wanted to do something they could experience together. The timing to start traveling was right, and they knew if it ended up not being for them, they could return to the Chicago area.

"I had a lot of friends during PT school who started traveling as soon as they finished," Kelly said. "Two of them were my best friends, and they're actually married now. They had been traveling for a year before we started."

Long-term plan

Kelly and Michael decided to travel for the same company as their friends. Their first assignments were in Montana, where they worked for about eight months. Next, they were thinking about going to Oregon, but their first travel company didn’t offer assignments there. By this time, the couple had heard about Med Travelers, and Kelly decided to cold call the company. She hooked up with recruiter Kalie Simmons, and Kelly and Michael have been working with Kalie ever since.

They immediately started talking about a long-term travel plan. Kelly and Mike had heard that California offered plenty of PT jobs and Kalie agreed, telling the couple it was a good state for tandem travelers. So while on assignment in Iowa, Kelly and Mike worked on and received their California licenses.

Even though they had never been to California before taking their first assignment there, they’ve been working in the Golden State ever since.

Married in California

Kelly and Micheal's first assignment was in picturesque Monterey from September 2017 to May 2018. Monterey is located on California's central coast and was immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck. It boasts a world-famous aquarium, breath-taking beaches, ocean views, and close proximity to Big Sur, Carmel, golf courses and surfing.

In fact, Kelly and Michael were so awestruck by the location that they planned to return and hold their wedding there. But before exchanging their vows, they headed to Palm Springs, a popular desert community known for its hot springs, spas and outdoor adventures.

“By the time we left Monterey, we were engaged, and we made the decision that we wanted to get married in Monterey,” Kelly said. “We kept in contact with the clinic that we worked at, and we were just hoping that maybe they would have the need when our time was up in Palm Springs.”

In January 2019, the Monterey clinic Kelly and Michael previously worked in welcomed them back. They then got married in May 2019, and their midwest families traveled to Monterey for the wedding. Since then, the couple has grown very attached to California.

“My favorite thing about California, coming from the Midwest, is the ability to have what feels like five to six different areas of the country in one state,” Kelly said. “When we were in Palm Springs, we could drive two hours to the beach, drive two hours to a major city, whether it was Los Angeles or San Diego, do an hour east and we'd be in Joshua Tree and other desert communities. Then we could drive an hour up to Big Bear Lake. We have such a vast number of activities at our fingertips.”

For the near future, Kelly and Michael plan to stay in California.

“I don't think we're quite ready to leave,” Kelly said. “We love it, and it wouldn't be out of the possibility for us to live in California eventually. We still have to figure out how that would work out with family and other goals that we have, but it's definitely not something we ever thought about five years ago. But now that we've experienced it, it's on the table for sure.”

READY to start expanding your career choices as Kelly and Michael have? Just apply online, and our recruitment team will help get you on your way!


Have a Question?

Call us anytime. 
(800) 788-4815

8840 Cypress Waters Blvd. Suite 300 Dallas TX, 75019