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Meet Robin: Your new favorite tattooed travel mom

Bringing Along Family/Friends/Partners, Outdoors Across the U.S., Travel = No More Hospital Politics

They say, “It’s not where you go, it’s the people you meet that matter.” Or maybe they don’t say that, but they should.

During her three years as an Aya travel nurse, Robin’s found people to love everywhere she goes. “I’ve met friends who’ve turned into family,” she says. She has a “sister” in Kentucky and two surgical techs in California who call her “mom” to prove it.

With friends across the country from Ketchikan (Alaska) to Kentucky, it’s hard to be lonely. Even when you’re alone. Robin’s husband, Jon, and son, Austin, are back home in Florida. Her daughter, Allie, joined the navy a few years back and Austin will head to bootcamp after he graduates next year. When he leaves, the couple will put their stuff in storage and Jon will finally join Robin on the road. “We’re going to be so free,” says Robin.

The couple plans to keep their RV parked within an hour of different national parks. And that’s the only clue to where they’ll be. “I told my kids our house drives so you can never find us to move back in,” Robin jokes.

She may not know where she’s going next, but Robin certainly remembers where she’s been. Memories are tattooed not only on her heart, but across her body. She gets new ink during each travel nursing assignment — poppies from California, the Alaska state outline, an anchor to honor her daughter’s navy career, etc. Visiting tattoo parlors is one of her favorite things to do when traveling. “You meet weird, cool people who’re very artistic,” she explains. She’s particularly drawn to people who aren’t concerned with the opinions of others.

“About the time I turned forty I really stopped caring about what people thought of me,” Robin says. Coincidentally, that’s when she earned her RN degree and found her niche. “I belong in the OR,” she says. “I have a strong personality. People can take that as me being rude. But it’s just me not calling you honey before I tell you what to do.”

Robin laughs and says it’s a good thing her patients are asleep. But unconscious patients aren’t the only thing that makes the operating room a perfect fit. “I’m an instant gratification person,” she says. “I like surgery because sometimes patients are only there for an hour, they wake up better and leave.” She also likes being the person to advocate for her patients. In fact, that’s all she wants to do.

“I hated hospital politics,” she says. “I want to go in, do my job and not worry about all the red tape.” Travel nursing was the perfect answer. But it took a long conversation with her recruiter and husband to get Robin out of the door. “I did some soul searching and thought, ‘you have to do this. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back home.’ But it more than worked out. It’s been the best experience of my life.”