When we first decided to start traveling, I was pretty excited about quitting my job. Spring was in the air, I had cabin fever, and let’s be honest—the idea of sitting beside a sparkling, blue swimming pool all summer sounds great to all of us. But when we reached my husband’s first assignment, it was harder on me than I expected. I sent him off to work, looked around the apartment, and realized I had absolutely nothing to do. Before the end of that first day, I began harassing my old bosses, asking for work I could over the phone or internet.
I eventually settled into a routine. I would cook breakfast, clean the house, exercise, play at the pool, talk on the phone, read, and search for ways to fill the hours until Brandon got home at midnight.
It was fun in its own way, but I couldn’t handle it for long. Friends and family encouraged me to explore and sight-see on my own; but really, exploring and sightseeing is just more vacationing, and I needed a break from vacation.
So how do you fight off the boredom while on the road with your travel nurse? Here are a few tips that have helped me get past the boredom and actually start enjoying my new “career.”
- See it as your job too. There are a lot of ways that you can help your partner. Make it your job to research the assignments, look for apartments, plan your driving routes, and schedule sightseeing. Volunteer to keep up with your partner’s paperwork and deadlines.
- Develop a working relationship with your partner’s recruiter, so that you can handle some of the phone calls. Doing some of the grunt work will not only keep you occupied, it will give your partner some of that vacation time you’ve been enjoying.
- Continue pursuing your own dreams. It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing this as your partner’s time to advance his/her career, but it can be a great time for you to work on your goals as well. Take a class at the community college, or sign up for a distance learning program. Keep learning and building a skill set that will help you in your own career.
- Use this time to do the things you’ve never had time to do before. We all have books we’ve always wanted to read or sports we’ve always wanted to try. If you’ve always wanted to get a black belt in karate, then this is the time to go for it.
Traveling with your partner can either be mind-numbingly boring, or the greatest adventure of your life. I’ve seen spouses burn out after one thirteen week assignment, simply because they were bored. Don’t fall into the same trap—this time can be incredibly rewarding. It just takes a little creativity.
Adventures in Travel Nursing