Keegan and Lauren Martin are a married couple who have been experiencing life as a traveling PT pair. Together they have providing physical therapy services to underserved communities that desperately needed their skills. Read all about what it is like to travel with friends and significant others.
How did you two meet?
Keegan – We met each other in PT school at Mount St. Joseph University on the west side of Cincinnati, OH. We were in the same class and obviously knew each other from school but didn’t become close until following our first year. My buddies from school and I moved into a house that just so happened to be about two blocks from the house Lauren and some other PT classmates were renting. Our two houses began weekly “family dinners”, as they became known, and as a group we started seeing each other not only all day in class but most evenings at one the “family’s” houses. From there we basically became inseparable and have been together ever since.
When did you get married? How did being a travel therapist assist in the process of taking time off for a wedding and honeymoon?
We got married on Oct 1st 2016 in Columbus, OH. At the time, we were working our first contract doing home health PT in beautiful Racine, WI. Doing home health was a little stressful at the time because it was our first job after graduation but it allowed us the flexibility to plan our wedding which required a lot of time to travel back to Ohio. Our first contract was originally supposed to end the week before our wedding but when the company we were working for expressed interest in extending the contract, we were able to work the needed time off for the wedding and honeymoon into our extension. This really reduced our stress level with the wedding fast approaching. Thankfully our wedding went off without a hitch, our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic was perfect, and it was nice coming home to a familiar job without needing to worry about moving or a new orientation.
What are the positives and negatives about traveling as a pair?
Lauren – There are plenty of positives of traveling together as a pair! One of the greatest perks of being able to travel with Keegan is that I always have a familiar face and friend to ease the transition to a new city/state, job, and way of living. Moving somewhere new can be overwhelming but when there are two of you, whether it is a spouse or friend, it is much more thrilling. It is also fabulous to be able to share adventures, stories, and new experiences with. We have been able to do many things together such as hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and much more. It very much allows for bonding and creating a better connection! One of the negatives that we hadn’t considered was the increased difficulty of finding two jobs in the same facility or town. Because we need two jobs close enough to obviously allow us to live together, it can make the choices much fewer. However, it has opened us to more areas that we may not have considered previously!
What states have you traveled to together? Which was your favorite and why?
We have been very fortunate to have completed 6 different assignments in 5 different states at this point. Each of our assignments have been in new cities, with many new adventures. Our first assignment was in Racine, Wisconsin in which we did Home Health. It was such a fabulous place to be because we were right on Lake Michigan, close to road bike trail, able to go to concerts in Milwaukee, as well as see the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field and The Ohio State Buckeye play the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. Next we traveled to Richmond, IN in which we both worked in outpatient clinics. We met and worked with so many great people, bonded with fellow travelers, and had some great opportunities to visit with our families in Ohio. Although Richmond is a small town, we found plenty to do between the bike trails, spending time with co-workers, and having our families visit. Our third contract was in Crescent City, CA. We worked in acute care and inpatient rehab for the same hospital in northern California. Prior to moving to Cali, we bought a 24ft travel trailer, renovated it, and pulled it out there with us because the housing availability in crescent city left much to be desired. This was by far our most adventurous contract and it lead to many wonderful moments like living in a camper in a redwood forest, hiking every single weekend, living 5 minutes from the beautiful northern California coast, and being 20 minutes from Oregon where we were able to travel to some of our favorite places like Umpqua National Forest and Crater Lake. Following Cali we traveled back to the Midwest to Kokomo, IN in which we worked in the acute care and inpatient rehab settings. Like Richmond, the people of Kokomo really made our time there so enjoyable and we developed a special bond with quite a few. We spent almost 6 months there so we could be close to families for the holidays and it really led to a certain level of comfort we had not experienced yet in our journey. In Kokomo we were able to participate with the hospital softball team and with some play and support from the stands helped the team defeat the rival hospital team for the first time in years. Safe to say they take their softball very serious in the Midwest. Our next contract was in Eufaula, AL where we worked in home health with some terrific clinicians. We were blessed to arrive in the offseason which allowed us to rent a furnished home on Lake Eufaula where we caught many catfish and caught some beautiful sunsets from our dock and kayaks on the lake. Eufaula introduced us to southern hospitality so we decided to stay in the south and our current contract is in Spartanburg, SC where we each are working in home health. Spartanburg has been very enjoyable thus far and we’ve been able to visit the Great Smoky Mountains, hike around Asheville, and enjoy the pool at our apartment complex.
Crescent City, CA was probably our favorite contract because the absolute natural beauty that we got to discover on a daily basis. It was a terrific spot to allow us to travel to San Francisco, Napa Valley/Sonoma Wineries, Portland, among many other places. We were able to hike some of the most gorgeous trails in the US each and every weekend, went for a hot air balloon ride over Sonoma, took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River, and hiked some of the most beautiful waterfalls while camping in Umpqua National Forest. It was such a difference from our environment back in Ohio and we cherished every moment in that beautiful corner of our country.
What advice to do you have to other pairs (friends, partners, spouses) interested in traveling together?
Our biggest advice for traveler pairs would be to have an open mind about small town placements. We both were hesitant with some of our contracts because of the distance, remote location, or unknown area. However, we both have been very happy with each of our placements and all the wonderful people we have met along the way. So our advice would be to take a chance and have an open mind because finding two positions in the same area may lead to more rural areas but it is well worth it and very rewarding!
Interested in experiencing similar adventures as Keegan and Lauren being a travel therapist? Reach out to their recruiter, Shanda Gomez, for information regarding current openings!