Have you thought about doing this before? Have you or your spouse toyed with the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could travel around together? Let me bring you into our lives a little bit, shall we!?
The end of last year, October 2015, Zack and I lightly brushed on the subject of him applying to become a travel nurse. I remember like it as if it were just yesterday, we were at Calico Skies Winery outside of Sioux Falls, sipping on a glass of beautiful red wine to celebrate our birthdays, when he started talking to me about this opportunity. He told me that he had been messaging a friend, Whitney Wheeler who also is a travel nurse, about how you go about doing this, and what are the pros and cons. I have to say, it was as much of a shock as it was exciting to think about. We hashed out the details of how he must go about applying, to where we would go first, and what this meant for both of us. Keep in mind, we kept this a secret from everyone until about Christmas time because we didn't want our families to get excited or sad until it was 100% for sure. When we finally told them, everyone had their own opinions, but most were excited for us. Honestly, no matter what people thought, that wasn't going to change our minds of doing this together. I mean, why wouldn't we do this as a newly married couple!?
Lets jump to our actual moving point, end of January 2016. Now, this was pretty emotional time to leave because of my brothers car accident the day we were to move to North Carolina. We (I say we, but it was really me) sold a lot of items we didn't need, or thought by the end of our traveling we wouldn't want anymore. Talk about living a simple life! The things we kept, but didn't need on our trip, we stored. So literally we travel with a handful of clothes that are dedicated to the season we are in (which for me is like less than half my wardrobe), as little kitchen & bathroom stuff as possible. Reminder, all of this has to fit in our trailblazer, and around our fur baby Myla. On top of that simplicity, we only buy things as we need, no buying ahead of time to last months.
Let's jump to Zack actually starting his position. Thus far, both locations of our rotations, have been extremely different. One was fast pace and exciting every day (North Carolina) and the other is slower, and a peaceful small town (Pella, Iowa). Each time we have learned more about our relationship as a married couple, found a new Church to go to, new grocery stores, new cultures, new people, new weather, new ways to explore the country, and new attitudes about life.
Oh me? Well, my experience is just about completely different every time we move. As Zack comes to each place, he knows just about exactly what he is suppose to do as soon as he steps into the new hospital. Me, I come to each location having to restart my "branding" and getting my name out in the community each time. No city we've experienced, has been the same for me. Yes, I do get involved in the community as much as a person who moves every 13 weeks can. What does that mean? Well, as others who move to stay, can start getting involved in things like chamber of congress, city counsel, networking groups (which you pay usually for a year or half a year to be apart of), part time work in a gym, or things other communities offer, I need to find things that have no commitment of longer than 13 weeks. If that sounds hard to find, you are 100% right. The ways I have come to find are helpful to meet new people are dog parks, coffee shops, going to the gym, church, and the best one of them all, Social Media.
Let me finish with this, this life is meant to be exciting, new, thrilling, and sometimes hard. I've learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses, and each day I work to get a little better personally. I am an extrovert yes, most of you are aware of this, so moving to new locations often is fun for me. However, it's hard the first month or so to make myself known to a few people in the community, and get familiar with the lifestyle. This is my job, meeting new people, learning about them, and seeing if I can help them. Each time we move I really focus to get better during that first month, and try new strategies to meet new people. The people we have met, the sites we have seen, the landmarks we've drove or walked past, and the memories made will never be forgotten. And yet, this has just begun! So I ask, after all of this, is this for you? If one of you have traveling position, the other does what I do....well then, maybe we need to talk about how you can do this too. Doesn't hurt to ask, right?
Thank you for following our story, and supporting us as we live a very far from normal life! We love you, and look forward to our next adventure!