Hello and Happy New Year, we made it out of 2016 alive! Thank you for checking out Nurse Vanessa! This is the first blog post I have ever written, and probably my worst, as this is entirely new territory for me. Thank you so much for choosing to come on this journey with me. I love sharing my experiences with others in hopes that it will help or inspire them. I find that you gain much so much more in life by sharing your journey with others; and that most people in the world want to be a part of it and see you thrive. For the ones who don’t, then they probably shouldn’t read this blog 🙂 . So I thank you again for being here, and for taking the time and effort out of your day to come along on this exciting ride with me.
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!
2016 was a year of growth, challenges, realizations, accomplishments, and joyful moments. I think most of us can agree that entering a new year feels like a fresh opportunity to make new goals, rise up from hard times, repair broken hearts, build extravagant dreams, become a better version of ourselves, and take risks that perhaps we weren’t able to or ready for in the previous year. Although, I am so incredibly thankful that the end of a crazy 2016, turned out to have an unbelievable ending as I found myself waking up from a delirious nap in the Cook Islands on a beautiful sunset evening this December, engaged to my better half!
Who is Nurse Vanessa?
If you don’t personally know me, you’re probably wondering who is this blogger noob? I am a twenty something native Arizonan girl currently working as a cardiac and progressive care Bachelor’s Degree nurse at a hospital in my hometown Tucson, AZ. Before that I worked three years in a long-term care unit caring for 34 patients of all ages suffering with chronic conditions, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, and I loved it. I list these last two experiences now because I believe they were some of the most pivotal and challenging moments in my life and in my career. Man, have I learned a lot! I think it would be fair to say that nursing was my first love, as I worked tirelessly to earn this opportunity and still find myself profoundly passionate for this dedicated and caring profession. Shout out to all the amazing RN’s, LPN’s, CNA’s, and nursing students out there!
After meeting Alex, I discovered new and unexpected passions beyond the bedside: Travel. I owe a lot of credit to him for opening my eyes to take risks, seek adventures, and see the world. I never imagined that a life of world travel would be in my reach, let alone a significant part of my life. I scrounged up every last penny I had as a struggling nursing student, after I was invited by Alex to take a trip to France and Spain for a week over my spring break in 2013. My life was forever changed. Since then, I’ve merely scraped the surface of world travel and I wouldn’t say I am an expert by any means, but my eyes have never been so open and I have never been so deeply humbled. I have gained an entirely new perspective of the world because I have seen what a very small and insignificant space I occupy, and how much more there is outside of my own.
You mean, you’re really going to quit your job and “travel”?
Fast forward to the end of 2016. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, buying a home, and planning a wedding, we decided to go in a completely different direction for the new year. 2017 Plan: Quit my job, move out of our cozy and homey condominium for two, give up most of our possessions, buy a one-way ticket, pack enough stuff that will fit into a carry-on for a year, and travel the world. Some of the awesome travel bloggers I follow make it seem so effortless, but in truth I hadn’t fully committed and came to peace with this decision lightly or easily. Here I am, leaving behind a career I am extremely dedicated to, putting academic and career goals on hold, saying goodbye to family and friends, and peacing out. It is going against everything we are conditioned to chase in life: work until you cant, climb the corporate ladder, and travel maybe once a year if you’re lucky enough to.
Why I Choose Travel
Well, a couple of self-realizations later, moments of personal growth, and fifty some pages into Tim Ferris’ “4 Hour Work Week”, I committed to an adventure with Alex that was about to change my entire life. I had to be at peace with the idea that this grand plan of traveling the world could go totally south. While staying behind and continuing to advance in my career, enrolling in a Nurse Practitioner program, planning a wedding, and buying a house are the expected societal norms for this stage in my life, I believe that taking a huge leap of faith and choosing to travel full time will offer something of authentic value to my life, deepen my relationship with my partner, and encourage me to live more deliberately.
Am I scared? Of course, but here we are. This marks the last days to the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. I can’t believe in just thirty days we will be leaving all that is familiar, but possibly gaining everything in the unfamiliar. I hope you stay tuned for the days leading up to this adventure!
Love, Nurse Vanessa