Back in 2016 we took the leap and decided to quit our jobs and start traveling the country full-time. Say whhaaatt?? But if you know us personally, we don’t tend to make decisions lightly. And we knew we had to have a source of income. So before we took the leap, we started dreaming, then planning. But let’s take you back to the beginning….
Mike and I met in 2013 through mutual friends on his 23rd birthday. You’ll have to ask him for the full story…but needless to say we hit it off pretty quickly. I was in an accelerated nursing program an hour away so we had to know pretty quickly if a relationship was worth trying for. We obviously decided it was, and 2 and a half years later were engaged and married in another 6 months. We bought an auction house and spent the first year of our marriage renovating it – everyone kept telling us that if our marriage could last through that, we could make it through anything Our families were a HUGE help with all of the projects and I don’t think we can ever thank them enough. I was working night shift as a nurse from 7pm to 7am and Mike was working a M-F sales job that required him to be gone from about 5am to nearly 5pm most days. Needless to say, we didn’t get to see each other much and when we did, our time was filled with home projects and the normal “life chores”.
Mike was making good money but it was both a physically and mentally draining job – that he really didn’t enjoy. We had both realized that it was affecting our lives outside of his work, and not in a good way. I loved working night shift but my body didn’t and I had no hope of getting to move to dayshift at my job for at least another 6 months or more. We weren’t terribly unhappy, but we realized we weren’t terribly happy either. We started dreaming of something different, where we could see more of each other and have more experiences together. I had caught the travel bug at a young age, being fortunate enough to travel to Australia and Africa before I was 20 years old. Mike had discovered his love for travel when we went to the Caribbean for our honeymoon and on our weekend trips near home. However, with his job only allowing him 2 weeks of vacation a year and my schedule often conflicting with his, we felt like we couldn’t travel and see as much of the world as we wanted.
Travel nursing is something that I had known about since I was in nursing school, and something I had dreamed of doing since then. But something about meeting and falling in love with your best friend makes you realize that other dreams are even better It wasn’t until we started acknowledging that we weren’t as happy or fulfilled as we thought we could be that we starting realizing that you can live out multiple dreams. Travel nursing seemed to be the way to accomplish that.
We started seriously discussing the possibility of quitting our jobs and traveling full-time in early 2016. I tend to over think things (any other type A peeps out there?) and I wrote pros and cons lists almost daily. Mike balances me out well and while he doesn’t just jump into things either, he definitely doesn’t overthink things quite as much. We found out he had to have shoulder surgery and would have to take time off work, which gave us the push we needed to take the leap. In June of 2016 we both put in our notices at our jobs, I got an offer from the first travel job I put in for, and we packed up the car!
Almost 5 years of full-time traveling later, we still love it but it isn’t without its downsides. One of the biggest “cons” on my lists before we started traveling was missing family and friends. All of our immediate family is within an hour of each other back in Indiana. We have 5 nieces and nephews and a 6th on the way. We have missed milestones, birthdays, holidays, illnesses, etc. Thankfully technology these days is incredible and we can video chat with them often – the past few Christmases have been all video calls which makes us feel right in the middle of the chaos We also get to travel back home at least a couple times a year, and our families sometimes get to come visit us.
Overall this lifestyle has been an incredible experience, one we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. In the past 5 years we have traveled to 6 countries, lived in 9 states and traveled to countless more, had incredible experiences, and made some amazing friends. We are excited to share this journey with you, show you the ups and downs of travel life, and encourage you to chase your dreams – even if it means doing life just a little rerouted!