Travel or Career? Occupational Therapist Chooses Both
By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor
Many young college graduates choose to take
time off for travel before they return home to the realities of work, and their
education and travel bills. But a few
are fortunate enough to find a career that allows them to make a good living
while they travel around the country and abroad—when and where they want.
John Reedy, MS, OTR/L, counts himself among
the fortunate few, working as an allied healthcare traveler with Club Staffing. Two of the things he enjoys most about his occupational
therapy travel career: the ability to choose interesting places for his work and
the chance to take time off between assignments, without losing medical
benefits1. He has traveled domestically and also to China, Japan and
Telling his allied travel story
Reedy had recently returned from overseas
when he saw that Club Staffing was offering prizes to allied healthcare travelers who shared
“I was having my morning coffee and thought,
‘Well, if they like it I’ll win, and if not, I’ll just enjoy my coffee,” he
remembered. He subsequently won the $100
prize in February and is now entered to win a $5,000 prize.
In his submission, he wrote:
“I will just brag about my time as a traveler and the life it has afforded me these past years. Currently, I am waiting for my next contract to start after my two-month hiatus to Thailand. I’m thankful my career as a traveler has helped me see breathtaking mountains, oceans, hike great nature life, cross the ocean for fun, experience deserts and glaciers.
As a kid growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., to a working-class family, I never imagined I would be able to mountain bike across the western slope of Colorado, snowboard down giant
mountains, buy a motorcycle for the expansive Midwest highways or afford the ability to go to foreign countries such as China and see coasts unknown.
I was able to not only travel but save money and afford a living wage when many of my friends were struggling to pay rent. I can only urge anyone that is reading that has a
desire to travel to think about what you wish and seize an opportunity.”
FIND your allied travel
opportunities with Club Staffing.
Seizing the career, lifestyle and financial benefits
Reedy chose to pursue a career as an
occupational therapist after seeing a poster advertising the career that said,
“Living Life to the Fullest.” That philosophy appealed to him—for him and his
patients. He was also interested to
learn about the human nervous system and the different technologies used in the
It wasn’t long before he finished his
education and started on his travel therapy career. On his 23rd birthday, he was already under contract as an
allied traveler, had his car packed and was ready to drive west.
“As a traveler, I’ve learned about getting
out more and trying new things. I never expected to get into mountain
biking or meet the people I have. I’ve also learned about responsibility. Some
of my friends are still paying off loans and living at home. Being a traveler helps
with ‘adulting,’” he laughed. “But I also try not to ‘adult’ too hard—basically
I’m just a hippie with a paycheck.”
Reedy has primarily taken his travel OT jobs
“I loved living on the Western Slope of
Colorado—it is full of lots of small towns where people will talk to you and
you can get some cool pictures. Colorado
Springs was great because you have the mountain view and everyone is pretty
active. I could go mountain biking one
day and skiing the next. I also did some training in Savannah, Georgia, and
that was gorgeous,” he remarked.
Reedy says he’d like to have assignments in
Seattle or another Northwest city, and in the Southeast, perhaps in Tennessee
or New Orleans, before he transitions out of traveling.
One of the benefits of having a series of
13-week OT jobs is that it has helped him to discover the work setting he most
“I think my ideal
job is doing hospital rehabilitation for neurological conditions. I’ve also
worked in ambulatory and long-term care,” he noted. “I’ve also found that the
‘daily grind’ is much less of a grind when I’m working somewhere new!”
RELATED:Where Will You Work? Workplace Settings
for Allied Travelers
1Ask a Club Staffing recruiter for details about health insurance and other benefits.