Travel nursing is full of transitions. Technically, I have the ability to up and move every four- thirteen weeks. This could be some version of crazy to “9 to 5’ers,” as my nursing friends and I fondly call those in corporate America. The minute I feel settled, it’s time to pack my bags and move on to the next city. But for me, this is what drew me to the job. The thought of moving wasn’t a source of stress but excitement. So many doors were about to open. I could explore new corners of the country, meet new people, and get paid all at the same time! As the dream started becoming more of a reality…I had enough years of experience under my belt and was feeling ready to leave New York City…the finer details came into view. The actual tasks of getting an assignment, packing my bags, finding housing, saying goodbyes, and starting a new job in a new city with minimal orientation were just a few. And with two, six month assignments under my belt and a couple months of “fun-employment” as I lovingly call the time between contracts, I’ve had sufficient time to look back on my experiences so far.
We Really are "Stronger Together"
Over the past several years I had always talked about participating in a medical mission trip, but to be honest I had no clue where to start my search for an organization that felt like a good fit for my skill set. That brings me to this past December when I came across The 4North Project and their Stronger Together trip in collaboration with Medventure and Travel Nurse Takeover. I followed along on instagram throughout the duration of their initial trip to get an idea of the community they were serving, the care they were providing and to determine if this might be the trip I had been searching for. When they announced their trips for this past May, it just so happened to fall perfectly between contracts and my gut told me that I had to get involved. After not much of a personal debate at all I decided to sign up for the second week, and lets just say I was so incredibly glad I did............
It didn’t take long for San Diego to feel like home and I hope sharing a few of my favorite spots and activities can make it feel like home to you as well, no matter how long you intend to stay. After living here for almost 6 months, I feel I have only scratched the surface of all San Diego has to offer. There are limitless activities from beaches, hiking, bars, and delicious food, you are sure to find something you enjoy.
Pacific beach is a perfect place to go if you want to hang out on the beach and have access to happy hour/food just steps away. It’s usually more crowded than some of the other beach spots but it’s accessibility to local bars
This post was originally published on (7/22/2021) and updated on (11/1/2022).
Isn’t it funny that you’re a healthcare professional and yet the chances of you knowing how people are able to pay for their healthcare costs are slim-to-none? Well you are in the majority there my friend, no one really understands insurance unless they are required to for a living.
Allow me to introduce myself- your insurance guide/advisor/expert, Parita Patel. If you asked me 2 years ago about how my insurance worked, I would’ve stared at you and shrugged my shoulders immediately. And the last thing I thought I'd do with my life is help people with their health insurance but to be honest, when you’re mostly saving people money AND getting them better protected, I’m happy to have made the career change.
So here is my promise to you, by the time you’ve read this blog post you will 1) hopefully laugh at my corny jokes (or at least I spread a smile across your face) because 2) you’ll be an insurance expert! Let the knowledge drop begin!
Finding Love as a Traveler
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.
I was 29, living the glorious night shift life as a staff nurse in a cardiac observation unit in Orange County, California. It was a day off and I woke up at 2am from a "nap." Bored from social media, I had a great idea to feel my boobs.
Having tiny breasts, I immediately felt a quarter-sized, immovable lump on my left chest. Right on top of the heart. "I'll get it checked in the morning," I thought.
It's been seven years since I was diagnosed and treated for a sarcoma on my left breast. I had a mastectomy, radiation therapy, and the most brutal chemotherapy. That should be about it, right? In this day and age, everyone is well AWARE that breast cancer exists. Everyone has some connection to someone whose mom had it, a neighbor's auntie's friend, an old classmate's cousin twice removed. With all the pink splashed about every October by these foundations and organizations hoping to "spread awareness," everybody should be aware by now. But what, really, do you know?
I’d like to share with you what happens after a person survives.
Handy Tips for New Travel Nurses
As a solo travel nurse for almost 4 years now, I’ve seen a lot of the country. I grew up in a small town in Vermont, and after graduating from UVM, I said, “See ya New England, I’m going to explore!” First job in Boise, ID and from there, all across the country. My contracts have ranged from towns of a few thousand to cities of millions of people. Honestly, loved them all! I love tearing up trails on my mountain bike as much as trying the latest cocktails and dressing up. I’m a get out there, see the sites, do all the things kind of girl. And yes, naps are key.....
The Importance of Self Care
Have you been gettin’ your self care on?! I don't know about you, but I've seen this term thrown around a lot in the last 2 years. So, I took it upon myself to dig a little deeper. Is it face masks and bubble baths? Is it hiking and getting outdoors? Or is it mediating, painting, drawing, journaling, organizing, or becoming closer to God? Sure. No. Yes. Maybe. It’s actually all of this and then some. Self care differs from person to person. For me? Moving away from my hometown almost 4 years ago was step one. From that moment, I promised myself that I would learn and discover ME. What moves me. What brings me joy. What I value. And what I like and dislike. Because in my hometown, I felt like I was a product of my environment, molded and shaped by my family and friends into a version of myself that I wasn’t in love with. At 23 years old......
Investing as a Traveler
In my short 3 years as a traveler, I have achieved a positive net worth after graduating with $120,000 in student loan debt, bought two rental properties, invested in stocks/crypto, started a side hustle business, and traveled the country. I am not saying this to brag but sharing travelers have a huge opportunity to get ahead financially if intentional with their money. I would not have ever been able to do the above if I was still working my staff job and living a safe comfortable lifestyle. As a traveler, I have made between 2-3x more in pay compared to my staff job. Travelers can make life changing money in a short time!