Dating as a traveler has always been one of the trickiest parts of our community’s experiences.
We arrive in a new city, hop on a dating app or meet someone at our hospital or gym, and as soon as people read or hear “travel nurse,” they automatically assume that you’re one of two things:
Travel nursing has been the best decision of most of our lives—teaching us endless lessons and helping to hone in on values in all different parts of life. Dating and relationships are often where our biggest transformations come from and can be the gift that keeps on giving.
For the sake of brevity, this blog will be about monogamous romantic relationships solely because that is the experience that I am familiar with, but I believe much of the content and topics will be applicable to many types of relationships, whether romantic, platonic or even familial.
From what I’ve learned dating as a traveler myself, there’s so much more to dating and relationships than simply liking and being attracted to someone. Factors such as timing, season of life, emotional maturity and intelligence, finances, common interests, goals, lifestyle, and the willingness and courage to be vulnerable all play a big part.
Let me address the elephant in the room. I know this is a generalization of travelers, but as with any generalization, there’s much more to each individual that’s worth exploring. Sure, most travelers can be scared of committing to a place but I don’t necessarily think most travelers are scared of committing to a person. First and foremost, I believe it’s important to approach dating by understanding exactly what season of life you’re in and what you’re looking for before even seeking to date. Otherwise, dating can be an even harder experience when you’re unsure of what you want and are navigating the dating waters with no direction (which can also be a season of dating, no judgements here!). Knowing what you want helps you to attract and seek out people who are looking for the same things. I highly suggest knowing what you’re emotionally, physically, and spiritually looking for before even attempting to date. This will help with filtering out people who aren’t compatible with you from the get-go.
Dating, whether you’re a traveler or not, can be scary and intimidating. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that makes you question whether it’s worth it or not to get back on the horse after you get knocked down, time and time again. Trust that you’re not the only one out there who feels this way about dating!
There’s pros and cons to both.
The best thing about dating someone who isn’t a traveler (maybe even not in healthcare), is that you have better separation and boundaries from work. It may be easier to explore other interests together when you don’t work in the same industry and that may be a breath of fresh air for you.
The best thing about dating a traveler is that they understand your lifestyle completely. And maybe your dream is to date a fellow traveler, and you can both go on assignments together and explore the country!
If you are looking to date a traveler, the best place to “survey the scene” is by using MedVenture Date on MedVenture App. This is one of the newest features to the app to help facilitate romantic interests. When creating preferences, you can opt into MedVenture Date and designate whether you identify and are looking to date males, females, or non-binary, gender non-conforming people. As you browse through travelers under the “Meet People,” you will see a ❤️ if they are romantically compatible with you, and you can send them a ❤️ to show your romantic interest in them. They’ll get notified that you sent them a ❤️, and they can send one back so you both have the romantic interest and intentions in starting the conversation. MedVenture App strives to create a traveler community that is respectful and inclusive to dating and romance.
There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to relationship dynamics. Throughout the years I’ve seen all different dynamics that work – from 2 travelers traveling together, to a traveler and a non-traveler who does remote/flexible work traveling together, to a traveler with their partner staying in their home state and rotating between an “away” assignment and a local assignment. This will just depend on what works for both of you.
The Age of Online Travel Dating
I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the wild world of online dating and respect. Ambiguous as to if it was exacerbated by the pandemic, but sometimes the interactions we have on online dating platforms are cringeworthy, traumatic, and disrespectful (ie. ghosting, leaving people on “read”, sending non-consented photos/videos, etc.). I find what works best when having these online exchanges is that the standard should be whatever is said and done online could also be said in person. We are all hoping to be treated with respect and this shouldn’t differ just because there’s a screen between two people. This helps us all enjoy the online dating environment more in our search for love and romance.
Communication, Communication, Communication
The best foundation to relationships is communication. When both parties make their needs known, it is easier to work together towards both of you feeling seen, heard, and loved. At first communicating can often seem forced and blunt, but at the end of the day, avoiding assumptions, miscommunications, and misinterpretations can go a long way when navigating the world of dating.
Lastly, from being in the depths of heartbreak and feeling like all the pieces of my heart crumbled to the ground to slowly picking up all those crumbs and piecing them into a stronger version of myself to now navigating a blossoming relationship, love is always worth a chance. Romance is this beautifully messy human experience that we get to have while we’re on this planet, and in my opinion, can be one of the best parts about life.
To every traveler who has given up on love and romance, I want you to know that you deserve to be honored, respected, understood, seen, and loved by whoever you decide to spend your time and energy with. The human you decide to open yourself up to should support you, inspire you, challenge you, and mirror the values and life that you hold true. Good luck out there!
Thank you to Kamana partner Emily Cheng, MedVenture co-founder, for contributing the content of this blog.
About Emily Cheng, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC
Emily Cheng is a CVICU traveling nurse born and raised in New York. She has been a travel nurse for over 3 years and has been travel nursing in Napa & San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington, and Oahu, Hawai’i. She is the co-founder of MedVenture App, an app to unite all traveling healthcare professionals. Having experienced loneliness, confusion, and frustration in scattered resources, she is excited about how MedVenture will help her fellow travelers and empower travelers to come. When she’s not at the hospital or working on MedVenture, you can find her hiking, backpacking, or enjoying the outdoors in some capacity!