This year marks our 2nd year of travel nursing together, and we have learned so much about ourselves and each other on this wild journey. We have gotten asked a lot of questions while we have been on the road, but no question has been asked more than, “How can you guys spend so much time together?” The answer is simple: it’s easy when it’s with the right person.
To be honest, I never thought that I would be the type of person who COULD spend so much time with my significant other, but I can wholeheartedly say that it has been the best way to travel nurse. Plus, it really is great getting to spend so much time with the person you love.
Jumping from city to city and hospital to hospital is daunting, to say the least. I applaud any and everyone who travel nurses alone because it is truly no small feat. However, if you decide you want to take on the world of travel nursing with a buddy or a significant other, here are a few tips to make the transition much easier!
We know this is the key to any long-lasting friendship or relationship, but I think we all could use a reminder every now and then. Before you set off on your assignment together, lay out what your expectations are. Expectations for the assignment, what your goals are (this is especially important if you are traveling as a couple), and what your expectations of each other are. This is important for friendships especially – what chores will you each do? How will you split the bills?
Communication throughout the assignment will be just as important as it was in the beginning as well. When you are in a new environment, it’s totally normal to cling to familiarity (each other, for example), but everyone deals with these changes differently. Make sure you are discussing these things with your travel partner to avoid any negative or hurt feelings.
Set up dates.
Or, if you are traveling with a friend, set up a time to hang out away from work if you want to, especially if you are working in the same unit. As a couple, it can be so easy to fall into a coworker/roommate sort of mentality when you not only live with your travel partner but work alongside them as well. You have to remember to prioritize your relationship aside from those things and make a conscious effort to set aside quality time for the two of you. This can happen in all relationships, but even more so when you spend so much time together. The great news is, being in new places all the time, there is never a shortage of things to do or see. This means that you can always have great dates and you don’t even need to spend a lot of money! Check out local events and parks, and get creative when planning these dates. You can even take turns each week, so it doesn’t always fall on the same person.
Alone is not lonely.
As wonderful as it is traveling with your partner, sometimes you just want some time to yourself, and that’s okay! We all need different amounts of alone time, but that’s why communicating how much you need is so important. Needing alone time does not mean you are tired of your partner or need space. It just means you might want to read a book or watch a TV show for an hour or two. These are all very normal things and incredibly healthy for relationships in the long run. If you are the type of person who doesn’t necessarily care about alone time, make sure you are understanding of your partner who might need that alone time.
Some additional tips: Ensure that the person you choose to travel with is honest, trustworthy, levelheaded, and easy to communicate with, at the very least! Also, if you do happen to work on the same unit together, always keep it professional (especially if you are a couple!) and offer help to everyone on the unit (not just your partner).
These are just a few basic tips to help make your transition into travel nursing as a couple or as friends a little bit easier! Know that not every day will be perfect, and just like everything else, there will be good days and bad days. Make sure that when you are deciding who you would like to travel nurse with, you are taking these tips into account. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong travel partner can really turn what could be a great experience into a not-so-great one. Best of luck on your future travels!
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.