My wife Christie became an RN the spring before we started homeschooling, and now that she's got some experience under her belt, she has taken a job with a company that pays RN's to travel all over the country for 8-13 week assignments. The company basically pays for a temporary furnished condo/apartment in the area, all utilities, a food and gas stipend, and gives Christie a wide range of contracts in various places in the U.S. to work. There are obviously some expenses on our part, but it's a lot like taking extended vacations on 80% of someone else's dime. Except that for Christie it will be a working vacation!
There are several advantages to this for our family. First it obviously provides a richer, hands-on experience for the boys. Imagine the possibilities: History in Boston, Culture in New York City and Honolulu, Architecture in San Francisco, not to mention all the beaches, amusement parks, national forests, and cultural centers we'll visit along the way. It also won't hurt Christie's resume to work in a wider variety of hospitals and situations outside of Arkansas.
Secondly, many of you know that I have a chronic heart problem, and this will give us the opportunity to see my specialists in Boston and St. Louis more often, with less travel expense. Since my condition is congenital, it's important for the boys to undergo regular testing by qualified specialists as well. Unfortunately, most of the clinics familiar with this heart disease are located on either the West Coast, or in New England. We'll try to position ourselves within driving distance of one as often as possible. I'm sure you can imagine the expense of having to fly or drive back and forth for clinic visits and tests. Hopefully, this will relieve some of that financial burden.
Thirdly, it provides us much needed mobility at this time in our lives. Given my health issues, and some other health problems in our extended families, we are very reluctant to "settle down" anywhere right now and commit to a long-term job or mortgage. Travelling will allow us to make short-term commitments, and should we need to be in either Boston or St. Louis (for my health issues), or in the Little Rock area (where our families live), we can get assigned near those cities fairly easily. This isn't a permanent solution, but for now, it gives us the freedom we need to move around depending on our needs. I realize this is a privilege we're afforded because of Christie's career field, and we want to take full advantage of it while we can.
We really feel that the boys are at the perfect age for travelling and enjoying all that this nomadic lifestyle has to offer. It looks like we'll even be able to catch entire seasons of soccer and hockey for them if we time it right. Our first assignment starts in Hershey, Pennsylvania on February 21st. The next two weeks will be filled with packing, storing, cramming everything we need into the back of the van, saying a tearful (but temporary) goodbye to friends and family, and making the trek to Dutch Country. While there, we hope to visit Boston, Washington D.C., New York City, and Toronto, Canada. I'll be sure to chronicle the whole thing here so our readers can experience the adventure with us. Our name now seems more fitting than ever, and we're excited about living up to it.