Travel nursing is an ideal job for people who love to travel, work with a diverse set of people and live in wonderful new homes. As a travel nurse, you get all the perks of traveling without the stress of being jobless. It’s one of the only jobs in the world that allows you to travel endlessly without incurring a lot of expense.
However, travel nursing comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is learning to maintain your personal relationships while you’re away on a travel nurse assignment.
Often, you hear the saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” thrown around in regards to long-distance relationships. However, that distance can also sometimes be the death knell for many personal relationships for travel nurses.
So, how can you maintain your personal relationships as a travel nurse? Let’s find out.
Maintaining Personal Relationships As A Travel Nurse
1-Decide Your Expectations
The most important part about maintaining any personal relationship, be it a relationship between family members, partners or friends is that you need to know what you expect from the other person and what the other person expects from you.
Before leaving on an assignment, have some serious talks with your loved ones and set some healthy expectations. By practicing this routine, you won’t be faced with unmet expectations or broken hearts because you or your partner didn’t communicate your needs beforehand.
Doing so will also allow you to make time for your loved ones and be there for them even if you are hundreds of miles away. Always remember that an honest conversation goes a long way in saving everyone a lot of heartbreak.
2-Communication Is Key
Most people struggle with the hectic travel nurse routines and don’t keep up communication as well as they would if they were home. This can lead to a lot of problems for you because your spouse or partner won’t know what’s going on in your life and you won’t know what’s going on in theirs.
Sometimes, you need emotional support or a little extra help to get through the day.
If you haven’t effectively communicated this to your partner, you might find yourself alone when you need them most.
So, for a healthy relationship while working as a travel nurse, make sure to communicate your feelings and ask your loved ones about theirs as well.
3-Show Them That You’re Thinking Of Them
Sometimes, it’s hard to communicate that you’re thinking of your loved ones when you’re so far away from them. This can be a huge problem in romantic relationships because the entire relationship hinges on the mutual love between two people.
For a healthy relationship while working on a travel nurse assignment, try to show your partner that you’re thinking of them. If there’s a food that you both enjoy, snap a picture of it and send it to your partner the next time you’re eating it.
On other hand, if you see something on the street that reminds you of them, make sure to tell them about it.
On top of that, If there’s a new song you’ve heard that you think they might like, you should tell them to listen to it.
It’s the little things that make all the difference in the world when it comes to maintaining relationships as a travel nurse.
4-Make A Routine
If you forget to keep in contact or you feel like you can’t make time to talk to your loved ones, make a routine out of it. So, if you have a day off, start the day by video calling your spouse. Check in with your parents next and end the day with some texts in your friends’ group chat.
Do this every time you have a day off or on the weekends and this will quickly become a routine that you will easily be able to make time for. Another reason it’s a good thing is that your loved ones will also clear their schedules to talk to you if they know when to expect you.
If you feel like calling everyone individually takes too much time, try multitasking. Talk to your mom while doing your groceries and talk to your husband while tidying the house. Your weekend tasks will also seem a little less boring if you have something else to occupy your mind while you do them.
5- Make Some New Friends
While this may seem counterintuitive to some when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships, it’s actually a very good trick to maintain one. How, you ask?
The thing is, there’s a chance you may start relying too heavily on your spouse or partner to entertain you all day when you’re in a new place. After all, you don’t have anyone else to talk to in a new city!
However, it may make your spouse feel like you are monopolizing their time, which may lead to some bitter feelings on both ends. If you start making new friends and opening yourself up to new possibilities, you’ll be able to maintain healthy contact with your spouse or partner.
7-Keep It Special
Who doesn’t like to come home to a nice surprise from a loved one? Sometimes, it’s hard to surprise your family members with their favorite meals or a surprise visit because you’re too far away.
However, there are other ways to bring a smile to your family members’ faces. To share your experiences with your family and make them feel like you’re thinking of them, send your family members or partner a care package, each filled with things that you’re seeing or experiencing in your new home.
In addition, you can also add photos, letters, or some other mementos to make them feel like they’re part of your trip.
Of course, the best way to keep it special is to plan a surprise visit whenever you can!
8-Include Each Other
If you miss your partner or miss doing things with them, don’t worry. You can still do a lot of things with them even if you’re hundreds of miles away. If you and your partner have some free time, watch a movie together so you can laugh and cry about it at the same time. You can also discuss the movie afterward, allowing you to share a fun experience with each other even without being physically present.
9-Tell Them Your Change Of Plans
Life is filled with ups and downs and sometimes it can get hard to make time for your daily check-in call or your weekly movie night. However, leaving your partner hanging without letting them know if a change of plan has occurred can foster feelings of hurt and sadness.
To avoid that situation, make sure that you tell your partner beforehand so they can also enjoy their night. Explain the situation to them and let them know that you’ll reschedule as soon as possible or that you look forward to your next video call or movie night. Doing so will make your partner feel as if you value them and don’t want to cancel on them.
10-Support Your Partner
Supporting your partner is one of the best things you can do for them. Luckily, there are numerous ways to support your partner even without being physically present. If they have an important presentation at work or a meeting they’re worried about, send them a thoughtful text wishing them luck or call them afterward to talk to them about it.
Also, If they get promoted, celebrate with them and be happy for them, even if only virtually.
And If you see them going through a rough patch, make sure to check in on them regularly and make sure they know they can seek help from you.
How Travel Nursing Can Be Good For Your Relationships
Sometimes, it’s hard to see the benefits of travel nursing when you’re away from your loved ones for so long. However, being a travel nurse comes with a unique set of perks that allow you to have a healthier relationship with your partner, parents, or kids.
The biggest travel nursing perk is, of course, that you make more money. Having a better income can allow you to improve your relationships by being able to buy thoughtful presents for your loved ones, surprise them with a visit from time to time, or even fly them out to see you.
Sometimes, couples have problems because one partner wants to travel and the other doesn’t. Travel nursing allows you to see the world while also having the money and the time to see your loved ones after short time intervals so you don’t go too long without seeing them in person. It effectively strengthens your relationship because you get to do what you love while also being present in your relationship.
Most couples dream of having money to invest in their future together. While some people can’t afford to do so as their salary doesn’t allow them to save up, the generous paycheck that comes with a travel nursing assignment can allow you to save up for a home, a car or anything else that you want to buy as a couple.
Some couples want to travel together but never find the motivation to do so. If you’re on a travel nursing assignment and miss your spouse, fly them out to see you! This will allow them to travel and also give you an opportunity to act as a tour guide and show them around your new city.
So, it seems you actually can save your personal relationships while working as a travel nurse. It’s not as hard as it seems! All you need to do is make sure that you make your partner, parents, kids or friends feel valued. You should also find creative ways to be more present in their lives.
All in all, while you may need to expend some effort into maintaining your relationships as travel nurse while in a different city, it will all be worth it in the end.