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Meet Krystal and Ricky (and Knox and Lexi): Life savers on the go!

Dating on the Road, First Time Travelers, Helping Hospitals in Need, Outdoors Across the U.S., Traveling With Pets

A high school senior on his way to mail in his West Point pledge is in a car accident. Years later, and half a country away, a man drops to the ground, unconscious, during a turbulent flight.

What do these two, seemingly unrelated, events have in common?

They were the catalysts for Aya travel nurses Ricky and Krystal to find their calling. As Ricky lay in his hospital bed all those years ago, he thought about what his nurses had done for him and decided to pay it forward. “I wanted to be there for somebody,” he said. “Patients have all these stress factors in their personal lives and you get to mentor them as well as bring them back health-wise.” And Krystal, a former flight attendant, was the only person on that plane who remained collected enough to care for the injured passenger when he hit the floor.

These dramatic events led Krystal and Ricky down their career paths and eventually, to each other. They met a year ago on the same ER they currently share in Jackson, Tennessee. This time last year Krystal was planning to travel around the state to check out her hospital options, but fate in the form of Ricky intervened. They fell in love, not only with each other, but with the idea of traveling the country to hospitals in need. Ricky says, “They really need the help at the hospitals we go to. It’s a pretty rewarding feeling.”

They will continue to hit the road and lend a hand until, as Krystal says, “we find the place that feels like home.” For now, home is an RV they bought back in May. The smaller space has been a bit of an adjustment (especially for Krystal who had to pare down her 60+ pair shoe collection) but the couple had to leave some room for their adorable Aussie-poos, Knox, who they picked up in Knoxville, TN and Lexi, who, is from Lexington, AL, of course! These running, cuddling balls of energy love life on the road just as much as Ricky and Krystal. They spend as much time as possible outdoors together, hiking, mountain biking and trail running. They also find themselves perfectly situated on the Rockabilly Highway between Memphis and Nashville, both frequent destinations since Ricky loves to two-step.

But for as many charms as Tennessee offers, Krystal and Ricky aren’t quite ready to settle down. Their contract is up in January and they’ve got their sights set on new horizons. Ricky is thinking about heading back to New Mexico, where he spent an amazing winter snowboarding Taos Mountain. To understand his high opinion of the place you have to imagine him saying, in his slight Texas Hill Country drawl, “It was niiiiiiiiice.” The brave duo is also considering Alaska…in the dead of winter. Wherever they decide to go, they trust their recruiter, Kara, to get them there. Krystal says of their friend and advocate, “She is such a go-getter. She makes it happen.”