West Virginians, Marylanders, Montanans… and the Perfect Pair
If you’re used to living in the DC area you know you are a long way from home when the day’s goal is to spot your first moose. But if you’re a travel nurse living in Montana you may find yourself in exactly this situation. Aya travel nurses Carl and Bryan are on their way to Yellowstone, a 2.5-hour drive from their current home in Butte, and they could not be more thrilled as they describe the untouched beauty of the landscape. Carl says the West is “totally different. If you are from the East Coast it would amaze you. You can’t imagine the vastness. It goes on forever.”
When asked if packing up and moving into the unknown came with any obstacles these two quickly agree that nothing could possibly outweigh the benefits. Carl quips “the only real challenge is deciding where we want to go next.” They stayed close to home in Maryland for their first assignment and now on their second have found countryside that is the embodiment of the possibilities travel nursing has to offer. Carl rhapsodizes that the scenery “goes from one type of terrain to another so quickly. Every time you turn a corner it’s like, wow! You’ve got these huge plains with big tall grasses swaying in the breeze and these giant mountains with snow on top.”
They met over two years ago and as Bryan says “pretty much haven’t been apart since.” They seem to fit together perfectly, Bryan punctuating the conversation with ‘mmm hmmms’ and "yeahs’ of agreement when Carl makes a particularly good point. Both originally from West Virginia, they came to nursing from completely different careers. Bryan has a master’s degree in English literature and was working as a grant writer before his brother Drew, a surgeon, suggested he go into nursing. Bryan had sprung into action on several occasions when Drew went into a diabetic seizure. Impressed, Drew told Bryan “you were always quick on the draw. You just did what you had to do to save me and that is something not everybody has.” Carl decided to go into nursing in similar, if slightly less dramatic, fashion. He was managing a call center when a close friend, herself a nurse, told him that he would make an amazing addition to the profession.
Their decision to become travel nurses has worked out incredibly well. Not only do Bryan and Carl love their time at work but they area also enjoying their days off in a place they hadn’t considered before their recruiter, whom they affectionately call “Brooky”, suggested they check out Big Sky Country. They have an interview next week for assignments in Seattle and are excited by the prospect of moving back to a city, but at the same time are grateful to Brooke for encouraging them to explore different spots across the country. As Carl says “our main thing is we wish we had done it sooner” Bryan interjects “Yeah! Tell people to get out there and do it.”
From discovering Butte’s unexpectedly vibrant art scene, which included a three-day folk music festival set up right outside their apartment door, to relaxing in the volcanic hot springs near their home, to gazing in wonder at a “real live glacier” Montana has turned out to be full of surprises. When asked about their experience Carl enthuses “it’s been a great detour, It’s absolutely beautiful” and Bryan becomes philosophical. “That has been the best thing about life, the detours. You never know who you are going to meet or what is going to happen.”