After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, my contract in the Virgin Island was canceled. 90% of the island was destroyed, including the airport. I was forced to evacuate to Puerto Rico and fly home to Houston. Sadly enough, I’ve actually written the blog about my experience in surviving a category five hurricane. I wrote about spending four days and three nights in the hospital with limited resources, how I safely transported patients off the island, how I came home to my beach front condo to discover my roof caved in, how I survived with no running water, no electricity, no cell phone service and just a mustard seed of faith. But…my heart won’t allow me to post it. I am still recovering.
Coming home was the best feeling in the world! My parents picked me up from the airport late Wednesday night and I was greeted with the warmest hug. My mom is a frequent flyer and she described it as, “The best trip to the airport ever.” The following morning, my mom told me she was planning a trip to Philadelphia for the weekend and invited me to join her. With no job and no real responsibilities, I agreed to meet her in Philly after visiting my friend Hannah in New York City!I’ve been to New York numerous times, but this was my first time going in the summer, so I was extremely excited. Hannah is such a perfect host; after I booked my flight, she took care of everything else! I flew in to Newark, NJ and rode a train to NYC. The train ride alone deserves its own blog, but I’m too embarrassed to share that experience. Once I arrived in NYC, I dropped off my bags and we went straight to Mr. Purple, a rooftop bar in the city with breathtaking views of the concrete jungle. If you’re ever in the city and weather permits, I highly suggest you add Mr. Purple to your to-do list. Hannah and I spent the afternoon sipping Rosé and catching up on girl talk. The views and the vibes confirmed my decision… I am absolutely taking an assignment in NYC and need to start working on my license STAT!
That evening, we met up with some of Hannah’s girlfriends at an Italian food festival and probably did more drinking than eating, but that’s not that point. Afterwards, we took a quick nap and went out for the evening. We went to The Delancey, Los Feliz, and Hotel Chantelle. If you don’t remember anything else, just remember Hotel Chantelle.
Sunday morning, we stopped at Birch coffee before meeting some of my girlfriends who were in town for brunch. The coffee was delicious, and I rarely give credit to any shops other than my beloved Starbucks, so you should probably take heed. We enjoyed brunch at Cask Bar and Kitchen. They had fresh muffins, eggs benedict and pitchers of mimosas…need I say more?After brunch, Hannah showed us around the city via subway; we went to Prospect Park and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. The older I get, the more I appreciate sight-seeing and bucket listing. Doing it all with friends is usually the icing on the cake!
Monday morning Hannah went to work and I headed to Philadelphia. Once I arrived in Philly, I linked up with the original Black Girl White Coat…my mom! After the traumatic experience I had in the Virgin Islands, a mother-daugher trip was certainly in order! My mom is such a carefree spirit; she renewed my strength to continue travel nursing. We flew back from Philadelphia to Houston and on the plane ride home, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to get back on the horse”, to continue my love for traveling and set sail for my next adventure!We arrived home Wednesday night and I had a phone interview with Denver’s premier baby hospital Thursday morning! During the interview, the director asked me to describe a time when I was forced into a position that I didn’t feel prepared for. I shared my story of being charge nurse the morning that Irma hit the Virgin Islands and how I was forced into helping life flight our patients off the island. She was blown away and I was in tears. She said “Well, that was the best answer I’ve ever received.” The interview was over and three hours later my recruiter called me and said “Congratulations, you did it again.” I got the job!
It was then that I realized, I took no L’s on my assignment in the Virgin Islands. The islands made me stronger, more resilient and the experience alone helped me stand out amongst other eligible candidates. The Lord turned my test into my testimony and I am forever grateful.