The most frustrating thing that I hear young nurses say is, “I want to travel…but” because I’ve been there! Before I graduated nursing school, I knew that I wanted to be a travel nurse. In 2015, I finally gained enough experience, my lease was ending at my apartment and I was feeling complacent at my current job. It felt like the perfect time for me to start traveling…but I was in a relationship at the time and he was not on board.
I have always been a persuasive girl and thought, “Surely I could convince him to join me.” We were both young, ambitious and nothing was holding us back. We loved to travel and had so much fun together. He was a nurse, and so was I. It seemed like the perfect saga. After first mentioning the idea to him, I could tell it wouldn’t be easy trying to persuading him. I spent the next few months extremely excited to start traveling but I knew that I NEEDED him to join me. I felt so dependent that I convinced myself, if we couldn’t do it together then it wasn’t meant to be. As time passed, I began to see that traveling was NOT in his plans; and I accepted that. I always told myself that he was such a good man, and I was such a good woman so I needed to stay by his side. If he didn’t want to be a travel nurse, then neither did I.
When he and I went our separate ways, my dreams of becoming this badass travel nurse resurfaced. I woke up one day and finally realized: I was young, I was single and I was in charge of my happiness. So I said, “F it, I’m doing this for me” and that’s exactly what I did!
Now that I’m a traveler, it kills me to hear other nurses say, “I want to travel…but“. But nothing, it’s all an excuse. Unless you are married or have kids (and they are not able to come)…I really don’t want to hear it. Because it reminds me of a time when I too felt so loyal to someone else that I was willing to put my dreams aside for something that wasn’t eternal.
Since I began traveling, I have never felt so much peace. I remember a conversation I had with my mom before I decided to start traveling. I told her, “I feel like I’m wasting time; I really want to travel but I have so much more to do too. I want to go back to school, I want to buy a house, and I really want to settle down so that men will know I can be a good wife.” And in her usual short-ended response, she told me, “Then you need to travel.” Without an explanation, I knew what she meant.
In order for me to be an excellent grad student, I needed more clinical experience. In order for me to be a homeowner, I needed to experience what it was like being away from home. And in order for me to be happily married with no regrets, I needed to be a travel nurse.
So I urge you today, stop making excuses and start making plans. If you are in a serious relationship like I once was, then have that talk with your partner and share the desires of your heart. If he loves you enough, he’ll be willing to let you live your life or join along for the ride. Truth is, no one wants to marry someone KNOWING that they held them back from their dreams. If you are bound to anyone or anything and feel like you can’t travel because they NEED you, I urge you to let go! None of us are that important; there is ALWAYS someone who can fill your shoes. I hope you have enough courage to do whatever makes you happy; I will always be rooting for you!