I never honestly thought it would catch on. I like continuity and a home. Traveling and living out of a suitcase is a temporary thrill, but not a lifestyle I thought I would enjoy.
Duke gave me exactly what I wanted. A swift kick in the seat. It reminded me how much I don't know and have yet to learn. Although I have enjoyed the experience, another opportunity presented itself and I find myself in a dream on an island.
It's the most bizarre and surreal experience ever as I never expected it to come true. I am still within driving distance of several large cities, but I am located on an island and working as an ER nurse on an island. One of my dreams is to learn how to surf. The Outer Banks has some of the best surfing on the East Coast.
There were several obstacles in my taking the position. First there was the barn and family that I have come to love and appreciate in the Durham area. I wasn't ready to give up such a wonderful place. Second was the cost of living on an island and knowing whether or not my finances could withstand a move like this. Both were taken care of. Finally I had to find a place to live. A cottage was offered to me and though it is very simple, how much do you actually need when you live at the beach??
Most travel nurses take a week or more of vacation between assignments as it gives them time to recover, visit family, relocate, and settle in to a new location. Because of my dad's wedding and a family reunion, I was unable to take any time. I worked one of my hardest shifts at Duke on a Wednesday night and was orienting to the Outer Banks on Monday. Wednesday night I am assisting forensics, dealing with Bloods and Crips, treating gunshot wounds and Level 1 traumas, and dealing with a psychiatric patient who spit on me, called me obscene names, and threatened to do henious crimes to the females in my family. Monday I am assisting in the removal of a fishook in a finger, listening to a patient explain how he thinks his abdominal pain is due to his recent increase in fishing and holding the pole in the same location on his stomach, and learning how to treat stingray and jellyfish attacks with hot water, vinegar, and meat tenderizer. The contrast was ridiculous.
Being at the beach is incredible. The cottage I am renting has had a few hiccups including getting me super sick from a minor mold outbreak in the shower. I miss the farm and the lack of humans, but we aren't quite in tourist season yet and the place is still pretty quiet. There are several extremely quaint coffee shops which provide perfect places to work. The locals are super friendly and several of my coworkers have offered to help teach me how to surf. There are other options such as Kite boarding in the sound, parasailing off dunes (OBX has some of the biggest dunes in the US), of course boating and fishing, then there it the driving on the beach. I so want to rent a vehicle and drive the entire extent of the islands. The most Northern island is Corolla and has wild ponies (similar to those of Chincoteague). Several spots of the islands require a ferry to get to the next.
My coworkers are great. They have been super helpful and are excited to have more help for the summer. One of the travel nurses from Duke-the one who got me the job-lives a couple blocks from me and has been extremely helpful as well. So far so good.
Flying home for Dad's wedding and the McLarty family reunion. Should be a big adventure.