According to the Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a vagabond is defined as “a person who wanders from place to place without a home” and a DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Although this simplified definition implies a wanderer who lacks direction, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s dissect and debunk this definition.
Myth One: Vagabonding DPTs have no home. . Home is where I celebrate milestones and holidays with loved ones. No matter how far I’ve traveled, home is where my family resides: San Bruno, CA. This suburb is perfectly situated by the ocean and just south of that beautiful city by the bay, San Francisco. It’s where I learned how to fly a kite despite the fog. It’s where I learned to drive and navigate through one-way streets and parallel park on hills. It’s where the only season that exists is spring. The Bay Area is where family and friends from near and far come to visit to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Lombard Street, Chinatown, Palace of Fine Arts, Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Monterey Bay, and Fisherman’s Wharf. I am incredibly blessed to call the Bay Area, my home.
Myth Two: Vagabonding DPTs are jobless. I am a traveling physical therapist, which means I work with my recruiter to secure short-term contracts. I always have the option to schedule contracts back-to-back or extend my contracts pending my availability. I also have the flexibility to take time off at my own discretion. With the higher pay rate of traveling physical therapists, I can also save money for the time between my contracts to pursue my passion for travel and service. It’s seriously a millenial’s dream come true!
Myth Three: Vagabonding DPTs are wanderers, lacking direction. Some choose to say wandering, I prefer to say that I’m on a constant journey of exploration and self-discovery. I am an advocate for unorthodox approaches to employment. I choose to create experiences that force me out of my comfort zone. This could be working at a SNF in a small town in Texas with a population of 1,200 residents or co-treating for a week with a Physical Therapist in Peru without an interpreter. Yes, these stories are true. With each opportunity, I learned, I made memories, and strengthened relationships. This embodies the very definition of a Vagabonding DPT. “If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”
A Vagabonding DPT is a doctor of physical therapy who is in constant pursuit of learning and manifests the ultimate raw human experience. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more powerful than a smile, a helping hand, and an open heart.
From this blog, you will gain insight into:
- Traveling therapy from a new grad’s perspective
- International service learning trips,
- Global travel for leisure
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