Connecticut, Boston, Virginia, North Carolina, New York… and more.
The opportunities to explore that travel nursing has provided have been amazing. I love exploring and doing it alone, with old friends, or with new friends. I hope that no matter where I end up staying long term, I always keep exploring and take advantage of the amazing things I am surrounded by. No matter where you live, take the time to explore. Ask people where there favorite places are and go. Most likely you will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful things you find.
Part of being a stranger in a new place is that I am pretty dependent on the recommendations of my coworkers and new friends. In conversations when I ask for travel advice, I get amazing stories and suggestions. I hope I never stop asking people these questions.
Now some places I have explored
I love Boston. It is a beautiful city and incredibly easy to get around. I went for a music festival on the Harvard campus with another travel nurse and explored the city the following day. There are beautiful green parks in the city, multiple historical sites, and great people watching. I will definitely be back.
New York City, NY
I drove in to New York City which I am now proud to say that I have done and will never do again. The constant chorus of honking and shouting along with the pedestrians who follow no rules makes it a chaotic experience. The city itself is huge and I explored a small part in Brooklyn and SoHo this trip. I was able to go to a photography gallery of a favorite nature photographer, Paul Nicklen which was wonderful. After 24 hours I was overwhelmed by the crowds and noise, I made a point to stop at a lake to have dinner on the way back just for some space.
I was able to drive down to see Luke during my time here, which was worth the 8 hr drive and multiple toll violations (I hate the EZ pass system). Virginia is green and beautiful and I loved hiking the appalachian trail and driving through the blue ridge mountains during my short time there. I am excited to go back. I am also glad Luke has some solid friends, a couple of whom graduated the week I was there and I am amazed it has been 4 years since my college graduation.
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
This remains one of my favorite places in the world and I couldn’t pass an opportunity to go if I am within driving distance. It was so fun for Luke and I to show this place off. It was such a fun group of people and such a refreshing week full of nostalgia. It was also the perfect place to turn 26.
I have had the chance to meet up with a couple of dear friends from college, one of whom happened to be in Connecticut. I stopped to see her and we walked around Yale and some Connecticut beaches.
Traveling has given me a significant amount of time to think. I have spoken before of the fact that many aspects of my life felt, and still feel, transitional. I am already feeling restless for the next assignment, I am enjoying the unknown and adventurous aspect of my travels. The most challenging aspects remain the lack of community. Don’t get me wrong, I have made some wonderful friends here and love getting to know new people but there is an extra level of effort expended when you spend time with people who don’t know you well. It is odd to have a lack of balance when it comes to new and old friends. I go through waves where I prioritize calling my friends and family back home more frequently and am learning to make this a more common practice.
There is a lighthouse in Cape Hatteras, NC that is the tallest in the US at 210 feet.. The lighthouse in 1999 had to be moved 2,900 feet inland due to erosion of the shoreline. This process took around 3 months. My family was there before and after the move, it is a remarkable thing to see. When sitting near the spot where the lighthouse was moved from this May, I was strangely reassured. I feel like that lighthouse. I feel like I am being, sometimes tediously, moved to a stronger foundation. As I have wrestled with questions spiritually, politically, and personally I frequently feel overwhelmed. I think the most reassuring theme to me was that the purpose of the lighthouse in the move did not change, it was actually able to accomplish this purpose better. There was a necessary trust that the engineers and those behind the scenes knew the best positioning and method. I have had a fear that in changing some of my perspectives, it makes some past experiences less valuable. I vary between phases where I study, listen, and read a lot in an attempt to filter through differing perspectives and an almost paralyzing apathy. I don’t have a lot figured out, but trust the journey is worthwhile. I don’t ever want to stop asking hard questions but I also don’t want these questions to be so distracting that I miss the joyfulness of faith. Anyways, I’ve got a way to go.
I have one month left in Connecticut and I am starting to feel homesick. This assignment has been full of wonderful adventures, but I am ready for it to come to a close. My mom is coming out next week to explore a bit more of New England before I leave which I am extremely excited for. I will definitely continue travel nursing for a time and am in the application process for the next assignment but am excited to go home for a bit. I had a recent realization that this is the longest I have been away from home and my family, nearing 9 months. I am frequently overwhelmed with gratitude that I have so many amazing people to miss. See you soon, San Diego.