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Meet Robert: He’s up for anything (as long as it’s not boring)

Amazing things can happen when you’re 80 miles from the nearest gas station. Like looking up, seeing a neon green river in the sky and realizing you just checked something big off your bucket list. “I stepped outside, and something caught my eye. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, these are the Northern Lights!’” Aya travel nurse Robert said, describing his eventful fill-up.

It’s a lengthy road from New Hampshire to Alaska as Robert, and his dog Leo, well know. Along the (loooooong) way, they saw not only the Northern Lights, but Niagara Falls, the Yukon and Alberta.

“When I first started traveling, I told Jenn, my recruiter, ‘I want to mountain bike. I want to be outdoors. I’d like good pay. And, let’s not make it boring.’” Robert remembers, adding, “It hasn’t been boring so far.”

Robert’s openness to any location that won’t bore him has steered him well. “I had a blast in New Hampshire; I visited all the states on the East Coast. I love Vermont, it’s just so beautiful. And Maine’s gorgeous.”

“Now I’m in Alaska where there’s tons of stuff to do. Just go outside, and you’re in the mountains. I’ve gone everywhere you can reach by car and hiked every trail I could find,” he said. Like many boys from a “country town in Texas” before him, Robert grew up shooting. He still loves the hunt, but now he has a new goal. “There’s so much wildlife here. I like to chase around the bears and moose with my camera.”

It isn’t only the animals Robert’s connected with. “I have friends everywhere from Colorado, all over the East Coast and now, up to Alaska. If I ever want to pull that out of my back pocket, say, 10 years from now, I can always contact a manager friend: Hey, listen, y’all have any job openings?”

Robert’s been pleasantly surprised by how easily he’s been accepted as a traveler. He wasn’t so sure that would be the case before he got started. “It’s scary. It is. You’re thinking, what if I don’t like it?”

“I was always told you get the heaviest patient loads as a travel nurse. I was told staff nurses are mad at you, because you’re getting paid better than they are. Those are bad rumors. In reality, everyone’s more than happy to have you there because they need you.”

What’s next on the occasionally neon-lit horizon for this intrepid traveler, besides going where he’s needed? The Navy veteran plans to round out his already impressive resume with a Nurse Practitioner degree and civilian helicopter license. Eventually he thinks, “It’d be really cool to fly for LifeNet or hospitals.” He also plans on saying hello to the Aloha State. “I want to go to Hawaii.” He says. “I don’t care what they pay me. Just let me live on the beach for three months.”