love, Love, LOVE — Travel Nurse Style
You might think it’s hard to be in a romantic relationship on the road as a travel nurse, let alone start a new one during your assignment. But these travelers prove that love prevails … and sometimes finds you when (and where) you least expect it.
Paola and Chris Find Love in the Time of COVID
“I got into nursing because I love helping people,” stated Paola, Aya travel nurse. Originally from Miami, Florida, Paola has been with us for close to four years. Chris is an operating room technician and an Army veteran. His home state is Utah and he, too, has traveled with us for nearly half a decade. These two Aya travelers found love in the most unlikely of places: in a California COVID-19 hotspot.
“Chris and I met in San Diego. We were both assigned to the same facility,” Paola recalls. “Coincidentally, we were working the same shifts in the same department. At that time, a relationship was the last thing I was looking for. My colleague introduced me to Chris. Our first interaction, we shook hands, and then stepped back to keep six feet in distance. We were very slow and intentional with our relationship — we were cognizant of the pandemic and being wary since we’re both essential healthcare workers.”
Fast forward to today. Paola and Chris are on their third assignment as a travel pair. “Aya has really supported our relationship. We both have the same recruiter who finds facilities where we can work together. When you travel with your significant other and work in the same industry, when I say, ‘Oh honey, I’ve had a rough day,’ Chris truly understands. It’s a level of understanding and knowledge that others outside of our industry couldn’t fathom.”
When Paola and Chris aren’t working, they enjoy hiking, running and exploring the communities where they’re living. “We love date nights. We make a conscious effort to dedicate time to spend together and invest in our relationship. I could not ask for a better partner. I’m Colombian, and there’s a book written by a famous Columbian author called, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera.’ I joke with Chris because this our version of that story.”
Caroline and Austin’s Renewed Commitment Through Traveling
Caroline and Austin both hail from Tennessee. They’re both ICU nurses and have been married for a little over a year. They’ve worked together in Idaho and Oregon and will be starting their next assignment in Washington.
Cancer has affected both of their families’ lives, and it’s the sole reason they both became nurses. “I was a counselor at a church camp where I befriended a young girl. Tragically, my young camper lost her battle with cancer. She’s the reason I got into nursing,” Caroline explains. “My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. I moved in with my grandmother when she was in hospice. She passed away in 2015. She’s the reason I got into nursing,” says Austin.
“We were friends and colleagues, first. Our love for each other grew from being vulnerable with each other and sharing why we were both nurses, as well as our hopes and dreams,” shares Caroline. Austin pointed out, “Traveling together as a pair has really strengthened our marriage. It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. However, we decided as a married couple to make sacrifices to help communities in need. We left our home in Tennessee, downsized to one vehicle, work the same shifts at the hospital and live in a tiny apartment.”
Caroline and Austin use their days off to restore their physical and mental well-being. Caroline commented, “One of the biggest benefits of being traveling nurses is that on our days off we can take a breath, regroup and focus on ourselves and our marriage. When we return to the hospital after a few days off, we’re recharged and refueled.” Caroline and Austin enjoy fly fishing, hiking and trying new food. “We always like to explore and get to know the city we’re working in. Local restaurants, neighborhood parks, National Parks. We love that we’re experiencing all the new sights, sounds and scenery — and that we’re doing it together.”
Cammy and Michael’s Everlasting Love
Cammy and Michael are both from a small, quaint town in Indiana. They met in grade school. “I remember telling Michael, ‘I am going to marry you,’” when we were kids, Cammy shares. Cammy and Michael are both medical-surgical nurses.
Prior to nursing school, Michael was a Navy Corpsman and then went on to become a police officer. He eventually ended up working for a big corporation. Cammy was working for a large company at that time, too. “We were both tired of our jobs and were getting burnt out,” explains Cammy. “We made a decision to quit our corporate jobs and go to nursing school, specifically to be travel nurses.” And so, they did. “Anyone can go to nursing school, at any age. We didn’t have experience in healthcare, but we found a new path for our lives.”
Cammy and Michael are empty nesters. They’ve worked in Missouri, Alabama, Oregon, and are now in Kentucky. “When we work together in the hospital, few people know that we are married,” she says. “There was this one time where a fellow female nurse was trying to cozy up next to Michael at the nurses’ station since she fancied him, and he looked across the room and told her that we were married. It was funny! Professionalism has been paramount; we have the utmost respect for each other and the work we do. We have been traveling together since 2018. Our recruiter makes sure that we even have the same shifts at the same hospitals.”
When Cammy and Michael aren’t working in the hospital, they enjoy trying new restaurants, cooking and looking at art. “Travel nursing has countless benefits. We grow professionally, and we also grow closer together as a couple. A lot of people say that they married their best friend, and we know we truly did. We’ve been married for 30 years, and we always put each other first. We’re living our best lives.”
Interested in traveling with us? Your travel nursing adventure starts here.