During my travels in Sri Lanka I met a very amiable French girl that was traveling with her brother. She told me her dream was to travel around the world but that she couldn’t because she was a physiotherapist. I answered that you can travel with any job as long as you truly want it. Because I truly believe that!
After conducting a lot of research, here is a list of the best options I found to help her and all other aspiring physio travellers like you follow their personal legend!
How To Become a Traveling Physical Therapist
Teach a Course in a Developing Country
Meet Carl, who recently traveled to Buenos Aires to teach a course. Many people travel around teaching courses, and you could too!
This definitely requires a few years of prior experience, but if you have those under your belt, then this option is for you.
Work for an International Sports Team & Travel With Them
If you work as a sports physio you can travel extensively by staying with them on the road. In addition, if you get a contract with a major sports team or specific player, this is probably one of the best paid jobs in the traveling physical therapist industry.
Here are some great resources to get you started;
- Canada – Register to Find a Physio.
- UK – Physio Spot & Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
- Forums – PhysioBob’s Forum
- Facebook – Join Groups related to Sports & Physiotherapy as they sometimes post jobs and opportunities
- Twitter – Follow thought leaders in the physio industry as they also post jobs and opportunities
- Google+ – Follow Google+ communities related to physiotherapy. You may be surprised to find your next opportunity here!
Work for Doctors Without Borders
There is an increasing demand for traveling physical therapists for emergency prevention. Go out for a year or two and help doctors in unstable regions, offering your skill set for a life-giving cause.
This is actually a great alternative way to become a traveling physical therapist! Not only are you traveling, but you are also helping others and honing your skill set for when you return home.
February 2017 Edit : You can also apply to work with The International Red Cross (ICRC), or Handicap International which offer great work opportunities abroad.
Work on a Cruise Ship
Cruise ships are always fighting for quality talent. You can work on a cruise ship as their primary physical therapist. Websites you can use to find these jobs include Cruiseshipjobs.com, and HotelCareer.com. Once you find the jobs you want, search for them on the specific cruise company website. This will give you a better chance of success and you won’t have to pay commission.
If this alternative way is of interest to you, here is a great article to get you started on how to land a traveling physiotherapist job on cruise ships, and a great forum with practical advice.
Learn the In’s and Out’s of How to Secure A Cruise Ship Job
Apply For An Internship With These Companies
WorkTheworld, Projects-Abroad, Go Abroad, One World 365, etc. These are all companies that will either: give you free room & board, or make you pay a lump sum that includes transportation, room & board, food, and activities during your internship.
These internships can get quite expensive, so this is suited to a student or recent graduate that needs international experience and has money to spend.
Nevertheless, there are some hidden gems in these websites so they are still worth a look!
Need a break from working as a traveling physical therapist? Consider traveling as a Masseuse.
Work in a High-End Hotel
HotelCareer.com gives you access to a job board that focuses on physical therapy opportunities in luxury hotels. This is a great way to make a salary while living in a different part of the world, not to mention free room and board!
Sometimes they also offer jobs on cruise ships so it’s worth the look.
Offer your services on WorkAway, Helpx, and WWOOF
This is another volunteer option that can allow you to travel and volunteer, without having to pay. It may be more difficult, but if you succeed the benefits will outweigh the time and effort you put into securing an opportunity.
What you can do is offer your physio skill sets to a HelpX, WorkAway, or WWOOF host. People in their community may be in dire need of a traveling physical therapist, and have never asked through these platforms. You are likely to receive many “No’s” but all you need is a few “Yes’s” to make a 6-month trip happen.
Legal Note: When advertising your services on these platforms I would advise you to check the insurance and health policies and standards in the country before you commit!
Apply for a Longer-Term Position in a Specific Country
Going to a different country to work a full-time job for a year is just as much traveling as backpacking through SE Asia for a few months. You experience a specific culture on a much deeper level and get to know all the best places local places to eat and have fun. Many countries are looking for full-time, quality physiotherapists. You can find jobs on websites like PhysioHub, Trademe, and Learn 4 Good.
If you have skills or knowledge that is specific to your country, use it to secure a position overseas. Whether that be Australia, New Zealand, Qatar, Asian or African countries, it is certain that the practices will differ slightly from place to place- and you have knowledge to bring to other cultures!
Simply search “physio jobs in COUNTRY” or “traveling physical therapist jobs in COUNTRY” (or a derivative of these) on Google and you will learn about many opportunities in that country.
Related: Things to think about before you quit your job to travel the world
Write a Book or Build a Blog
Take a year sabbatical and go around the world interviewing professional physiotherapists. Then write a book about your findings. This will probably allow you to land multiple other jobs in other countries as your network will grow drastically.
This one may be a bit farfetched, but I figured I would include it in the end to get the creative juices flowing!
Here is an amazing blogging course I recommend if you want to start generating extra income through a professional blog. As a Physical Therapist you have knowledge few others share and you can use that to your advantage.
When There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Don’t give up!
If you truly want to become a traveling physical therapist, there are ways to do so. I’m only getting you started.
These may require more research, outreach, and perseverance – but this is the price of following your dreams, no matter what your objective is.
I invite you to comment if you have ever been a traveling physical therapist or are planning to do so. If I’ve missed any alternative ways of traveling as a physio please let me know.
Until Next Time,
The Alternative Ways
Photo Credit: Thank you Pixabay for all the amazing pictures!
It just shows you can travel with virtually any job if you’re prepared to think outside the box a bit. I’m not convinced it is particularly easy to travel as a physio, but there are a lot of possibilities. This is an interesting way to think about travel.