Chris and Lesley have been travel nurses for 2.5 years and together for the last five years (married for two!). They met on a dating site, though they like to tell people they met on Craigslist’s casual encounters. Chris and Lesley like to travel and explore nature, learn about different cultures, and find the best hole-in-the-wall eateries and craft beers (Chris is a huge fan).
Lesley is currently between assignments (she’s at a private-duty job on the side) taking a break to do some international travel while Chris is working for the US Embassy in Pakistan.
Lesley: We initially got into travel nursing to pay for our wedding, but we fell in love with traveling so much that we decided to continue. We have met so many wonderful people along the way and have experienced so much together in a short amount of time. It’s definitely made us a stronger couple with the challenges of traveling together!
Chris: For me it has been a goal, and when my life finally allowed me to go, I seized the opportunity. I had just asked Lesley to marry me right before we started our first contract. We made it our goal to travel nurse, so we could pay for our wedding. Now, that we’re married, we continue to travel nurse because we love it.
Chris: A pro is you always have someone to travel with not only to explore, but someone who can takeover driving cross country. Also, when you start at a new hospital and you’re on two different floors, you get to meet twice as many people — you make friends so much faster.
If you work on the same unit, then you never get any time apart, which can be a con. This happened to us for a couple of contracts and you begin to really appreciate your alone time.
Lesley: Pros of traveling together — he does all the heavy lifting! We travel with a travel trailer, so he handles the majority of that. I also have someone I trust if I have nursing-related questions. Chris is a very intelligent nurse is is well-respected at all of the facilities we’ve traveled to (I’m so proud to call him my husband!) One con of traveling together is living in our small travel trailer, especially when we both were on night shift and working opposite nights.
Chris: Take it slow and do your research. Join FaceBook groups and read discussions, ask questions, and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Also, no matter how many years experience you have, you are the new nurse every assignment.
Discuss as a couple what your goals are as travel nurses and stick to them — Is it to pay off debt? See the country? Or, to to decide where to settle down?
Communication is key! It’ll cut down on the stresses that packing, moving, and resettling every 13 weeks can put on a relationship.Chris and Lesley
Lesley: Be open minded and flexible. Your wish list of places and/or facilities may not work out, so explore all of your options. Find a recruiter that the both of you trust and have a good relationship with. Also, one of you my have an assignment while the other doesn’t — always have a backup plan and money saved up!
Chris: Definitely, Alaska, and either Guam or Hawaii. I want Barrow, Alaska above the Arctic Circle, but I may have to compromise for something more mild like Anchorage.
Lesley: Alaska has always been on our bucket list travel destination! Neither of us have ever been, and we’ve talked about how great of an experience it would be.