My journey has been the story of accidentally ending up exactly where I'm meant to be. By the time I graduated high school, between both households I had moved many times. The idea of a mobile life had always been enticing because to me, home had already always been where I was rather than a single place.
When it came time to choose a college and a major I was at a loss. I knew that my life was not meant to be lived in a single place, but I also did not have any idea what that would mean as far as the career I needed. I eventually decided that I would simply get my PT degree because "I could just do that until I figured out what I really want to do with my life." From there, I stumbled onto Quinnipiac when we drove by and there was a state park right across the street. Of course I ended up checking out the state park and not the college campus, but I made up my mind that "well, I could deal with anything close to this park since it's only six and a half years."
I knew within an hour of arriving on campus that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. My time at Quinnipiac was amazing and the school was completely right for me. I discovered on the first day of my first clinical after my third year that this was exactly the career for me. I loved it. Getting to help people return to activity and movement was perfect for me. As someone who is active and firmly believes that movement is the key to life, I loved helping return patients to functional movement.
When I graduated with my DPT, I still did not want to settle in one place; travel PT allowed me to continue to pursue adventures in multiple locations. I had taken all of my clinicals in different states and between clinicals and travel placements, I had already managed to live a bunch of places.
By the time I arrived in Austin, I had lived in Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Texas (in Dallas on contract with FTS for the first time), Arizona, and California. I had originally been planning on doing a new state every contract, but I made the mistake of getting licensed in Arizona immediately followed by California. After the headache of the licensing process in those two states, I decided that I would simply rotate through the states I had my licenses in until those were about to need renewal and then I would start applying for new licenses again.
That mistake brought me to Austin, again on contract with FTS through my travel company. And here I still am three years later. I fell in love with Austin. It was a city that encouraged outdoor activities and an active lifestyle. Not only did I fall in love with the city, I fell in love with the people and ended up with a strong group of friends. I knew I had found the place that was meant to be my home.
Then I met Nathan. Last year saw us move in together and get a puppy. This year has already seen us buy a house, something I would never have seen myself finding a place I loved enough to do.
None of this would have been possible without FTS. FTS is the only reason I was able to get a contract in Austin and discover the home I was meant to have. I have worked for many companies in my travels. Foreman has supported me more than any company I have worked for. The team comes with some great clinicians that have made home health a lot less lonely than I ever anticipated. The flexibility of being able to take time off when I want has allowed me to continue to satisfy my travel and adventure needs while working a job that I love, blending the best of both worlds and allowing me to continue to be my best happy self!
Courtney McClean PT