It is hard to know where to begin to talk about Travel Nursing in Canada! As a Registered Nurse (and other allied health professionals – xray, lab, LPN), you are able to sign up for and travel as a locum to sites in need across Canada. I have traveled to 5 provinces, 7 facilities, totaling 14 assignments. 

I have always been a blend of extrovert/introvert, and nursing can be hard on the introvert part of my personality. I always cherished travel nursing because I was able to connect with those I worked with (patients and new coworkers), but it was also a great way to spend time alone on my off days. I was able to dig more into photography as a hobby and have been able to spend a lot of time in nature on my own. 

Traveling changes you. Even in Canada, cultures, language and ways of living are different from coast to coast. Exploring Canada renewed my appreciation for nature and for the vastly different landscapes that belong to us as a nation. I am a big believer that you can love where you live, wherever that is (as a born and bred Sask girl who constantly gets made fun of haha). I wouldn’t live a majority of the places I visited, but I have such an appreciation and respect for the people that do.

My original life goal was to travel 30 countries before I turned 30 (I made it halfway!). However, I got distracted exploring my own country, and have absolutely no regrets about that. Below are my travels.

->I started in 2015 in Goose Bay, Labrador for a month of -30 to -50, was able to see the northern lights, go snowmobiling and snow shoeing. 

->I traveled back and forth (off and on) from the Prairies to St. Anthony, Newfoundland, from November to June of 2015/2016 and met the loveliest local people. I was able to explore the entirety of the west coast/northern peninsula of Newfoundland, go skiing, visit the Vikings, have fresh east coast seafood, and catch iceberg season. That remains an all-time high for me. I also was able to support the local economy and buy locally-sourced, handmade sealskin mitts for myself, my mom, and my sister in law. I cherish those mitts to this day.

->I drove from Saskatchewan through to BC’s interior to Prince Rupert in 2016, and spent the month of August sea kayaking and hiking along the coast. I ferried from Prince Rupert to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and drove across the island to take a placement in Surrey. I spent the month of September hiking, shopping and exploring the west coast. 

I convinced the company to rent an Airbnb and had amazing hosts. I was able to use their connections to take a road trip up to Lillooet, Whistler and Squamish and did some amazing hiking and driving.

->I ended up moving to Kamloops, BC in 2017 and from there I did placements in Sechelt (along the sunshine coast north of Vancouver. If you get a chance, go here, explore here, you will not be disappointed) and Squamish. In Sechelt I did lots of walking and hiking around the local community, and I rented a vehicle and explored the coast farther north on one trip. Squamish has great people, a great vibe and great biking! 

->In July 2018 I drove to Whitehorse (Yukon) with my parents and then stayed for a 6-week placement. The weather was amazing, and I had a vehicle so I explored as much as I could on every day off. I hiked 16 km around the Whitehorse river valley, and explored multiple lakes and valleys. Before my parents left we booked a planned tour of the Kluane National Park and glaciers, and saw the tallest mountain for the widest base (I think in the world). The icefields tour was another highlight for me.

Larissa is a 28 year old born and raised in Saskatchewan. After moving to British Columbia and then to Alberta, she calls the prairies home. She’s been a Registered Nurse for 7 years, and is currently pursing her Masters of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner at the University of Alberta. Her original life goal was to travel to 30 countries before the age of 30 (made it to 15!), but got side tracked by grad school. In her spare time you can find her reading, exploring breweries, road tripping, paddle boarding or hiking.