Inspired Traveler Series: I’m Not a Nurse, But Fell in Love with One

Ray Caban Blog Post Image

This article was contributed by blogger, Ray Caban.

My journey traveling with a traveling nurse all started with an invite.

Throughout my life, I’ve been very fortunate in having opportunities to travel domestically and abroad to see what’s on the other side of some fences.

I’ve traveled while playing rugby, with friends and family for leisure and even on business.

Yet, I have never experienced that feeling of possibly finding a new home. Sure, I’ve seen beautiful places, just none that made me want to pick up and leave.

Eight months ago I met an amazing woman while volunteering at an upstate NY weeklong sleep-away camp for inner city kids.

I was one of the coordinators and she was the nurse.

At the end of the year, I had plans to leave with the military and learned early on that her plans were to become a travel nurse.

We instantly hit it off from the beginning and began to date. In retrospect, I guess we both had the mindset of spending the remaining portion of the year enjoying each other’s company before both our journeys took off in opposite directions.

As time passed, we had the opportunity to get to know each other faster than most people who normally begin dating. We met each other’s friends and family, traveled locally and spent the majority of our time together as New Yorkers.

In the mix of learning who we each are as individuals, we also were faced with personal injuries and mourning the loss of family and friends.

One thing was for sure, our bond was growing stronger.

With the year quickly dwindling, I began to mentally prepare for her to leave and was torn between feeling happy for her in this new endeavor, while also dreading the feeling that came with saying good bye. After all, I was getting tired of living in New York and was ready to leave for my own reasons.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when one day she said, “Hey, you say that you wish you could see where else we could go as a couple, why don’t you come with me and see where our relationship can take us? You’ll have to figure out employment, but put up or shut up!”

Spoken like the woman I fell for!

Of course, for me, that was the most romantic and heartfelt invite I had ever heard.

Without hesitation, I said yes.

Did Julius Caesar tell Cleopatra he’d mull it over when she invited him to Egypt?

I knew then that in many ways I had found what home was supposed to feel like. It wasn’t so much a location as it was spending my time in one place with the person that made me feel at home.

Leaving meant cutting ties with my apartment, employment and what many would consider a comfort zone. I remember thinking that I couldn’t be the only person experiencing such a transition.

My initial thoughts were that there had to be tons of information out there for the thousands of people looking to make an income from the road or find temporary work.

Nursing contracts can range anywhere from 8 weeks to a year and surely there had to be a resource available for me to tap into. To my dismay, I was mistaken.

For the most part, anyone that blogged about taking on a similar journey as the significant other of a traveling nurse had either abandoned their blog or only spoken about a couple of specific job scenarios that they encountered.

Travel nursing companies I reached out to on occasion could offer an idea but mostly informed me of their need to fill the same void. It was a common question among the travel nurses.

“Do you offer temporary hospital employment or work from home opportunities should I bring my non nurse significant other with me?”

The answer was always No.

I grew up in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium but have lived on the Upper West Side for over 10 years. I have worked and volunteered since I was 12 years old and have had countless jobs intersecting many career paths.

No kidding, here’s a quick list: The service industry, making envelopes in a factory, compliance and loss prevention, corporate security, real estate, background work, interned at the Mayor’s office of Health and Insurance access, case management for Mount Sinai Hospital homebound patients, start-ups, and many others.

I’m bilingual, have an Associate degree in Liberal Arts from a community college, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from an Ivy League and currently a semester away from a Master’s in the same University. I’m also in the Air National Guard, but that’s about to end. I have volunteered in soup kitchens, teaching GED courses, medical clinics and spent a summer doing relief work in the Dominican Republic and Haitian villages scattered throughout and along the border.

None of this is to impress you but to impress upon you what it does to my perspective when facing challenging situations. Like I said, I immediately wanted to go with her and I figured there would be resources.

Once I saw there really weren’t any, I didn’t see a problem.

I saw a solution waiting to be realized.

For those of you looking to leave with a traveling nurse or for the traveling nurse intending in inviting their loved one to come along, there are a few things you should know.

While my girlfriend began negotiating, we learned right away that there wasn’t going to be a decent warning on what type of contract she would land.

She was open to many places such as the British Virgin Islands, Alaska, California, and Hawaii.

Nursing recruiters warned such contracts might be difficult to land because they were in high demand and she was new to the industry. We hoped for the best as she kept prepping her documents and branching out.

At this point, she was working with about 5 different recruiters. I, on the other hand, began to research the top 5 possible locations and what the employment climate was like. In the interim, I began saving money and trying to figure out how to create a source of supplemental income.

The getting ready to leave part is exciting in many ways but not at all fun and games. You have to do a cost-benefit analysis of what your items are valued at versus what it will cost to place them in storage. Then you need to begin downsizing to the bare minimum.

  • Are you subletting or living out a lease?
  • Where will you stay if the timing between vacating a place and leaving isn’t perfect?
  • What type of ground can you cover in the time before you leave to tie up loose ends and spend time with friends and family?

The significant other has a set of different challenges.

Leaving your home even for love and adventure is a big deal. At the end of the day, the nurse will have a job and housing assistance.

Like I said, we spent a lot of time together, had been through a lot outside of ourselves and had gotten to travel a few times. If you can’t vacation with someone for even a week then there is no way a long term trip is going to work.

Truth be told, we also barely had disagreements and when we did, they were healthy and normal things that new relationships go through. I recommend that newly formed relationships think carefully about this type of a move. That being said, the significant other has tons of work before he or she goes along.

I am halfway through the work and part of that is because I now know where we are going and I am happy to say that my amazing nurse did land a 6-month contract in Hawaii!

It’s time for me to sign off but I will leave you with a few pointers and if you choose to follow my blog, you’ll be able to learn what it is that I have and am doing to ensure my success.

Do you recall the research I mentioned regarding the top 5 locations?

Well, as it turns out there happens to be a huge need for teachers in Hawaii and with my Bachelors and a 30-hour course in Maui, I will be able to work as a substitute teacher.

Using my real estate experience, I began taking a niche website that was once a hobby, more seriously to turn it into a website that can bring in passive income.

Everyone’s an expert at something, consider monetizing that experience.

Good luck to us all and thank you for your time!

What inspires you, as a travel health professional?

We’d love to hear your comments below!

We’re committed to inspiring other traveling health professionals and would love to share your journey and travel experience to our community. We want to see where you’ve been!

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