About me

First let me start with a disclaimer. I have never considered myself a decent writer. Not even close. I avoided writing at all costs throughout my life, but I’m always up for a challenge and an opportunity to develop new skills. With the help of my beautiful girlfriend as editor, I hope to be able to communicate my ideas effectively. Here goes nothing.

My name is Jared Casazza. I am an enthusiast of all things physical therapy, travel, finance, fitness, nutrition, investing, and real estate. The best single phrase to describe me would be, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  Although this may seem to have a negative connotation to some, I feel that Jack gets a bad rap. Most of my life in recent years has been based on the Pareto principle (80% of the knowledge about a subject can be achieved in 20% of the time required to learn the subject in its entirety), but I never realized this until recently. I believe that most of the benefits of learning about a new topic come in the period of time in which you become proficient. Past this point, diminishing returns are inevitable. I would rather gain adequate knowledge on a topic as efficiently as possible and then move on to something else that will help me develop in other facets of my life. This blog will be my way of communicating my ideas and accumulated knowledge to others, as well as chronicling my journey with traveling physical therapy. First, let’s start with a little background about myself.

I’m 27 years old and have been finished with school for about a year now. I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and graduated from Cave Spring High School. My Bachelors degree is in Sports Medicine from Radford University. I received my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Radford Universtiy, as well, in 2015. Since graduation, I have been working as a traveling physical therapist. For those that don’t know what that means, basically I take short term contracts, usually three months, in different places around the country. For the most part, I am able to choose the geographical location where I want to work and the physical therapy setting in which I want to work. Outpatient orthopedics is always my first choice.

My girlfriend, Whitney, is a physical therapist as well, and we travel together. Initially the thought of traveling and starting new jobs several times a year was terrifying, but we decided that it would be worth it. The idea of being paid well while exploring the country was enticing, especially with over $250k in student loan debt between the two of us. We spent our first nine months of contracts in an area a little over an hour from our hometown in Virginia. The reason for this was two-fold. First, we wanted to be close to home in order to travel back easily for weddings over the summer and be close to family in case this travel thing didn’t go exactly as planned. Second, we wanted to go to a rural area to keep our cost of living as low as possible, with the goal of saving money to buy a fifth wheel camper and a truck to haul it so that we could start our “real” travel journey across the country.

At the beginning of 2016, we began living full time in a 2009 Coachmen Chaparral 33-foot fifth wheel camper. Many people that I have spoken with feel that living in a camper would be miserable. I have to admit, at first we were concerned about that as well. However, our experience to this point has been very positive overall, even when taking into account the several mornings of having no running water due to “enjoying” the Virginia winter. It has definitely been a learning experience in many ways, including testing our ability to live together in such a small space, but we wouldn’t be doing this adventure any other way.

It should be evident at this point where the title of this blog originated. I spend 40+ hours a week working as a physical therapist and live full time in a fifth wheel camper, with the goal of reaching financial independence as quickly as possible.

Although physical therapy is how I make a living and one of my main passions, I have several other interests that I pursue in my free time. These include: financial independence, personal finance, bodybuilding/powerlifting, nutrition, supplementation, credit card rewards, travel hacking, investing, hiking, and real estate. Over the past several years, I have spent a significant amount of time reading and learning about each of these areas. I consider myself to have somewhat of an obsessive personality when it comes to my interests. My first two years of grad school I spent an unhealthy amount of time reading research, books, blogs, and articles about nutrition and weight lifting. There became a point in my last year of grad school where my focus shifted and I began learning and reading about personal finance, investing, and credit card rewards. This continues through today and has included countless hours of reading and listening to podcasts. It may seem odd to many, but I love to discuss investing, retirement planning, and asset allocation.

My friends know that when I become interested in something, I will learn everything that I possibly can about the subject. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and my efforts are usually focused on one certain area at any point in time. This has led to many questions from friends over the years about the interests that I listed above. I love to help people in addition to talking about my interests, so naturally I enjoy answering these questions. A blog seems like the perfect place to write about the things that I have learned, as well as some of my ideas, and will eventually be the place that I direct people that are asking for guidance.

The main focus of this blog will be travel physical therapy and our journey, but be aware that the things listed above will inevitably surface as well. I am always open to feedback and discussion regarding anything that I write about. Thank you very much for reading, and I hope that I can teach you something.

14 thoughts on “About me

  1. Just wanted to say hello! I really identify with your situation, as my wife and I, along with our son and dog, plan to hit the road in an Airstream in about three years, at which time I intend to start working as a traveling nurse. I’m really looking forward to following along with your journey and I hope you’ll stop by my site and say hey. We’d love to have you join us on our adventure, as well, as we work our way to FIRE. Nice to meet you; I’ll be looking forward to reading more from you. Talk to you soon!

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      • And a dog! 😐 lol

        It will definitely be an adjustment but we’re super excited about it. We are actually going to Denver in a few weeks for a little getaway and plan to stop at a dealer and check out the model I’ve been eyeing (Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk.) It has a bedroom for me and my wife and, on the opposite end, a bunk-bed style area for our son, allowing for some personal privacy, as well.

        I’ve also considered a Class C, like the Coachmen Freelander, or even a Class A, like the Winnebago Brave. Ultimately though, I like Airstream for their nostalgia, the fact that they hold their value relatively well, and my fear that slide outs are just one more thing to break, considering three of us and a dog will be living in it full-time. They may be irrational concerns but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…lol. Also, I like the idea of not having to drive a 30+ foot RV and have to tow a car behind it. I suppose the length of the rig won’t be any different towing an Airstream with a truck but I just like the idea of it a little better.

        What made you decide on the fifth-wheel that you purchased?

        Liked by 1 person

      • It will be a little cramped but you can do it for sure. You may have some difficulty finding space for clothes though. We decided on the fifth wheel because we wanted as much room as possible and a full closet which was not available in any of the travel trailers we looked at. Also we wanted a decent sized kitchen because we cook pretty much every night. Our fifth wheel is actually bigger than we need though and is more of a small apartment honestly. Make sure you continue to do your research and think about where everything will go inside. It seems that you always have more stuff than you think you do when you start packing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have no doubt that will be somewhat of a challenge; I’m pretty sure, however, that the bed lifts up with storage space underneath and I have seen several idea on utilizing that space with storage bins. The kitchen is definitely a need for us, as well, as I want a good-size fridge and an oven.

        I’ve read about an interesting exercise of taping off an area roughly the size of the square footage of your chosen RV/trailer and then placing items within the area that you want/need. It will definitely take some serious consideration and provide a realization of that which is truly necessary and/or important. We plan to sell/donate most of our possessions when the time comes, keeping only some things that will be useful in a future home and saving us from having to buy new again (e.g. microwave, kitchen table/chairs.) It will all depend on where we can or decide to store things. Obviously, if the cost of storage is greater than the value of the stuff, it won’t be worth the hassle and we’ll just sell it all. It’s really crazy to imagine but will one day be our reality! 🙂

        It’s very inspiring to read about you guys doing exactly what I’m dreaming of and seeing just how possible (and presumably amazing) it’s going to be!

        Liked by 1 person

      • For us, I would say that it has been cold weather, and small things breaking/not working. This would be the case with a house too but I’m just not very good at fixing things. For a while one of our holding tanks wouldn’t empty so we were having to use the bathhouse instead of the bathroom inside… Pretty inconvenient for a while. Then, the cold weather caused our water hose to freeze a few times over the winter which meant having to shower in the bathhouse and buy gallons of water at the store.

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      • Those seem to be pretty much anticipated kind of things. As for the cold, we’re alright with it here in SD but, once we got the road, we’ll likely plan things to follow nice weather. Sunny and 60-80 year round would be nice…lol. As for the hose freezing problem…I’m not sure if it’s recommended but maybe heater tape or something similar could be utilized? I’m just spit-balling and have done zero research on that. Just a thought. Also, there are YouTube videos to learn anything. I utilized some when laying laminate flooring and changing toilets last summer.

        Thanks for sharing your struggles 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah heat tape is an option. We actually ended up getting a “heated water hose” and although it was costly, it helped. After this past winter we decided that we will be basing our assignments on the seasons in order to avoid freezing (and also extremely hot) temperatures too often. YouTube has been very helpful as you mentioned. I’m planning on relying on YouTube a lot in about 6 weeks when I’ll have to back into a site at a campground for the first time…

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like an awesome plan. Good luck on the back in. That’s one thing that worries me about future towing. I imagine I’ll find some empty walmart parking lots in the middle of the night to get some practice in *thumbs up* lol!

        Good luck and let me know how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jared! I ran across your blog from some other travel therapy site I was on and then read your bio. I’m from Roanoke too! I graduated undergrad from JMU but went to Radford as well for grad school! I’m an SLP and have been traveling for a little over a year. Can’t wait to dive into your blog and soak up your knowledge! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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