After traveling for a few years, I started noticing a trend among some travelers. Travelers would tell me they just went through a breakup, and finally decided to take the plunge into travel nursing. That was me back in the spring of 2018. I ended a toxic relationship that was holding me back from realizing my full potential. I had lived on the east coast my entire life, and my desire to travel and see more of the country was growing bigger and bigger. The person I was in a relationship with did not support my dreams and did not want me to leave. I knew in my heart there was more for me out there, so I ended the relationship and began my journey as a travel nurse.
My dad and I drove from New Jersey to San Diego and I was officially living the farthest away from home that I’ve ever been. While living in San Diego, I dated but everything was pretty casual. I dated a surfer, sniper in the Coast Guard, and a navy seal- you know- the typical San Diego dudes. I used apps like Tinder and Hinge and met some friends but no real relationship connections. It was also pretty fresh after my recent breakup as well. I stayed in San Diego for a little bit over 6 months and part of me thought I would never leave. I loved my friends there, the lifestyle, the weather, the job (and ratios!!), the food, and beautiful scenery. I could go on and on! My friend who I was traveling with at the time suggested we head to Seattle next, so I got my Washington license and nailed down a contract there. My friend wasn’t able to find a contract there, so I decided to go to Seattle by myself.
I quickly changed my location on Hinge, hoping to find myself my own personal Seattle tour guide. Little did I know, I would be meeting my future boyfriend of over 3 years on my first Hinge date. Little did I know, Seattle would also become my favorite place I’ve ever been and my favorite contract. My first date with Eric was at the Starbucks Roastery Reserve in Capitol Hill. It was a marathon date that lasted for about 6 hours- we connected right away and he showed me his favorite spots in Seattle. We went to Fremont Brewing, Gas Works Park, and a nice Italian place for dinner. We both went on one more date after that with someone else, but both came back to each other and the rest is history. I was so happy in my decision to keep traveling after San Diego and see what else- and who else was out there.
After dating for about 6 months, (2 contracts in at my hospital in Seattle), Eric suggested he could come with me on my next travel contract. I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this, but said YES because that’s the dream to have a travel partner! We packed up together, and moved out to our first destination together, Santa Rosa. After that, we traveled to Denver, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, and then I took time off and we stayed in Salt Lake City. At the time, he was a financial planner and was able to work from home, which was perfect for our lifestyle. We were able to go to at least 15 new national parks together, climb Half Dome and the Grand Canyon, go wine tasting in Napa Valley, and take a hot air balloon over the Arizona desert.
Dating as a travel nurse can be difficult at times. Telling someone, “I’m only here for 3 months- BUT if I like the location and the hospital likes me, I can always extend for 6 months, 9 months, etc”, can be hard to explain, and you fear you may be coming on a little strong. I’m not sure how I was able to get so lucky finding someone that heard all of that, and still wanted to come along for this crazy ride. My advice if you’re out there travel nursing and dating is to not put pressure on things and just see where things go! Download the apps, meet people, and go do some awesome things in your new city. Not every person will be down to pick up their life and travel, and that’s OK! Even just the experience of meeting new people in new places is fun and exciting, and adds to the adventure of travel nursing.
Written By: Hannah Quirk, MedVenturist and NICU Travel Nurse