1. Meet a peppery nurse from New Zealand who will convince you that nursing is secretly the best profession out there. She will call boots "wellies." She will casually talk about working in Antarctica. She will think back fondly on her time as a travel nurse.
2. Move to Chicago, get into an accelerated BS to BSN program. Somehow manage to go through school and feed yourself and pay rent. Pass the NCLEX. Get a job in the ER working the overnight shift. Stay awake on Lake Shore Drive while returning home at 7:30 AM after a 12 hour shift of ill and angry people and avoid dying in a fiery crash before you can realize your dream of travel nursing.
3. Fall in love a little bit with Chicago, its ordered grid, its secret alleys, its teeming creativity. Fall in love with the lake shore path and with peeping into other people's houses while riding the el. Love the neighborhoods and the dirty politics and the snooty artists, but realize that Chicago and you were never meant to be. You need mountains! You need mountain laurel! You need mountain lions! You need adventure! Shed many tears and make the break-up long and drawn out and painful for all involved. Swear to remain friends.
4. Go camping in Missouri. Meet Sisters on the Fly, a group of ladies (no kids, no men, no one under 21) who fix up vintage trailers and go fly fishing together. Take a shot of "Pickled Peach Pie" with them because it's someone's birthday. Tour their tricked out RVs. Tent campers seek out solitude, but RV campers seek out friendship. No one ever stops you to ask if you want to take a tour of their tent. Feel comforted that even travelers have communities.
5. Decide to get married. Fret endlessly about money. Realize you need a budget. Track your spending and compare your current spending against your hypothetical travel nurse spending. But what about the loan for the RV? But what about the crappy gas mileage? But what about renting a moving truck and storing all our stuff somewhere while you're indefinitely traveling? and health insurance? What about the month of time you wont have a job in between Chicago and wherever you end up? But WHERE WILL YOU END UP? Don't freak. Your rent won't be as high. You won't have that second car. You'll get insurance and you'll see the world. You'll be fine. But decide to save enough money to cover 4 months living just in case.
6. Spend the summer working in New Hampshire. Give yourself a total of 2 days to find a truck that can tow a small home AND sell your dear and dying Subaru. Somehow successfully sell the car and buy a big, red, used truck. Feel shocked that you did that! You, my friend, are going to be a travel nurse.
7.Begin to get rid of and pack up your belongings. Never mind that you wont move for another 3 months or that you have no idea what you'll be moving in to. It may seem like you have 3 months to drag your feet about it, but you really only have 2.5 days of unscheduled time in that span. These sorts of Big Decisions are only ever made when life is crazy. You decide to travel nurse when the spouse surprise-serves you divorce papers, or when pregnant with your second child, or before going under for heart surgery. There is no time. Start to pack right now.
BLOG INTERMISSION SO THAT YOU CAN START PACKING