A Re-Discovered Life

A nurse traveling and learning to embrace new discoveries.


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A Good Start

With all my travels in 2013, I’m ready to start 2014 out with an exciting European Trip with a  great friend.  We’ll be meeting up in London, then visiting Marrakech and Barcelona together.

I’m only traveling for a short 2 weeks this trip but my friend Cheryl will be continuing on for another 2 weeks to Munich, Rome and Athens. You can read Cheryl’s blog here: Travels and Adventures.

Being a true Gypsy, I’ve done exactly ZERO research on the places that I’ll be visiting.  It’s certainly going to be an adventure for me.  I usually know all the proper train/bus/transit options but this time I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I just realized today that I didn’t print my boarding passes for my RyanAir flights that I’ll be taking…this oversight would have cost a whooping 70Euro if I hadn’t remembered!    Thanks to the kind workers here at the Palmers Lodge, boarding passes are now printed and pocketbook crises averted!

I’ve arrived in London!

I’ve been in London for nearly 24 hours now and I’ve done exactly NO exploring….WTH?  Part of the reason is that I was in transit for nearly 2 full days to get here and was exhausted on arrival.  Now with only a short time until my friend Cheryl arrives, I thought I’d spend the morning catching up on emails and updating the blog.  I’ve also been to London before….I know that this is going to sound arrogant but there really isn’t anything here that I feel like I HAVE to see or do.  I’m excited to explore with the fresh eyes of my friend Cheryl….it’s always a joy to see someone’s excitement with their first time travels.  I’m honored that I get to share this with Cheryl.

London eye

I’m excited for Cheryl to arrive as tomorrow, I fly out to Marrakech.  As a side note:  When I booked my flights, I somehow managed to mess them all up and Cheryl and I only have today together in London.  I’ll arrive in Marrakech 2 days before her and hopefully get the scoop and be ready to show her around Marrakech when she arrives.

Over the years, I have used several different blogging platforms for my blogs.  I’m now exclusively on this one.  As I was writing this, I was going to link to the old blog post from my previous London Trip…only to realize, I never wrote one!!  So, In lieu of an old post…check out these old photos of some iconic places around London from 2010!  More (new) photo’s soon!  I promise to write a post on London this trip…


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De-Stressing

There is an importance to ‘de-stressing’.  As a nurse, we all know what ‘Burn-out’ is and can generally recognize it.  If we don’t recognize it in ourselves, we can certainly recognize it in our co-workers/peers/friends.

It’s time for me to DE-STRESS

A little background…

Back in 2008…I took a giant leap and took my very first International trip to Vietnam!  It was an amazing experience full of a variety of introspection, joy, fear, sadness and challenges.  Through it all…I feel in LOVE with International Travel. It was sometime during this trip that I made a commitment to myself to make international travel a part of my life, not just a one-time experience.

Coming back from Vietnam, I immediately began to formulate the ‘plan’ to be able to travel more extensively.  More?  If you know me, you’ll know that I am a travel nurse and already ‘travel’ nearly full-time with my job…my goal was to travel (internationally) more!

Over the past 5 years (post-Vietnam), I’ve put extensive time and effort into living a debt-free lifestyle.  It’s been a hard road, with many sacrifices along the way.  On the positive side, my passion and endurance have enabled me to continue to travel to wonderful places like Italy, South America and Central America.  These experiences have only cemented in my mind that travel is a part of my soul.

Living debt-free has opened many door for me, including my most recent endeavors as The Gypsy Nurse.

The Gypsy Nurse is a culmination of a decade-long dream for me.

A place for travel nurses to communicate, meet and support each other in a friendly and supportive environment. 

Because of living a debt-free lifestyle, I was able to take about 6 months off of work to ‘birth’ my vision and bring The Gypsy Nurse to life.   Operating a web-site with no ‘tech’ background has been a huge life challenge for me.  The learning curve has been huge! There were many players in the initial start-up that played key roles in the current success of The Gypsy Nurse, not insignificant being the simple supportive words of my family and personal friends.

I’ve never been ‘secretive’ about the fact that I hope to utilize the website as a small source of income.  There are expenses that go into maintaining a website, and hundreds and hundreds of hours of work ‘behind the scenes’.  My ultimate hope is that the resources provided via the website are/will be beneficial to the traveler and help bring my dream of ‘collaboration, community and camaraderie’ to the Travel Nursing world. I’ve put more hours into this than I ever imagined would be necessary.  In addition, my heart and soul have guided every aspect of the endeavor, my intentions have always been to provide a place ‘FOR THE TRAVELER’.

There have been some major ‘bumps’ in the road recently which have left me feeling defeated….

I took about two weeks of ‘down-time’, reconnected with my mission and I’m now back and feeling much less stressed.  Sometimes, we just need to step away and take a look at the big picture in order to put things in order.
leon


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What I’ve been up to so Far in 2013

2013 Has been a very busy year so far!

What have I been doing?  Certainly not writing here and for that I apologize!  

I worked a very busy and hectic contract in Maryville, TN from March 18th until May 18th.  It was a test of my tenacity as a nurse!!  After TN, I visited with family for a couple of weeks before heading out on (yet) another International Trip!  I didn’t write here on A Rediscovered Life because I was locked out of my account and couldn’t regain access!!  In addition, I was busy working on a new project (thegypsynurse.com) which is going great and took a ton of my time!

Where did my International travels take me this time?

Panama City, Panama

I had a wonderful time exploring Panama on a solo, self-guided trip.  There were a few adjustment issues along the way….but I was able to quickly recognize them and work through it. If your ever in Panama City you MUST check out the Fish Market and have some Ceviche…the BEST EVER!

Panama City

Boquette, Panama

Following Panama City, I headed into ‘Coffee-Country’ in Panama and explored the small town of Boquette.  I intended to stay only a couple of days and ended up staying for nearly 3 weeks!  I met some wonderful people there, got a ton of work done (on thegypsynurse.com) and truly relaxed. I also found an opportunity to ‘push’ myself with a pretty challenging hike and found some insight about how we treat each other along the way.

coffee

Leon, Nicaragua 

Next stop….Leon Nicaragua!  I met up with a good friend here.  Although suffering though some miserable heat (and no air conditioning), I found some great ‘offices’ to work from, met a lovely local lady (who told me in Spanish all about the murals and history of the Revolution).  Leon is beautiful …I only wish it were a bit cooler!

leon

Routa de Las Flores, El Salvador

El Salvador was beautiful and the people were very friendly.  My travels through El Salvador reminded me that although I will always travel with caution, it isn’t always as scary or dangerous as others will try to make you believe. The people of El Salvador were lovely and it’s a location that I’ll travel again someday. The Routa de Las Flores (Route of Flowers) although not in ‘bloom’ was an interesting travel route to follow.  The amount of Murals on buildings is perhaps the largest concentration I’ve ever seen in such a small area.  Just wandering the streets taking photo’s of the murals was entertainment for a full day!

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Antigua and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

My trip ended with two weeks back in Guatemala!  I wasn’t nearly as impressed this time around with Antigua as I was during my first trip the previous year.  I do, however still love the market there!  It’s one of my favorites!  San Pedro in Lake Atitlan was amazing!  The relaxed atmosphere, good mix of local culture and expats, and just a general relaxed vibe were exactly what I needed at the time.  I met some (more) great people, got tons of work done and mentally prepared myself for the return home.

lake atitlan

Coffee, Street Art, Amazing Culture, introspection….what more can a girl want? The next trip….Stay Tuned!

 


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Keeping It Cheap and Simple: USA Couchsurfing Adventure

Travel Nurse CouchsurfingIf you don’t know what couch-surfing is; I recommend that you look it up and check it out. It’s a great way to connect with others that enjoy a life of travel.

I’ve been registered on the couch surfing site for several years but have never been able to get the nerve up to actually get out and do it. I figured that I could give it a go in my home country so that at least I would know that we could communicate with each other in a common language. Did I ever mention that I am horrible with language? Yes, I suck!

I connected with a Minneapolis couple that I’m going to refer to as M & M via couchsurfing.org M & M are as new to couch-surfing as I am. M & M have hosted many exchange students over the years but have never had a couch surfer. It’s a first experience for all of us. It was a wonderful experience. I now have even more friends in Minneapolis

travel nurse in minneapolisI couldn’t have asked for a better couch-surfing experience. M&M were great hosts. I arrived on the Mr’s Birthday and was invited to join them for a Birthday dinner. We enjoyed a great Italian style pizza and had a home-made birthday cake for dessert. After dinner, M&M took me to St. Anthony Falls and bridge. We couldn’t have timed it any better as we arrived right as the sun was setting along the city skyline.

Travel Nurse meets Gazebo GirlsI became an unofficial member of the “Gazebo Girls” club. What is the Gazebo Girls? It a small group of women in the neighborhood that gather at J’s house one night a week for wine and chatting. I was made to feel right at home by everyone.

I was also introduced to a few ‘neighborhood’ secrets like the gnome home of Gned and the local library which holds a secret that I’ve been sworn to secrecy on! If you would like to check out the adventures of Gned, he has a Facebook Group.

A huge thank you to my Minneapolis hosts M & M. I only had a day and a half in Minneapolis but thanks to M & M, I discovered a side of Minneapolis that I truly enjoyed. I’ll certainly be anticipating my return trip.

If you would like to discover couchsurfing or learn a little more about this great community you can visit the couchsurfing.org website.


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Keeping it Cheap and Simple

US Roadtrip:  Keeping it cheap and simple

 

I’m heading out for a US Road-trip.  I’m determined to prove that you can travel in the US safely and cheaply.  Feel free to follow along as I explore From Louisville, KY through Chicago, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and and back.

 

 


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Gypsy Nurse, RN:

What are you doing this 4th of July? Have you been to any of these Top 5 ? Do you have a different location that you feel should have made the Top 5? Give you thoughts in the comments.

Originally posted on Gypsy Nurse:

As a traveler, we get to experience some great festivals in a variety of locations.  I have scoured the internet and came up with the 10 BEST cities to enjoy this years 4th of July celebrations.  This list is in not particular order.  It’s simply a list of cities and festivals that I found repeatedly during my search.  If you happen to be near one, check it out and give your feedback here.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Today in its 39th year, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular receives over 500,000 visitors from New England and around the globe. Another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS Television Network to view the event live during a one-hour primetime special. While the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is the cornerstone of the organization, Boston 4 Productions is involved in many other well-known Boston events, including Boston’s Family Fireworks on New Year’s Eve…

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I Love My Neighborhood (Actually, I’m trying): Northern Indiana, USA

If you have been following the blog, you will see that I wrote a post a while back about San Cristobal and how I fell in love with it. In keeping with my theme of re-discovering life; I am making an effort to enjoy everywhere that I go. I promised my readers a few weeks back that I was working on a blog about my current neighborhood: Northern Indiana. I am….I promise….really! It’s just so difficult.

With that in mind….

The photo above was taken at the Mid-America Windmill Museum.  I spent an hour or so the other night wandering around this outdoor windmill museum and reflecting on what I love about my hometown.  I think it has inspired me….I’m still working.  Stay Tuned ;o)

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