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4 Ways to Boost Your Travel Nurse Resume

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Great resumes tell a story. What does your resume say about you?

First impressions are everything when it comes to the travel nurse job hunt. And like it or not, your resume is a hiring manager’s first impression of you. So, how can you take your travel nurse resume to the next level? Consider the following four ways you can boost your resume and stand out from the crowd: 

Find the right template for you: A quick Google search will show you there are countless resume templates out there. So, that begs the question, which one is the best fit for you? Luckily, there is no right or wrong answer here. Just make sure the format of your resume is clean, well-structured, and detailed. Bonus tip: Most hiring managers skim resumes, so make sure yours is easy to read. 

Modify your resume to the job: In this digital age of SEO and algorithms, you should tailor your resume to the job for which you are applying. Remember to strategically sprinkle a few keywords throughout your resume. If you are unsure which keywords to use, let the job description be your guide.

Use action verbs to highlight your skills: At its most basic, a resume is simply a summary of your professional skills and experience, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Instead, your resume should tell your story and showcase your personality. Fortunately, action verbs can help you do just that and make your resume shine. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a great list of action verbs for you.

Proofread, proofread, proofread: You need grammar mistakes on your resume like you need a HIPPA violation. These preventable errors make you look sloppy — and could be the reason you aren’t getting your dream job. Avoid potential grammar gaffes and ask someone to review your resume before you hit send.

What other resume-building tips have you learned while travel nursing? Let us know in the comments below!

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Clinical Corner: Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Laura Friend, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse Manager

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Beat the winter blues with these great tips!

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the color changes of the trees, cool nights, football games, and knowing the holidays are fast approaching. While it’s my favorite season, I always know what’s right around the corner. It starts right after the hustle of the holidays and lasts through the first few weeks of March. Growing up, I thought it was just the “winter blues” because I couldn’t spend my time outside like I preferred, but I now believe I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Symptoms of SAD typically begin in the late fall and begin to ease in the spring. Symptoms can range from feeling tired or having low energy to feeling depressed and hopeless or even having thoughts of suicide. Others report increased appetite, low libido, agitation, and difficulty concentrating.

For me, I feel a lack of energy – I do not want to see friends and I tend to make poor nutrition choices. My seasonal affective disorder was at its worst when I worked night shift; I drove to work in the dark, was awake all night in the dark, drove home before the sun was up, and slept during the limited sunlight. It got a little better when I changed to the day shift, but I was still working in the CVOR with no windows. This will be my first winter working where I will have access to windows, natural light and normal sleeping hours and I am anxious to see how that affects my mental and emotional health this year.

Causes of SAD can include decreased melatonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns and mood. Decreased serotonin levels due to reduced sunlight can also affect and exacerbate SAD symptoms. I personally feel the shorter days and increased darkness makes me feel less energized to do anything, and that triggers a cycle of loneliness, laziness, and further decreased my energy.

Fortunately, there are many different kinds of treatments available. Phototherapy, or light therapy, uses a special light that mimics the sun to help offset the effects of less natural sunlight. These lights are available without a prescription. Some doctors may prescribe antidepressant medications to help balance the decreased levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Counseling, exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep habits, getting outside, and socializing with friends may also help.

If you suffer from SAD, please know you are NOT alone. Medical Solutions can help by offering you a change of scenery, giving you exciting, new adventures, or placing you someplace warm and sunny during those long, cold winter months.

Ready to beat the winter blues with a new travel nursing job? Search for your new job today!

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Medical Solutions Traveler Becomes a Published Author

Never underestimate the power of the pen and yourself. At least, that’s what Medical Solutions Traveler and author Rachel F. would tell you.

That’s because Rachel recently published her first book. Part memoir and part self-help book, “The Power of Yourself” inspires others to live life to the fullest.

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Rachel’s book “The Power of Yourself” is now available online.

“I want others to know the great power that lies within themselves,” says Rachel.

Rachel, who is a traveling respiratory therapist by day, has always wanted to help people. Then, during a difficult time in her life, she began writing as a way to cope. Ultimately, this journey of self-discovery and faith led Rachel to write her book. 

“When I decided to let go of all that pain and hurt that I went through, with God, I became stronger and stronger every day,” recalls Rachel. “[I realized] I wanted to help encourage and motivate people to never give up no matter what.”

With 12 years of clinical experience under her belt, Rachel also knows first-hand how valuable each life is.

“Every day is a gift,” says Rachel. “In this profession, God allows me to see the beauty of things as well as the difficulty of things.”

And while “The Power of Yourself” is now available online, Rachel doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. She is currently on assignment with Medical Solutions in California, works with Career Consultant Jennifer Stewart, and plans to write another book soon.

Congratulations, Rachel on this amazing achievement! We are so excited to see where your career — both as a writer and traveling healthcare professional — will take you!

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ACNL 2020 is Almost Here!

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Invest in yourself and your nursing career at the 42nd annual ACNL conference in Rancho Mirage, California.

2020 is officially the “Year of the Nurse.” As a nurse, there’s really no better way to jumpstart your year and your career than attending the Association of California Nurse Leaders 42nd annual conference! This year’s event — February 9th-12th — will take place in Rancho Mirage, California. Even better, Medical Solutions will be there, and we think you should join us. So, without further ado, here are three reasons why you should come to the ACNL conference:

Learn something new: From burnout prevention to succession planning, ACNL speakers will offer insight into today’s issues and challenges impacting nurse leaders. Who knows? You just might learn a few takeaways you can use at your own facility.

Network: The ACNL is also a great opportunity to connect with your peers, meet new contacts, and catch up with old friends. This year, on Saturday, February 8th, you can even participate in the ACNL’s golf tournament at the spectacular Pete Dye Course at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa.

Meet the experts: There will be several healthcare vendors at ACNL so you can learn about new healthcare staffing products or solutions. Don’t forget to stop by Booth 112/114 and visit with Medical Solutions! We’ll be offering fun giveaways and great conversation.

It’s not too late to register! Learn more here.

Are you going to ACNL 2020? What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below!

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Congrats to October 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

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Congrats to October 2019 Traveler of the Month Laura L., pictured here, getting ready to feast on a Maryland delicacy, crab.

Many thanks and congrats to the October 2019 Traveler of the Month, Laura L., and also our Rising Star winner, Justice O.!

Traveler of the Month Laura is an ER RN, BSN. Fun fact: Laura is no stranger to this award — she won Traveler of the Month for the first time in 2018. She has continued to provide outstanding patient care wherever she goes! Laura is currently on assignment in Nebraska, and she works with Career Consultant Jennifer Seay

Since we last checked in with Laura roughly two years ago, she’s been on a life-changing assignment in Maryland.

“I loved the East Coast and Maryland so much,” says Laura. “I ended up extending my contract to stay there for 8 months. I met a group of amazing people. They are my nearest and dearest friends, and I cannot wait to go back to Maryland for another assignment!”

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Laura travels with Oakley, her 9-year-old Collie/Shepard mix.

In the meantime, Laura continues to travel with Oakley, her furry partner-in-crime, a 9-year-old Collie/Shepard mix. And she’s looking forward to what the future has in store for her.

“I am so grateful that my life allows me to travel and gather all these new experiences!” says Laura. “I cannot wait to see where I go from here.”

Laura also shared this great advice for new travel nurses:

“Always remember: You’re there to help out because their current staffing is not ideal,” says Laura. “Be flexible, be positive, and willing to learn. Also, get to know the staff you work with. A lot of times, they are very willing to help travelers out by renting a room, and they get some extra cash in their pockets too!”

Laura, thank you for your dedication to your patients, and thanks also for the awesome advice and housing tip!

Rising Star Justice is a CRCST certified sterile processing tech currently on assignment in White Plains, New York. He works with Career Consultant Jake Zoucha.

Jake has been working with Justice for roughly a year now, and he says Justice deserves this incredible recognition and more.

“He’s a very hard worker, according to his on-site manager,” says Jake. “He’s someone you can count on and has taken on leadership responsibilities right off the bat!”

Thanks for being such a great traveler, Justice!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions October 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Laura and Justice, we are so thankful to each of you for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Try setting goals instead of resolutions this year.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution this year? If so, you aren’t alone. Research shows that roughly 60 percent of us do, but only 8 percent of us will accomplish them. In 2020, a year that just screams perfect vision, try setting SMART goals instead of resolutions. SMART goals can be used for either personal or professional objectives. Simply ask yourself the following questions to make a SMART goal: 

Is it Specific? Let’s say, your goal this year is “to grow in your career.” While it’s a nice sentiment, it’s too vague. Instead, you should flesh that sentence out to give it more meaning. For example, “I want to grow in my career by attending the AONL conference,” is a step in the right direction.

Is it Measurable? Now, while that above example is specific, it still doesn’t meet the requirements of a SMART goal yet. That’s because it isn’t measurable. Adding a metric to your goal will help you stay focused and motivated. Keeping in line with our example, you could write down, “I want to attend the AONL conference and participate in two nursing thought leader sessions this year.”

Is it Attainable? Whatever your goal is, it should be challenging, but not impossible to achieve. If your goal is too big, it’s easy to give up. Likewise, if it is too easy, you won’t necessarily be motivated to do it.

Is it Relevant? If your goal is important to you, you’ll be much more likely to make sure you achieve it.

Is it Timely? Remember to give yourself a timeline. If you don’t, the likelihood of you accomplishing your goal is slim. Deadlines make a goal seem more real and can give you the kick you need to start your project.

Ready, set, go achieve your SMART goals! And have a happy New Year!

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Top 7 Winter Locations for Healthcare Travel Jobs

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Where are you headed next, healthcare traveler? Consider one of these top 7 winter locations for healthcare travel jobs!

As winter’s chill settles in and we count down to 2020, now is a great time to pick your next destination for a fantastic healthcare travel job. Do you want to flee to somewhere warmer or travel to a place where you can truly enjoy the season of frosty festivities? However you choose to experience the season, we hope these top 7 winter locations for healthcare travel jobs get you excited for and brainstorming about your next gig!

Connecticut

Connecticut is a great choice if you’re seeking a picturesque New England winter. There’s a reason Christmas in Connecticut is an iconic, classic film — and that’s because this beautiful state looks so fine draped in snow and winter magic. There are plenty of places here for great skiing and snowboarding, for those who like to get out in the powder. For those who prefer to stay indoors, this state’s rich arts and history scenes mean tons of great museums to explore.  

Learn more about charming Connecticut in our Connecticut State Spotlight.

Click here to find a great healthcare travel job in Connecticut!

Florida

There’s no better place to beat the winter blues than The Sunshine State! For those who’d prefer to skip winter, you’ll love Florida’s warm temps, sunshine, and total lack of snow. In fact, Florida has the sunniest winter climate in the eastern U.S. and the highest average January temps in the whole nation! As you completely ignore the fact that winter is even a thing, treat yourself to experiences at famous literal hotspots like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Everglades National Park, Kennedy Space Center, Dry Tortugas National Park, the Florida Keys, Miami Beach, and more!

Learn more about fabulous Florida in our Florida State Spotlight.

Click here to check out healthcare travel job opportunities in Florida!

California

An assignment in The Golden State is on many a healthcare traveler’s to-do list. Kick off 2020 right in this gorgeous state with diverse landscapes including beaches, forests, prairies, deserts, and mountains. In Cali, you really can have it all, from theme parks to wine country, Hollywood to the redwoods, beaches to ski slopes, and so much more.  

Learn more about The Golden State in our California State Spotlight.

Click here to check out travel healthcare jobs in California!

Arizona

The Copper State is dreamy for a winter assignment whether you’re in it for mild weather or for the skiing. That’s right, Arizona is known not just for its year-round warm temps, brilliant deserts, national parks, and exciting cities. It also boasts great skiing for winter lovers at resorts in Flagstaff and Alpine. There’s also nothing like seeing the Grand Canyon dusted with snow — not to mention avoiding the hectic crowds of tourists seen in the peak summer season!

Learn more about amazing Arizona in our Arizona State Spotlight.

Click here to find a great healthcare travel job in Arizona!

Texas

If you prefer to fly south for winter, you might just want to mess with Texas! The Lone Star state stays comfortably warm throughout winter and has tons for travelers to see and do in both rural and urban spaces. There’s the Alamo, wonderfully weird Austin, the San Antonio boardwalk, Houston Space Center, Padre Island, and tons more. Texas is known for great shopping, dining, pro sports, museums, history, and so much more!

Learn more about The Lone Star State in our Texas State Spotlight.

Click here to explore jobs in Texas!

New York

From quaint upstate New York to The Big Apple, The Empire State is truly an. All-season wonderland. You can ski the Catskills, shop the after-Christmas sales, go ice skating in Bryant Park or Central Park, explore the state’s many museums and tourist attractions, take in a Broadway show, warm up with world-class cuisine, try cross-country skiing or snow-kiting, visit Winter Olympics venues in Lake Placid, and so much more in this gorgeous, versatile state.   

Learn more about The Empire State in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to explore healthcare travel jobs in New York!

Washington

The Evergreen State is a great place to winter for those who don’t like extreme temps and who love to see greenery year-round. Even in winter, Washington is an outdoorsy person’s dream, with ample opportunities for hiking, biking, boating, whale watching, and just plain ol’ gawking at the splendor of nature in famous places like Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Colombia River Gorge, and so many more. Places like Seattle are also wonderful for lovers of great coffee, craft beer, art, culture, food, shopping, and more.

Learn more about wonderful Washington in our Washington State Spotlight.

Click here to explore healthcare travel jobs in Washington!

Got your heart set on another location for your winter assignment? Click here to explore all of our travel nurse, allied health, and other healthcare travel jobs!

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Clinical Corner: Workplace Violence in Healthcare Facilities

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Workplace violence is all too common for healthcare workers, with the ANA citing the statistic that one in four nurses are assaulted on the job. Find out how to protect yourself and what to do if you are assaulted.

By Melissa Nguyen, Clinical Nurse Manager at Medical Solutions

Elise Wilson was 65 years old when she cheated death. She had been a nurse for 47 years and spent 36 of those years in the emergency room. The night of June 14, 2017, started like any other night in the ER. Elise took her patient’s vitals and the patient showed no obvious signs of being upset when she turned to enter the results in the computer. But when Elise looked over, she saw that the chair her patient had been sitting was now empty. She turned to look where he’d gone and he punched her in the head while also exposing a knife. Elise was stabbed in the neck and arm a total of 11 times, severing her brachial arterial and causing her to nearly bleed to death. The patient was briefly distracted by a security guard who was walking by and Elise was able to run out to the trauma room where she collapsed.  

In 2019, Lynne Truxillo was working at a behavioral health center in Louisiana when a patient began attacking another nurse. Truxillo intervened and the patient attacked her too, causing an injury to her right leg and a head injury from having her head struck against a desk. One week after the incident, Ms. Truxillo died from blood clots in her leg and both lungs, which coroners ruled had resulted from the previous week’s altercation.  

These are just a couple of upsetting stories, because unfortunately violence in the workplace is not an uncommon thing for healthcare workers to face. According to the American Nurses Association, one out of four nurses* are assaulted on the job. There is zero tolerance for violent behavior and under no circumstances should violence of any type be acceptable or considered just a part of working in nursing. 

Here are a few suggestions to protect yourself if you feel threatened in any way on the job:

Attempt to Escape

The first thing you should do is try to remove yourself from a dangerous situation. If you are unable to escape, make enough noise to gain attention to get help.

Find a Barrier

If you are unable to run far enough to get away, then find something that creates a barrier between you and the person assaulting you — a tray, computer, or piece of furniture could be used as barriers.  

Defend Yourself

If someone is threatening or attacking you, defend yourself with as much force as you can in order to get them to stop. At this point, you are acting in self-defense so fight back like your life depends on it. Continue to make as much noise as possible to gain attention to the situation.

Report the Assault

Report the incident immediately in accordance with your facility’s chain of command. 

Get Support

Experiencing workplace violence is not just a physical issue. It can also cause emotional and mental trauma. Seek help from your EAP (employee assistance program) or trauma counseling as needed.. 

If you are a survivor of workplace violence, you are not alone and it is not your fault. Please reach out to your supervisor, recruiter and/or Medical Solutions Clinical Team members to help and support you.

*Source: American Nurses Association (ANA). (2018). Workplace Violence.

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2019’s Best Healthcare Staffing Blog Posts

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Here’s the collection of blog posts that hit gold with our clients this year!

From a global measles outbreak to mental health awareness, 2019 turned out to be quite the year for the healthcare industry. As we take a moment to reflect, here are the top 2019 healthcare staffing blog posts we think deserve another look.

How Clinicians Can Combat the Measles Outbreak and the Anti-Vaccine Movement: In early 2019, a measles outbreak swept across parts of the nation—in fact, the epidemic in New York state became the largest and longest-lasting since measles elimination in 2000. In response, we put together a few tips on how all healthcare providers could talk to their vaccine-hesitant patients about the preventable disease.

Five Signs Your Hiring Process is Broken and How to Fix It: The war for the best clinical talent is here. If your facility wants to secure today’s top healthcare professionals, you might need to reexamine your hiring process. Read on to discover if your hiring process is the reason why you aren’t getting the candidates you want.

Building a Resilient Clinical Workforce: Mental health awareness continued to be a hot topic among healthcare professionals in 2019, and for good reason. Depression and burnout occur much more frequently in the medical profession than in other industries. Learn how you can protect yourself and your nursing staff by learning to build resiliency in this timely blog post.

How to Attract and Retain Quality Candidates: Great patient care begins and ends with the best healthcare professionals. That means your facility needs a strong acquisition strategy. Read on to learn how you can recruit and retain the best and brightest healthcare professionals in this blog post.

Tips on Choosing a Staffing Partner: Choosing the right healthcare staffing partner can be a daunting task. To help you find the ideal fit for your facility’s needs, we’ve compiled the following helpful tips!

How a Healthcare Staffing MSP Partner Can Help Boost Efficiency: With contingent labor programs on the rise, healthcare HR reps are turning to managed service providers to handle all temporary staffing chores. Read on to learn how an MSP can help your HR team reclaim hours of time.

How to Cultivate a Strong MSP Hospital Partnership: You’ve chosen an MSP to manage your contingent labor program. Now what? Learn what steps your facility’s team can take to create a strong partnership with your managed service provider.

Are you ready for 2020? Tell us in the comments below what you’d like to read about in the upcoming year!

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Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

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Congrats to September 2019 Traveler of the Month, Michelle R., pictured here with her husband, Tom, open water diving with blacktip reef sharks in Freeport, Bahamas!

Many thanks and congrats to the September 2019 Traveler of the Month, Michelle R., and also our Rising Star winner, Christopher M.!

Traveler of the Month Michelle is a critical access BSN/RN who loves to float between OB, MS, and ER. She’s been in nursing for 10 years and working in travel healthcare for nearly four years.

Michelle works with Career Consultant Ashley Klein and is currently on assignment in Libby, Montana.

“Libby has an amazing hospital with a wonderful staff,” she says. “They all work well together and welcome travelers with open arms. The bonus is the area is so beautiful.”

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Michelle on a Fall 2019 adventure during her contract in Libby, Montana.

Michelle is all about getting out and adventuring. (See the end of this post for more of her amazing photos!)

“I have a 2015 Harley Freewheeler Trike,” she says. “I open water dive with my husband, Tom, and our favorite place to dive is Freeport, Bahamas, but we’ve also dived in Roatan and Cancun.”

Michelle travels with her 3-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, Floki — yes, from the TV show “Vikings,” she says — and hubby Tom loves to come visit her on contract, especially if there’s fly fishing involved.  

“My husband has five years and then he will retire from law enforcement and start traveling with me full time,” says Michelle.  

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Michelle’s canine travel companion, Floki, on the Clearwater River in Idaho.

When it comes to her favorite things about travel nursing, Michelle is all about variety and learning.

“I love the variety of places I can travel and learning new things at each travel assignment,” she says. “It has made me a better and more confident nurse.”

Michelle offered up some fabulous tips for new and aspiring travel healthcare professionals:

“Don’t start traveling too soon. Give yourself a chance to develop your skills. We don’t get orientation as a traveler so you must be confident in your skills. You worked too hard to get your RN, why risk it?

“Reach out to travelers who have been doing it a long time and ask many, many questions before you decide to start traveling. We are an ‘at will’ employee. Things change with a blink of an eye.” 

“Go to TravCon in Vegas. It’s in September and it is worth the money. They have re-certification courses, CEUs, and many, many wonderful lectures. You will learn a lot. You will also be able to talk to many companies and recruiters to see who fits you best as a traveler. All of our needs are different so one company doesn’t fit all.”  

Thank you for your awesome work, wise advice, and zest for life, Michelle!

Rising Star Christopher is a sterile processing tech who was most recently on assignment at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s been working with Career Consultant Branden Thomas since July 2019, and Branden had really great things to say about Christopher’s talent, skill, and work ethic. 

“Christopher works extremely hard and has received positive feedback from the facility,” says Branden. “In fact, they brought him on perm because of his stellar performance.”

Thanks for being such a great traveler and we wish you the best in your new adventure, Christopher!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions September 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star. Michelle and Christopher, thank you both so much for your incredible work!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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Michelle explored wonderful Washington Pass while on contract in Brewster, Washington.
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Michelle’s Harley trike, out for a ride in Idaho.
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Michelle stops for a photo op alongside the Kootenai River near Libby, Montana.
Yellowstone Falls while on contract for a year in Rawlins Wyoming.  - Congrats to September 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
A picturesque image from Yellowstone Falls, which Michele explored while she was on contract for a year in Rawlins, Wyoming.