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.