This blog has gone through some changes over the years. For awhile it was just about documenting our travel adventures. Then I was going to write more about our life on our sustainable little micro farm in Washington. 2017 was a big year of change, however.
I have wanted to do travel nursing since I was a teenager and first realized it was a thing. I was a medical-surgical RN for 2 years and then switched specialities into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the last 4 years. Jake and I almost took the plunge 4 years ago into travel nursing. Jake isn’t a nurse, but he was going to go along with me. It didn’t work out that time. But suddenly when I brought up the idea of travel nursing last spring, Jake was agreeable to it. I seized my opportunity and spent last summer selling much of our belongings, we purchased a 32 foot travel traveler and I quit my job.
The Maiden Voyage
Our maiden voyage with towing the travel trailer was a doozy. All in all, we visited 17 states over 3 weeks before settling into New Hampshire for the fall. While in New Hampshire we did a lot of exploring. We took trips to all corners of New England; from the coast of Maine to the Northern Woods of Vermont to the lighthouses of Rhode Island. We even took a weekend trip up to Montréal, Québec so Jake could attend the International Hemp Builders Symposium, while I roamed the beautiful french-canadian city.
New England had some challenges. I was spending every day off exploring and still having a difficult time adjusting back to night shift. The blog completely fell to the wayside. I worried about it at times and there was even a week where I tried to write and revive the site. But honestly, I was too busy living to write about our exciting adventures. I had eventually come to peace with the possibility that the blog was done.
Now here I am, 6 months into my journey as a travel nurse. I am sitting alone in my travel trailer in sunny Arizona. I am doing this adventure solo. Jake and I are still married, but we came to the difficult realization that we couldn’t ask each other to put our dreams on hold. I can’t stop doing travel nursing. This has reignited my passion for nursing and has made me come alive again. Also, frankly, we need the good money that travel nursing provides.
While New Hampshire was nothing but great experiences for me, it was more difficult for Jake. While I worked my 3 night shifts each week, Jake was stuck in the trailer. He didn’t really have much purpose, except to explore with me on my days off and to make me dinner on my days of work. To me, that kind of sounds like a dream job. But for someone who craves purpose in their life, having his hands in the dirt and DOING something everyday, it was hell. His real estate business also suffered.
The idea that we are living our lives separately, but together, might seem strange. But for two people who spent their first year of marriage apart due to deployment, it works. We get to talk and FaceTime whenever we want, and each month we will still be able to spend a week together. He will fly down to see me and then the next month I will go see him and our dogs. I am able to arrange my schedule so that I basically work every other week. So that’s only actually 1 week per month that I will be alone.
2nd Cross Country Trip
Jake is living in a small cabin in our hometown in Washington. The cabin is actually a former health house at an old kids camp. He is able to work on his real estate business and get his hands in the dirt every day, as well as working on some big projects TBA.
Travel nursing contracts usually last 13 weeks and I can take off as much time as I would like between them. I am in Yuma, Arizona until April. The plan at this time is for me to work one more contract after Arizona, then I will be home for the summer/early fall. There are some big plans in store for summer, so stay tuned!
So what you can expect to find on Dailey Adventurers in the future?
Travel has always been the bread and butter of this site. Why? Because it’s still one of my biggest passions. The travel destinations have shifted, however. I likely wont be exploring too many far off destinations over the next few years, nor will I be spending large amounts of time in cities. I will be exploring a variety of National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, places of historical significances and unique places in North America.
Hiking has become one of my biggest passions. I am not the fittest person, but I still feel exhilaration when hitting a new trail. The Pacific Northwest has, I think, the best hiking in the United States. I am excited to spend the summer back in my corner of this country, exploring new mountains, lakes and rivers. In the meantime, I will be writing about other great hikes we have experienced in places like Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
Boondocking and RV Life
I knew living in an RV would be challenging, but I had no clue how much I would have to learn. I have been living full time in my Forest River Surveyor travel trailer since July 2017. There are new challenges every week. I only found the owners manual last week, so clearly I have had to learn some things the hard way. The freedom to carry my home with me wherever I go is well worth it though. We have had some great boondocking (dry camping, usually free) adventures and I will be writing up some tips and guides for those who are interested in RVing.
There is so much misinformation out there for nurses looking to get into this profession. This is a complicated job in many ways. Taxes, licenses, finding housing, getting health insurance, negotiating pay, finding a good travel nurse company that will not short change you and will stand up for you, etc. I am going to do what I can to help make this process a little easier for nurses who are hoping to take the plunge into traveling. Honestly, travel nursing is one of the best decisions I have every made.
You may see other stuff from me that don’t fit into any of these categories. Time and time again I have read that the key to successful blogging is to find your niche and stay with it. I don’t feel like I fit into any niche, and I don’t really care about being successful at blogging. I want to write, help people and encourage you to get outside and explore this amazing world.
So what exactly have I been up to the last 6 months?
–> I have visited 7 U.S. National Parks
- Crater Lake (Oregon)
- Great Smokey Mountains (Tennesee & North Carolina)
- Shenandoah (Virginia)
- Acadia (Maine)
- Big Bend (Texas)
- Guadalupe Mountains (Texas)
- Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico)
–> We have explored 5 new cities:
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Montreal, Canada
- Washington, D.C.
- Austin, Texas
–> Worked at 2 hospitals
–> Slept in 4 Walmart Parking Lots
–> Passed through 35 states
–> Took thousands of pictures
–> Pulled the travel trailer over 9,000 miles
–> made countless memories