Traveler Starts Her Adventures in California
Not holding Back: Traveler Starts Her Adventures in California
Erica Raggio is a physical therapist assistant who scheduled the interview for this story between just getting back from Lake Tahoe and leaving the next day for one of her favorite California locations: Yosemite National Park. After seven years of working full-time, she had taken the plunge with Med Travelers and headed out west to the Golden State for her first assignment.
“I had heard about traveling through a friend of mine who'd done it when she first graduated with a PTA,” Erica said. “She told me it was something that I would absolutely love because I was someone who already enjoyed visiting new places. I was getting tired of living in the same place my entire life.”
Like many travelers, Erica is an avid adventurer. As a trail runner and rock climber, she enjoys the incredible, eclectic topography of California. Currently, she works in Stockton, California, and lives in Lodi, which gives her ample choices for weekend excursions: Lake Tahoe, the Bay Area, Central Valley and so much more.
"I've already recommended California to at least four therapists," Erica said. "I tell them I have a great recruiter and if they want her info, I pass it on. A big part of my goal right now is just the chance to travel and explore while still making good money. A lot of people quit their jobs to travel, but travelers can keep working while seeing amazing sites."
Erica is originally from Northern Virginia, where after physical therapy school she worked in a hospital before focusing her interests on education. After talking to her friend about traveling, Erica found a Facebook group for travel therapy, which recommended her to recruiter Kalie Simmons.
“I talked to a few travel companies, but enjoyed talking to Kalie the most,” Erica said. “I got the best vibes from her. She was very professional and very straightforward about everything. I didn't feel like she was trying to hide anything from me. Kalie also worked really hard to get me the location and pay I wanted. Also, she was very quick to answer my questions. Other recruiters would take days to call me back or our schedules just never lined up, so I never really got through to them.”
After deciding to travel, Erica chose Northern California to be in driving distance of Yosemite.
Erica’s next assignment is in Eureka, California, a port city in Northern California. Erica looks forward to its cool temperatures and the myriad adventures that await her, such as exploring the massive redwoods, living near the coast and hiking Redwood National and State Parks.
Looking forward, Erica would like to return to the Yosemite area in the fall. She also yearns for an assignment in San Diego. Outside of California, she sees herself eventually heading back east, with potential stops in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona. But even though she is primarily traveling for the sake of seeing the country, she is learning new skills and meeting many amazing therapists who are helping her to expand her skills.
“I'm young, I'm single, and I don't have any kids, so nothing is holding me back,” she said. “I don't want to look back and regret not having all these adventures while I can and then in 30 years say, ‘Oh, I wish I hadn't just stayed in Virginia.’ Now I can look back on all these awesome memories and experiences that I was able to do at this time. I had felt that my life was getting away from me. I hadn't really done anything. I'd lived in the same spot my whole life. I needed to branch out and experience something new, and it was a great decision.”
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