By Crystal Gustafson, RN
I am not an expert in dating. In fact, I have probably made more mistakes in the realm of relationships than I care to admit.
Finding love as a travel nurse was happenstance. The purpose of my travels was not to find my next mate, but to find myself. I also came to the understanding of what I wanted in a partner and it just so happened that this person came into my life.
I was on a travel assignment in Tucson, Arizona where I met a personal trainer who used to live in Los Angeles. I knew that L.A. was my next destination so I asked my trainer if he would give me some phone numbers of people who could show me around L.A. I had no idea how life changing this would be.
After my travel assignment in Tucson ended, I was off to my next assignment in Los Angeles. After getting acclimated at my new hospital, I decided to call the contacts my personal trainer gave me. One of those was Mario.
When I first met Mario, I cannot say that it was love at first sight. In fact, it took a few months for him to grow on me. Luckily, my assignment in L.A. was five months — if it was any shorter, I’m not sure we would have connected.
Mario had the qualities I knew I wanted in a partner: a kind heart, a humble background, easy on the eyes, and someone who goes to the gym as much as I do. He was exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for. He turned out to be my forever love and we are now happily engaged.
I would like to tell you that finding love on the road is more glamorous than it sounds, but the reality is that it is like a trucker’s memoire. Depending on where you stop, it’s sometimes lonely, other times exciting, and in the end, a long haul.
Travel nurses tend to be energetic and adventurous at heart, which makes us extremely vulnerable to new relationships. I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out with an educated, well paid, adventure-seeker who only works three days a week?
Becoming a travel nurse was a game changer for me and my relationships. I hadn’t realized how naïve and insecure I was when I was living at home in Colorado. I had lost myself in my previous relationship and had no idea of who I really was.
Spending time alone was the best thing I did for myself and was pivotal in meeting Mario. When I met him, I was vulnerable but open minded enough to allow our relationship to blossom. Because of my experience in previous relationships and with people I met on the road, I knew what I wanted and that strength was enough.
Mario and I have had our ups and downs (what couple doesn’t!), but I am happy to say that we are now both in this for the long haul.
Crystal Gustafson is a Critical Care Registered Nurse who spent time as a travel nurse in various states including Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California. She has recently accepted a system wide float pool position with Exempla Healthcare System in her hometown of Denver, Colorado and has a blog about prevention and education in healthcare. You can learn more about Crystal at Google+ or you can visit her blog at http://grassrootsprevention.blogspot.com/.