Coming Home as a Travel Nurse: Stories From the Road

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By Andrew Ferguson

January 10, 2018



Coming Home as a Travel Nurse

Home is where you hang your hat, or maybe where the heart is. Dorothy reminds us that there’s no place like it, and Thomas Wolfe was so sure you could never go back, that he wrote a whole book about it. The first dictum in this article is probably the most accurate for the nomadic nurse. As for Mr. Wolfe’s conclusion, he was an amazing writer, but as all Gypsy’s know, you can go wherever there’s a hospital with needs.

My wife has taken an eight-week assignment in her hometown.

Which is only two hours from my family. We haven’t been home, except for a two-week stint at our “tax home”, in over a year. Normally, we wouldn’t have been gone so long, but we extended a couple of her assignments and so didn’t get the time off. We’re all anxious to see if anything in town has changed, but even more than that, we’re curious to see if we’ve changed any.

Not much has changed

My guess is we’ll find that not much has changed in town. We expect to see a restaurant or two closed, and a couple of new ones opened, maybe a few buildings turned into parking lots, or vice versa. Whatever the changes, if any, we’ll be seeing everything a little differently than when we left. We’ve learned a lot on the road. Gained more certainty in what our little family can accomplish. We’ve had a lot of fun, but there have been some very meaningful moments too. There have been times when our patience has been tested, and times when we’ve questioned our decisions. But with every experience, we’ve gotten more confident, and more self-assured.

It will be nice to see family and friends.

I’m sure our 3-year-old will get plenty of attention from his grandparents. And his fair share of grief from his cousins. My wife is especially grateful that she’ll be able to spend some time with her sisters. She loves her boys, but a little “girl time” will do her heart good. I’m looking forward to getting some things done when we’re in town also. I have an old Jeep to work on, and an old truck to sell. Me finally getting rid of that old truck will probably do my wife’s heart some good too. The traveler nurse’s first rule-have the first month’s rent.

Ibn Battuta said, “Traveling-it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” This is especially true for me. My wife is the catalyst for our adventures, and I’m the mouthpiece for them. Our lives have a new narrative now. We have a different way of looking at things, a whole new set of stories to tell. However the story turns out, you can be sure I’ll be back at the Gypsy Nurse to tell you all about it.

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