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Finding Flexibility and Adventure Through Traveling as an Occupational Therapist

Physical therapy traveler

Finding Flexibility and Adventure Through Traveling as an Occupational Therapist

After graduating from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, occupational therapist (OT) Kylie Cicero recognized that finding a job isn’t always easy.

She planned on living at home to work and save money. But her home state of Florida has a glut of occupational therapists, so finding a job there was difficult. This motivated Kylie to think about what would make her a successful OT. She wrote those goals on paper, talked to her professors, and everything pointed to traveling.

“While in school you hear about the many different paths you can take for OT, including traveling,” Kylie said, “But they make a point to warn you of the difficulties of finding a travel job as a new grad. But I don’t like to listen and decided I would give it a go.”

Kylie was set on finding a job that offered flexibility and adventure. So she googled travel companies, found AMN Med Travelers and knew she had done the right thing after talking to her recruiter, Rachel Rainey.

"Once I met Rachel, we just bonded, and she was excited and willing to work hard to get me somewhere," Kylie said. "They have to sell you as a new grad with no official experience. And she worked her butt off. Med Travelers just worked their tails off to get me traveling and somewhere that I wanted to be."

First assignment

Kylie was open to going wherever she could to start her career, but she favored the West Coast: California, Oregon or Washington. At 16, she visited Lake Tahoe and San Fransisco and fell in love with Northern California. Plus, she learned there is a need for OTs in the Golden State, so when she was offered Stockton, California, as her first travel assignment, she took it.

"I live on a wine estate in Lodi, about 20 minutes from work," she said. "The 200 acres that surround where I live contain active vineyards. The place was built in 1915, and it's gorgeous. Living here has been an amazing experience."

allied healthcare traveler

From her residence in Lodi, Kylie is two hours to Lake Tahoe, two hours to Yosemite, and 80 minutes to San Francisco. When she isn’t out visiting area sites, she tackles myriad nearby hiking trails.

At the time of this interview, Kylie's first assignment was ending in about two weeks. She has since decided to continue her California adventure in Monterey, a central coastal city immortalized by famed novelist John Steinbeck in his book, Cannery Row. Monterey offers historical sites, nearby world-famous coastal towns and attractions, and a well-known aquarium.

"One of the things I love about California is its diversity, not just with the people but with the landscape," she said. "You can go skiing one weekend and then be on the beach the following weekend. The people are friendly and the weather is great."

Living the Life

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to tell that Kylie has found her calling as a traveler is from a video she posted on Youtube after getting her first assignment. Entitled, “Thank You Med Travelers,” it captures Kylie’s passion for traveling, expresses gratitude for fulfilling her dreams and inspires others to give traveling a try.

physical therapy career

“My dream was to have a work-life balance,” she said. “In occupational therapy, we call it having occupational balance. And traveling and having time off — time to decompress when you work in a stressful environment, or at an emotionally and physically taxing job — make every weekend feel like a vacation. You’re only here for a short assignment, so at least for me, I wanted to plan something every single weekend to be out exploring other parts of California and seeing what's out there.”

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

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