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Your experiences as a travel nurse will be filled with stories worth telling. Each place you live is like a chapter in your life – there are highs and lows, new people are introduced, familiar people leave, and you take away a change in attitude, perception or lessons learned.
You may assume you will remember everything worth telling, but that often isn’t the case. Documenting your travel nursing experiences is a way to guarantee you will have something to look back on years from now. Here are some fun ways to preserve your memories.
The old school scrapbook has stuck around for good reason – it’s one of the best ways to keep tangible memories like tickets, napkins, photos and more. Scrapbooks are particularly great for chronicling travels because there are stickers and paper that represent just about every major city in the world.
If you don’t have time to create a complicated scrapbook after your assignment, purchase all the materials you’ll need before you leave, including a book, scissors, glue, tape and decorations like stickers, tags and charms. Pack it all in a kit and bring it with you on your next assignment so you can fill it as you go.
As you’re exploring your new city, remember to collect mementos that can be added to your scrapbook, like:
A minimalist approach to scrapbooking is to select one item of memorabilia to keep from each assignment. This can be a cork from the wine at a special dinner, a business card of the shop where you bought a favorite top, or a friend’s note written on a piece of scrap paper. After each assignment, place your token in a shadow box you have hanging at home. This is a simple way to keep a memory from each place you’ve been. It’s also a great conversation starter.
Letters to Yourself
Writing letters to yourself along the way, including postcards, is a great way to keep your memories as you make them. You can have them mailed to a permanent address or post office box so you have a trove of memories waiting for you to reflect on and save once the assignment is over.
Travel Nurse Journals
Purchase a few good quality journals, a great pen and get ready to write. Keeping a journal helps you to organize your thoughts and feelings soon after you experience them and it gives you something to reflect on later in life. When you are facing a challenging situation, it can help to read how you handled it before and what the outcome was. Your journals will be invaluable when you get older and want to remember the places you have been and people you met.
If you prefer to save memories on video, but don’t have time to edit them, get Magisto. This free app is available on Apple and Android devices and easily creates videos for you. You tap the photos and video clips you want, select a theme and the video is set to music and can be downloaded or shared on social media. You end up with a professional-looking video without spending precious time creating it.
Preserve Your Memories
Documenting your travel nurse experiences can take a bit of effort and time commitment, but it becomes invaluable over time. Make it a priority during your next assignment by dedicating 10 minutes each week to collect tokens from your journey, write notes about what you did and learned, and gather it all into a collection that is meaningful for you. When you revisit your stories about travel nursing months or decades later, the items you keep will be precious mementos from that time.