Note: Guest contributor Chelsie Ellis wrote this post. Learn more about Chelsie at the bottom of this article.
Hi, everyone! It’s Chels! My journey as a travel nurse triggered an avalanche of flirting, dating, dancing, dinner, movies, and… *clears throat* unmentionables. This blog, however, was not written to give you the latest gossip and tell you all the secrets of the single life of a gypsy nurse. Just kidding, it will definitely involve some of that. I also intend to share safety tips and advice on dating while being a travel nurse. Let’s dive in!
Always play it safe! Stranger danger is real, so don’t give unnecessary information to people you just met. Keep it simple when first getting to know someone. Let’s play with some dialogue.
Sexy Stranger: What do you do for work?
Me: I’m a nurse.
Sexy Stranger: That’s cool. Are you from here?
Me: Just moved into town. Getting to know the area. What are some nice places to visit here?
Sexy Stranger: Oh, you should visit Downtown Center. I can take you there this weekend.
Me: Oh, really?! I would be into that. I can meet you there.
Sexy Stranger: Do you live close?
Me: I have a little commute, but no biggie. What would we do there? I’m a foodie, so please involve food.
I can continue this dialogue, but let’s review the main things.
- Do not get in a car with someone you recently met, no matter how “friendly” they may seem. Always have your own wheels, or use an app to order transportation. If you get into an uncomfortable situation, it’s good to be able to drive right out of it. (Pretty much the story of my life, but we’ll open that vault some other time.)
- Do not brag about the awesome one-bedroom, one-bath apartment on a mountain top you got with your stipend. I mean, the lake view is incredible! However, Sexy Stranger does not have to know all of that. Avoid volunteering information that could put you in danger. If you’re living alone, keep it that way. We want to avoid surprise visits from Sexy Stranger or their not-so-cool friends.
- To avoid getting into details you’re not ready to share, redirect the conversation. This opens the opportunity to get to know Sexy Stranger. Are they being pushy about those details you want to avoid? That’s a red flag! Are they going along with the conversation and tone you’re setting? Are they “reading the room”? These are signs that they respect the boundaries you’re setting up front.
Falling in Lo… Lov, uh… Falling in Lo, uh
Yes, the word still makes me gag. Why? Because I did it! I fell in lo, uh… luh-va. I actually did it twice, so I’m officially an expert. A lot of decision-making and life changes occur when you decide you want to be in a serious relationship with someone as a traveler.
Questions you may ask yourself include:
Can they travel with me? Will I be the head of the household? Can I afford to care for both of us? Could they get a remote job? Will they be comfortable leaving their home? Can we try a long-distance relationship? The most dreaded question: Do I stop traveling to be in a relationship?
It’s important to sit down and discuss this with your significant other. If you don’t have this discussion upfront, it could lead to failure in the future.
That was my first travel love. We were successful for about 18 months. We avoided the hard discussions and ultimately ended our relationship. On the other hand, the second travel love…well, I’ve been stuck in the same state for TWO years! Someone, please save me! I fell in lo, uh. This is not a drill. I repeat this is not a drill!
Is it the end of my travel career? Meh, it just may be a short retirement. Could I go back if things don’t work out? Yes, I could. That’s a perk of being a traveler. You get to choose your adventure!
That adventure might be three months in four different states, going on 20 different dates that year, or two years in a suburb neighborhood with the one person in the world who is just like you. Either way, you get to choose.
Embrace Your Journey as a Solo Travel Nurse
GO HAVE FUN! Not everyone gets an opportunity like this. Meet people. Make friends. Hang out and apply whatever COVID-19 restrictions may be in place. Try new foods and visit new places. Be the excitement and the adventure. Meet your soul mate who lives across the nation. Meet your best friend by a beach, but they’re from Wyoming and now live in Colorado. Go be single! Go not be single! Go be the person you never thought you would be!
I can’t count the number of dates I went on during my 6-year travel nurse excursion. I can count the rays of sunshine I danced in. Not all days were the best, and I definitely learned some lessons the hard way. However, I will never regret taking chances.
Embrace the opportunities. Bring the positive to each experience. Learn from the challenges. Love what you do and who you spend time with on your off days. Who cares if it’s a different Sexy Stranger each time? (It’s called freedom, mom! One drives a sports car and the other has an excellent credit score!) Be free and just slightly tamed.
This is your (Not So) Solo Gypsy Nurse signing off. I have to return to this new adventure in a new land with a newfound love and travel partner.
Good luck to all my Solo Gypsies!
Hi, it’s Chelsie! This blog probably shared too much information about me, but wait… I have more to share!
I am an Arkansas native with a Texan spirit. I graduated with my BSN in 2012 from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR. To flex, I would like to mention that all my peers and I passed the NCLEX on our first attempt. Boom, baby. I worked as a staff float nurse for four years at Christus St Michael in Texarkana, TX. In 2016, I dated the wrong guy, ran away from the drama, and became a traveler. Best decision ever!
I traveled PCU and MedSurg/Tele for six years with my dog, Roxie. We lived in seven different states and 20 different cities. Then, I met a really cool guy and decided to hang out with him for the past two years. I retired from traveling in June 2021 and settled in South Carolina with my best friend. Second best decision ever!