crafting/creating Just for Fun travels/travel nursing

Chase the Voyage

At first, this might seem – oh, I dunno – cliché? forced? derivative? But, “chase the voyage” isn’t meant to be slouch-y. This phrase is meant to inspire and motivate.

I was working on some products to add to my Etsy Shop and thought, “What do I want to wear? What designs do I like?” This might seem ego-centric to be sure, but the questions came from a podcast called Creative Pep Talk. He suggested that whatever art form you create, you should use/wear/enjoy yourself. Specifically, he said he started wearing the t-shirts he designed. He agreed that it felt selfish and awkward at first, but he now finds immense joy in wearing his own designs — because he likes what he makes! So, I’m taking his advice to heart and designing things I like.

It’s simply too hard for me to guess at what other people will buy and enjoy. There’s a million and one websites encouraging you to “do market research” and “find your niche”. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, that just feels overwhelming right now. So, I’m starting small. My decision was, “If I like it, there’s got to be someone else out there that will like it too.” And, I like the phrase, “Chase the Voyage”.

Voyage felt appropriate, because it best describes this thing called, “van life”. You might accidentally find yourself on a “journey”, but voyages are taken with forethought. As for “chase” – I wanted to encourage myself (and followers) to chase that voyage with certainty, effort, and passion. Interestingly, the french word for “to hunt” is “chasser” – very similar looking to “chase” and a good reminder that chasing involves intent & destination & hopefully success.

The bottom left corner of the design is a silhouette of the Tetons in Wyoming, the cactus silhouette comes from our voyages into Southern Utah and Nevada, and the night sky was inspired by the vastness of stars we saw in Idaho. These adventures didn’t happen by accident, it took effort (as chasing something does). We chased these voyages and marveled at the wildernesses and beauty of the American West.

So, now I have an adorable tote bag with my own design, which I love. It’s ready to go as a reminder to myself to keep chasing my voyages – because, I have yet to regret any of them.

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Happy voyaging,


A Little Lost, A Little Found travels/travel nursing van build

Back in Action

He’s home! He’s finally home!

It could have been 4 weeks or 18 weeks, once Ivan walked out of the airport and into my arms the pain of missing him dissolved into relief. Like putting on a favorite old t-shirt, we fit together just right as if no time had passed – but, we also felt a little more tender and little more grateful to be together.

Moments after reuniting at the airport

In no time we were planning for the future. I put in my noticed at school that I would not be returning in the fall. Ivan and I felt like now is the time to do something a little daring, a little crazy.

We spent a year traveling in the past. Ivan is a nurse and there is a position called, “travel nurse”. A travel nurse gets hired with a company who has relationships with hospitals. The hospitals come say, “We need nurses” and the company sends the nurses. Ivan had an employed, but worked at 5 hospitals during the year. We lived in Maine, California, Idaho, and then back to Utah.

With this experience under our belt, we had been toying with the idea of traveling nursing again but this time, with a trailer or camper. We had fun living in different apartments and AirBnB’s. There was something satisfying about knowing, “I can only keep what fits in the car.” On the flip side, we had to hunt for the perfect furnished apartment and be willing to pay a premium for said furnishings.

Ivan’s recent contract in New Jersey gave us just enough cash to buy a Ram ProMaster van – this has quickly become our next adventure. After a few weeks of emotional recovery and van hunting, Ivan found one that might work. After a few days of me applying a bit of wifely pressure, we agreed to buy a ticket to Chicago. We texted the dealership on Sunday to set an appointment, bought the flights, and will land on Monday. I’m so anxious, but excited.

My mind leans toward worst case scenarios, so let’s play Worst Case Scenario: we arrive and the van has been sold, and there are no other alternatives. In that case, we would find lodging and a ticket home. We spent $550 getting there, so that would be easily $1,000 for nothing but a story. Maybe such a story/failure/mistake wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but I certainly dread it. Now, I have to focus on belly breathing so my body doesn’t stress and switch to sympathetic mode. Next scenario – we go, the van is there but for some reason or another, it’s not a good fit and we walk away. The consequences are the same as above. Final scenario – we go, we just spent $550 getting there, so we talk ourselves into something we don’t actually want just because of what it took to get there. I guess this isn’t worst case scenario, because the price of the van is $16,000. That leaves us $4,000 in the budget for fixing up unseen problems.

This brings us back to our original decision making. There are new vans with lots of miles, old vans with less miles, higher cost, lower cost – so it becomes a matter of fitting all those pieces together. We were debating between a $20,000 van and a $16,000 van. We settled on the cheaper one with the understanding that there will likely be those pesky car problems you don’t foresee and we’d at least have an extra $4,000 to put toward it. $4,000 goes a long way in car maintenance.

Now, we are sitting at the airport, waiting minute by minute for boarding to begin. I’m scared, excited, I feel a bit reckless, but I also feel like an adventure-seeker. Sure, I’ll be skipping out on work and haven’t thought through those consequences. Sure, we’ll be setting ourselves up for a 20 hour drive back and haven’t thought through those consequences. But, away we go.

Much Love,