Deciding to become a travel nurse is not only a major career choice but it’s also a huge life decision, as you will be trading in everything you’re familiar and comfortable with for a heaping scoop of the unknown. It’s scary and most definitely not for everyone. But what if there was a way to minimize the uncertainty? TRS Healthcare travel duo extraordinaire, Matt Reeves, RN and Amanda Taylor, RN may have the found the magic recipe for success: bring it all with you.
Matt and Amanda have been traveling with us for a few years now and have certainly learned more than a few tricks for making the road more enjoyable. Matt began traveling before Amanda decided to join him and as a travel pair, they have had to make sacrifices. According to Matt, “because many facilities aren’t always looking for two ER nurses, some of our options are limited. We see what’s out there for us and we make decisions as a team”.
Amanda, stating how she hadn’t been away from family very often previously, said she was nervous what travel nursing would be like. They decided to start with locations within a few hours of loved ones and then as the comfort levels grew, they traveled further out from home. Amanda said that knowing Matt before traveling together helped but “there was still some adjustment in getting used to each other and how we each like to do things. It’s important not to get frustrated and be patient”. Matt added that the key has been “taking baby steps. We started close to home for 13 weeks and then went further out on each contract”.
As they travel with their trio of four-footed fur children, housing options also became quite limited. Their solution was to purchase a 5th Wheel Trailer and take their home with them on the road. Eliminating the headaches of signing leases, paying pet deposits and cramming all their belongings into a car was well worth it for them. Said Matt, “We have everything we need with us at all times and that makes a huge difference”.
When asked how they manage to work the same shifts at the same facility, in the same department and then come home to more together time in the RV, Matt said that they “each stay busy doing their own duties in the ER but making sure we get to spend time together during our off days is important, or else we’d rarely see each other”. Amanda said they also each have they own hobbies they enjoy so they also “ensure we make time for ourselves, too”.
Amanda stated that having Matt there with her on assignment has been good for her. Saying that, “Matt is very outgoing and I tend to be more reserved”, it’s easy to see that they have found a balance in their relationship that translates to their work. She added how beneficial it is to have someone she can “rely upon and someone I trust”, amid all the newness of a travel assignment.
To a nurse who feels the draw of a travel assignment but can’t bear to leave loved ones behind, this is a perfect example of how to make this lifestyle work for you. Matt Reeves and Amanda Taylor are proof that one doesn’t have to travel only early in their career, before settling down with someone, or only travel after the kids are grown and after retirement from core staff positions. Amanda suggests being “flexible” as a key to harmony on the road while Matt advises those who travel with their loved ones to “explore the unique things each location has to offer and do these things together”.
Being a healthcare traveler and dedicating your life to the service of others doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice the things in life that bring you joy and help you recharge your batteries. Traveling with loved ones (human or pets or all the above) can be an invaluable lifeline while on the road and if you’re willing to work through the extra difficulties that may arise, you may find that companionship to make all the difference. Amanda and Matt have certainly laid down a perfect blueprint to doing it well, as evidenced by their many successes, both at work and with their road warrior family.