Memoir of a Student Travel Therapist

When I was younger, I was told by an old man that I looked like someone who would travel the world. Today, I am proving him right.

I’m a Doctor of Physical Therapy student, and I have just begun my third year in Physical Therapy (PT) school. I have a strong passion for traveling, but most times, school gets in the way. Fortunately, my school offers amazing study abroad programs every summer. In my opinion, being a student is hard and studying for a degree in doctorate program is even harder, but looking forward to the abroad programs makes it all easy and worth it.

In my Freshman year, I struggled through chemistry and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I would travel to Rome, Italy for three weeks in the summer. Having something to look forward to propelled me to pass chemistry and basically helped me get through the Freshman year. Luckily, one of the four people from my school going to Rome was in the same class and program as me. I never actually met Alyssa until the day of orientation in Rome. Now, she is one of my best friends and I do not know what I would do without her. Alyssa and I did everything together in Rome. We were each others support system when we felt homesick. Neither of us had ever been out of the country before, so this was an amazing experience for both of us.

In my second year of PT school, we continued to be each others rock as we tackled two semesters of physics and anatomy class. This was one of the hardest year in all my years of education but thankfully I made it through. Once again, the only thing that kept me focused on passing classes, besides the fact that I would be dropped from the program if I failed, was that I was going to be traveling to Florence in the summer for another study abroad program. While in Florence, I took two classes unrelated to physical therapy. I took the Science of Wine Tasting and Making, and the Epic History of Italians and their Food. I traveled to different wineries and restaurants and learned how wine is made and how to eat like an Italian. It was really a great experience to meet new people, learn about a different culture, ideas, places and foods.

Just before I left for my trip to Florence, the director of our study abroad program approached me and asked if I would want to stay in Europe for another four months to be the teachers aide in Lugano, Switzerland. Of course I said yes! As I am typing this memoir, I am sitting in my apartment in Switzerland after a day of hiking in the mountains. Life is Great! I guess this all fits into my future plans of becoming a Travel Physical Therapist after graduation, so that I can explore the States while helping people regain mobility and get their lives back after injury.

Traveling has opened me to new experiences, valuable skills and ability to navigate the world. Hopefully, I will continue to travel throughout the rest of my college experience to help prepare me for the future.

Here are some pictures of beautiful places I visited during my stay in Rome and Florence:

Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Conquering Mountain Vesuvius, Italy
Conquering Mountain Vesuvius, Italy
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy.
Coliseum, Italy
Coliseum, Italy
Lago, Ritom, Switzerland
Lago, Ritom, Switzerland

 

Top of Duomo, Florence, Italy
Top of Duomo, Florence, Italy

 

San Salvatore, Switzerland
San Salvatore, Switzerland

Follow Rebecca’s blog: travelingptblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Rebecca Thompson

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