Travel Nursing Made Me Appreciate My Marriage More

So many days have passed since I last slept on my own bed, so many hours have lapsed since we drove back to Asheville, so many minutes have gone by since I last posted an update. I feel the need to purge myself again through writing.

It’s been busy the past couple of days. Since we extended our contract, we were in Florida for only six short sweet days, then back on the road for ten hours with another carload full of stuff, and with only two days to settle in to our new apartment (which we both love by the way!) after which we had to work for three straight nights in a row. Phew, that was pretty hectic!

Last night as I tried to think and come up with something, there were too many distractions for me to even stare at the screen long enough without getting annoyed at the little outside noises my hubby was making as he was watching TV and doing his own thing. Totally, not his fault. He was in his own zone as I was desperately trying to be in mine.

I realized in order to write, in peace, he needs to be out of the apartment. My brain just works better that way.

And today, he went on a bike ride. Finally, some me time!

It was the first week of October when we finished our first travel contract together as husband and wife. It was not without any difficulties and challenges to say the least. From adjusting to the new hospital environment to the hundreds of creepy crawlies in our little rental by the woods, to the financial stress of learning how everything travel nurse related works, to something as simple as going to the laundromat. But, the lessons we learned and the rewards we reaped I think are so much greater than all the issues combined.

Travel Nursing made us stronger individuals.

Sure it is nice being comfortable in your own little world, in your nice cozy home with all the gadgets and gizmos you need, in your same old exciting job doing the same thing over and over again. Some people would die to have that. No stress. Easy peasy.

I, on the other hand, would die from that stress-free comfy life!

Maybe it’s just me. The way I was biologically and cosmically made. The tiny cells in my body would just go crazy once I stay in one place long enough or be in the same situation day in day out. I crave for change. I long for adventure. Stress makes me alive. I may not be the extreme adrenaline junkie or the restless nomad who wanders the earth forever like some are but I have this wanderlust’s spirit that shows up every few months or so, rattling my bones and whispering to me it’s time to go explore. I can’t help it if I have itchy feet.

So off I go, dragging along my hubby, willingly this time. New environment, new set of problems. And what do you do when you are faced with such? Simple. Just face it head on. One problem at a time. Trust that we both can handle it and like they say, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Sure its cliche as hell but it’s true. Next time you come across the same problem, you now know how to handle it.

It made us more resourceful and less wasteful.

Travel for work or leisure, always brings out the best (or worst) in us. Because we aren’t in our usual safe environment, we have a tendency to become a better (or worse) version than our usual safe selves. Out goes the couch potato lackadaisical person, in comes the energizer bunny slash MacGyver wannabe slash Green Peace lover. A little exaggerated on that one, but you know what I mean.

Coming into this work extension in our new company provided housing, we found out we needed a bigger waste basket. But we couldn’t afford to be buying any more stuff, specially bulky ones, because we can no longer fit everything else into our trusty ol’ CRV! We could either just use plastic bags (ugh, so environmentally friendly eh? I just contradicted my previous statement) or wait, hubby found a solution, a folding one at that. One that would easily be stuffed in a tiny space once we move out. A pop up laundry hamper! Perfect size for a ten gallon waste basket, just stick in a recyclable garbage liner, hold it down with chip clips and you’re good to go. Pop it open to use (for garbage or for laundry) and then simply fold it in place to go. How genius of him!

He never would have thought of that if we were just at home with all our modern convenient day to day stuff. But travel nurse living is different. You can’t bring everything with you to all the places you go (unless you travel in an RV, then that is another story). You just have to learn to live with what you have or don’t have. Or get double or triple purpose items. Or buy one that can easily be packed away and learn to be a better organizer.

We learned to appreciate more the things we already have back home.

That huge 62 inch flat screen TV. That working washer and dryer. Two vehicles. Climate controlled heating and AC. Those pretty hard wood floors. That insect-free living space. Super fast wifi. Our relaxing serene backyard with the lake view. And good trustworthy friends.

‘Nuff said.

It also taught us to declutter.

While we learned to appreciate the things we have back home, we have also learned how to simplify our life. My hubby, most especially, and I am quite surprised and proud of him for surviving thirteen weeks without his big TV. He did bring along a laptop and watched his Netflix from there, spotty wifi reception regardless. After this assignment, he admitted he can do without his 898 channels on cable and only survive on Netflix. Wahoo!

We learned what mattered to us the most and what doesn’t, which material things we needed and used the most and what we didn’t.

Less is more. I love this lifestyle!

And lastly,

Travel Nursing made our marriage stronger.

We argue, we disagree (no, we don’t do loud verbal fights), we sulk. But we always manage to get it resolved and talk it out, some more. We may not always look at things the same way but we try to reach common ground. We have learned so much from each other in the past three months.

Because we are both out of our element and away from our comfort zones, we tend to stick together more and be there for each other. Not that we don’t do that when we are at home but sometimes, familiarity makes us not appreciate each other. It is safer hence, you’ll be okay, you can handle it. Out here in the travel nursing world, we both are walking the same walk and talking the same talk. We are wearing one another’s shoes. So, I got your back babe and you got mine.

I  have also learned that my hubby really does love me and just wants me to be happy. And I have learned to accept that.

He also taught me to love and appreciate my (sour) beers.

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So, what do you think?

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