To think my travel nurse journey started back in October with a simple suggestion from my old boss and mom. I was unfulfilled, but I wasn’t “ready” to change. Instead I complained and continued to be disappointed about my lack of results.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same fucking thing over and over again, expecting shit to change.” – The Urban Dictionary. I’m not sure who originally created this definition, but this version will do. 

To actually be in this moment is surreal! It’s easy to say your going to do something extraordinary, but it’s more difficult to be courageous and do it. There are times at work where I think to myself “Damn, I really did it” and give myself an internal pat on the back.

It has been very difficult to find the words to describe my first day. At the end of day one I was elated. I’ve heard stories about travel nurses being treated like dirt. Fortunately my new and temporary coworkers were welcoming and I received an additional orientation day than originally anticipated.

I’m currently working four 10 hours shifts and after my first full week, I was exhausted! While I knew in my mind I was traveling for work, my body must’ve thought I was traveling for leisure. Babyyyyy, I slept on and off until 1 pm that following Saturday. 

I had this idea of travel nursing that I would be “living my best life” and I would be “lit” all weekend with my new coworkers/friends. Completely unrealistic considering the first location I picked and majority of my coworkers have kids my age.

I’m not brunching it up this assignment, but I’m still living my best life. This assignment feels more like a retreat in a quiet, peaceful town in Massachusetts. There’s no doubt that my time will come when I let my ratchet side roam free.

Looking back all the hype, back and forth, indecisiveness, hesitation and the obsessive research seems so silly. I would stay up until 2am researching the “best” recruiters, the best companies, housing stories, comparing pay packages, everything travel nurse related. The truth is, it’s the same sh*t different company and hospital.

It’s really not that big of a deal now that I’m on the other side. Like, why was I even stressing?

I’m OFFICIALLY A Travel Nurse

“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Roy T Bennett

My big move is about 5 days away and I’m still in this conflicting mood. I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on my life, specifically my nursing career. I can’t believe I have been practicing as a nurse for 4 years now, wow. Anyway, I truly believed my most recent job was divine intervention. 

This job provided a comfort zone that I desperatelyneeded when I started in 2016. I was ready to give up on nursing and seriously considering career changes. Not only did it expose me to my Endoscopy specialty, but it also brought life long friends and two exceptional women into my life that now serve as my unofficial mentors. It gave me time to feel rejuvenated and excited about my career again.

Despite all of these great aspects, I knew at the end of summer 2018 my exit was approaching. While I have enjoyed this time in my comfort zone, I became stagnant. I knew I wasn’t living up to my full potential and my career alone wasn’t giving me enough purpose. Not to mention the intense desire to relocate out of Chicago. I needed more; I craved it, but I was unsure about which direction to go.

My mom and unofficial mentors suggested travel nursing. At first I thought they were absolutely insane and ignored their suggestions. Honestly, it just made sense. I am not 100% sure where I will settle, potentially Texas, but who knows. These temporary contracts will allow me to live and explore like a local without the serious commitment and responsibilities of moving.

I’ve done so much research and followed so many travel nurses on social media for inspiration, but that can only take me so far. No amount of knowledge can replace actual experience.  While, it’s beautiful to see other people living out their dreams, living vicariously through others is not living. No more “I wish I could do that” or “I wish that was my life.” It can and it will be my reality.

My spirit is so excited for new beginnings. I’m well aware that there will be challenges I’ve never encountered; regardless I have finally found the courage to step into the unknown. Out of all my accomplishments, this is what I am now most proud of. Taking a leap of faith and embarking on this uncertain journey.

I challenge anyone who reads this to step outside of their comfort zone in some way. Whether it’s trying new genres to binge watch on Netflix, traveling abroad, trying food from different ethnicities or a positive major life decision. DO IT. Put material things aside, what do you really have to lose?

Comfort zone

To be honest, the excitement has started to wear off and in its place this “Wtf did I just do” feeling has taken over. Why am I uprooting my entire my life (friends, family, coworkers I absolutely love and admire) for uncertainty? While there is definitely an explanation it will have to come in a later blog post.

With the big date approaching, naturally, people are asking me the same questions. Are you ready? Are you excited? Amongst other small details about housing, how I’m getting there, the facility, etc. As I prepare the numerous documents, complete competencies/modules, setting up appointments, it is beginning to feel very real yet overwhelming.

My mind is starting to race with “what ifs.” What if my assignment is canceled, what if this is a mistake? What if the housing situation is not what I thought? What if I’m floated to a different facility every day?

At the end of my response to all questions from others and myself has been: “Honestly I’m just winging it.” Which is said in a very nonchalant tone accompanied by a shoulder shrug. The amount of confused looks and side eyes has definitely been entertaining. While it sounds absolutely insane, it is my plan B. After all, adapting is just a fancy word for winging it.

In this travel nurse role, it is expected that I will “hit the ground running” the day I walk on the unit.  There will be minimal, if any orientation and hopefully a tour of the facility. I have to be open and accepting of my future circumstances, regardless of what they will be because adapting (aka winging it) is a “whole job skill” as my friend put it. 

I’ve made it this far, I owe it to myself to see it through despite the “what ifs.”

“God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror. On the other side of your maximum fear are of all the best things in life.” – Will Smith

Winging it is a job skill. It’s called adaptability

Not too long ago I saw post on social with the picture of the bread aisle stating “When you feel discouraged about your business idea because there’s so many people around you doing the same thing. Go to the grocery store and look down the bread aisle. Same idea 15+ companies selling the same thing! We all can eat boo. Don’t doubt your ability” – the original author is unknown. The picture above was a screenshot from

In a world where becoming a social media influencer or blogger seems over saturated, this statement resonates with me. Just because it has been done before does not mean my post won’t be significant.

Also, I was sooooo inspired by other young nurses sharing their stories whether it was on social media, blogging or youtube. A lot of my research stemmed from their ability to be open and share their knowledge online. Anytime I would try to talk myself out of this huge transition there was an entire online community of nurses spreading positivity and encouragement. So S/O to everyone who has the courage to share their stories with people they’ve never even met before.

Insert the cliché “If I could just impact one person with my work.” But seriously. My end game is not to gain popularity or followers, but to be the nurse who shares her experiences in the hopes it will encourage someone else to dream bigger and follow that dream through. Despite what you have been through and the people who doubt you, you really can do whatever you want. And you should, unapologetically.

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