If you’re feeling like you need a solid vacation after this assignment, joining Med Travel Hub’s traveling nurse community and group trips might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Would a safari in Tanzania take your mind off work? Does relaxing in the Greek Islands sounds like a nice way to reset? Travel nurse burnout is very real. Getting away from the travel nurse hustle with like-minded healthcare professionals can be a powerful cure. Med Travel Hub offers very unique opportunities to reset from all of that work stress, and to gain travel experiences you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
We wanted to learn more about how traveling nurses can get away from the hustle in the most epic way. So, Kamana’s co-founder John sat down with his friend and fellow travel nurse Jonathan Pierre to talk about past adventures, and future plans with Med Travel Hub’s traveling nurse community. Jonathan and Med Travel Hub offer a lifestyle that is quite intriguing to say the least.
Beautiful locations and authentic experiences with a group of healthcare professionals that share our unique lifestyle. Amazing. Best of all, trips with Med Travel Hub are planned, organized, and prepared by Jonathan and his team at the Hub. They map and plan the best trips for a traveling nurse between contracts. You just show up and soak it all in. We recommend you keep reading, and check out the Hub, or else risk catching some serious FOMO!
A travel community for traveling nurses and healthcare professionals. Med Travel Hub brings healthcare professionals together from all over the country to live life to the fullest and travel the world. Whether it’s Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, or beyond, we journey to experience new landscapes, engage new cultures, and explore personal horizons. Most importantly, it’s an experience we’ll share together.
A: As they say, give the people what they want! We started polling popular destinations with our community so we can have a better understanding of where people want to travel to and the type of experiences they are looking for. Certain places, like Thailand, are extremely popular and have “name recognition” with travelers. Other destinations, such as Tanzania, may be lesser known destinations despite offering a wealth of unique experiences.
Australia is popular. I’m all for it! However, we do have to consider the recent environmental impact on travel and tourism. It’s been a rough time for the people of Australia as well as the wild life.
Ummm.. about Antartica. Look, I’m open to it all. Experiences over things. If the travel community wants to go, get your passports ready!
Q: As traveling nurses we’re often comfortable with being uncomfortable. Right? We show up to states we’ve never been to, drive in to a city/town we didn’t know existed two months ago, and we clock in at a hospital where we don’t know where anything is, or who anyone is. That being said, we’re used to feeling out of our element. So I’m curious to what (non-nursing) travel experience you’ve had that made you really, really uncomfortable? I’m thinking those dance lessons in Columbia would have given me nausea.. but that’s me.
A: You’re absolutely right. In a weird way, we have the DNA for this type of role. Being uncomfortable is kind of a natural state. For this one, I’ll have have to give the redacted version of the story so it can meet FCC standards. Let’s just say I was at a bath house somewhere in the world and I was supposed to get special ritualistic type of experience. Let’s just say that the “dress code” wasn’t made clear beforehand. Let’s also just say that I was with a bunch of people. AWKWARD!
Q: You’ve created a community that extends well beyond the traveling nurse community. One that’s open and inclusive to everyone. But I have to imagine there are times when you must leave a place you’ve fallen in love with (both on assignment and with The Hub) that break your heart. What comes to mind when asked what is a place, US or abroad, that you miss dearly?
A: Great question. The Hub grows with each new destination. New people join us. Others come back for another round. It becomes akin to inviting new friends to a family reunion. When they show up it’s like, welcome, you’re part of the family now. We all have a good time, then they leave. Everyone leaves. You know what comes to mind though, being in the moment. Being present with the people around you and the amazing experiences you get to share with them. Great memories are amazing and the feeling of nostalgia will make you feel warm on the inside. Whether someone travels with the Hub for a second time or not, we’ll always have the memories we shared.
(I don’t know what’s happening to my eyes. Is it dusty in here? Maybe allergies …)
As far as places, Thailand was our first. It will always have a special place in my heart, along with the group of travelers who helped us get The Hub started. Colombia, however, is definitely my new love. I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, I left it in Cartagena.
Q: Did you travel like this before you started your profession as a traveling nurse? If not, do you think your experience travel nursing made leaving to foreign and exotic places easier? Or even more appealing?
A: This is a true story. One time I booked a flight to Costa Rica the night before the flight. I flew out that next day, landed, then called out of work for the week. It might not have been the most responsible thing I’ve done but there’s more to that story. Truthfully, I was ready to be out there in the world for as long as I can remember. Being a traveler just reinforced what I already knew about myself, and gave me the time and means to live how I wanted. I’ve been a solo traveler up until the moment I started The Hub. I can’t say I’ve traveled as frequently as I do now, but I tried to get out there. I booked a flight to Paris once because it was cheap. I had no return flight. It was a $200 ticket and I thought, why not. Next thing you know, a few months later I was backpacking through Europe by myself.
Q: For someone that’s not traveled out of the country, do you recommend them taking that trip out of the US with a group of others? If so, why?
A: I feel that traveling in a group can make you feel safer, and I can’t disregard that safety concerns may be perceived differently by men and women (I’m 6’2 and 230 lbs). However, I personally wouldn’t suggest one over the other. I think it depends on your personality. Solo travel and group travel are two very different experiences. Remember, when you’re solo, you’re not alone. You’re more prone to find/meet other travelers, engage others, and for others to engage you. It really is different. When you’re in a group, you tend to engage locals less. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. You’re creating memories with people you know and strengthening relationship bonds. However, you should probably have an understanding of your tolerance for certain things like getting lost or talking to strangers.
Q: What is the weirdest vaccine that you’ve had to get in preparation for an adventure?
A: Lol! Not there yet, but we’re going on a safari in Tanzania this June. I’m going to get with my primary and give you updates.
Q: What is the most humbling thing you’ve experienced in one of your adventures? Something that really put things in a different perspective.
A: I had to try not to write a novel for this one. I started, stoped, and deleted sentences a few times. So many thoughts, so many feelings, but I’ll say this: It’s important to remember that traveling is a privilege. We’re lucky to have a passport and have access to the world.
When I was in Colombia with The Hub, a bunch of us visited the “black market.” Off the beaten path would be a gentle way to put it. However, it was real people, living real lives far away from the experiences curated for tourists near the walled city of Cartagena where the middle and upper class live and congregate. On more than one occasion, people either came up to me (and a few others), or said something to me in passing. “My bother, you’re not from here, but we’re the same.”
Our guide/translator had to let me know what was happening because my Spanish is no bueno. The locals were happy that we were there. I was happy to be there.
Q: Lastly, and most importantly, how do I grow that beard like that? Push ups? Spinach? there has to be a cheat code!!
A: Easily the most important question so far! I haven’t seen my face in about 6 years and my mother is begging for me to cut it. I’ll always be her little boy (6’2 230 lbs mom). But the secret to the beard is …I hiked the Himalayas while traveling in 2014 and mediated with a shaman. He said a blessing for me, sprinkled some holy water on me and some of it got on my beard. It’s been lush ever since!
If you take a look at Maslows hierarchy of needs, you’ll find love and belonging is near the base of the pyramid, right after safety and basic needs. The way I see it, people need people. We express our need for belonging through team sports, our hobbies, our professional associations, and of course, our friendships. This is the spirt from which Med Travel Hub was started. It’s all about us. It’s all about community. However, how do you find a (non-digital) community to belong to when you’re away from home and move frequently?
The lifestyle of a traveler can be very transient. We’re in one city one month, and a couple months later we’re somewhere new. Each time we move, we do what we can to get to know staff, meet new travelers, and develop new relationships. Wash, rinse, repeat.
For some, it’s a great opportunity to explore new landscapes, meet new people, and build new relationships. For others, it can be lonely journey.
When I started the Hub I thought, what better way to bring a community of travelers together than to organize get togethers around the world (and a star was born). So far, The Hub has traveled to Thailand (twice), Spain, Morocco, and Colombia. We also have a number of trips planned for the rest of 2020, such as Tanzania and Zanzibar, Greece, Vietnam, and Bali.
“They say travel is the only expense that makes you richer.”
Jonathan Pierre is a Traveling Stepdown RN from Brooklyn, New York. He’s currently working in the state of California. He obtained his nursing degree following a degree in public relations. Jonathan founded Med Travel Hub in 2018 after beginning his journey as a Traveling RN and experiencing the difficultly in finding a community to belong to. Now, Med Travel Hub is providing opportunities for others to become part of a unique community of adventurers.
There are several ways to get in touch with Jonathan and his team at Med Travel Hub. Reach out, learn more and get onboard the next adventure. And thank you Jonathan for sharing your story with Kamana, and for everything you do to bring a much needed sense of community to the healthcare travelers, wherever they may be!
John is a career travel nurse and co-founder of Kamana. He has spent over a decade working in healthcare, specializing in ER and PEDs.