Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's Time for a Roadtrip!

We've enjoyed our stagnant stay in Texas but it's time for us to go!
We love a good road trip and we are more than ready to hit the open road 
and drive off into the sunset of the west... 
Where the horizon is visible and the skies meet the mountains and blend into the road. 
I'm so looking forward to the day when we can rest and sleep deeply in the cool desert. 
I want to spend night after night stargazing and dreaming...
Our time in Texas has been grand but currently I'm in stimulation overload...
I've had enough electronics, traffic, humanity, crime, and pollution for the moment.
I need to decompress for a while and so does my amazing nurse hubby.
This guy has worked so hard.
It was a difficult contract for him.
He needs a lovely week just driving and resting.
He is not allowed to save anyone for the next 10 days, lol.
At least I hope the situation doesn't present itself.
So, this week another epic roadtrip begins our 2015 West Coast Adventure.
We pray for good weather and clear roads as we navigate back to Nevada!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nevada Bound

Nothing should surprise me anymore when it comes to my husband securing his next nursing assignment, but I can't help but be amazed at how everything seemingly works it's way out in the end.
Just when we seem hopeless and disappointed something wonderful and meaningful happens.
We are reminded at just the right time that God is in complete control, not us.
So, This is how the Nevada contract came together in the eleventh hour...
About 4 weeks before the Texas contract was to end, 
Steve contacted his previous employer in Nevada about a possible return. 
He was told that there was nothing available at the moment.
It was understandable since it is a remote area with limited staff needed.
Then about a week later that exact job was posted.
Excited he contacted his recruiter who immediately sent his application over...
But for some reason it was declined and an offer was not made.
He is told Nevada is a no go.
Ugh, more discouragement we don't need right now.
Of course we are very disappointed since having left on such good terms and anticipating a return someday, we totally expected an offer.
We are unable to determine what the problem is or if there even is one, so we pray and move on.
Steve started inquiring and fielding interviews with about 5 different hospitals 
throughout New Mexico and Arizona.
This is the reason I totally expected us to head to Northern New Mexico...
He got numerous offers and decided on one hospital in particular near Santa Fe.
He even gave a verbal ok to his recruiter and she prepared the contract,
Even sent it over for his final signature.
So there it is...
A pretty good offer and contract waiting for a signature.
Just as Steve was getting ready to sign it...
And mind you that all this is going down 2 weeks out at 2pm on a Friday afternoon, lol.
His phone's Nevada.
They want to know if he is available and he tells them, "no", 
since he has already given a verbal to New Mexico.
Ugh...what to do? 
So after a conversation with his recruiter they decide to contact Nevada
and air out the discrepancies to determine what the misunderstanding is...
Why was his original application refused?
And that's all it was... A big paperwork misunderstanding. 
That is all.
Nothing more.
Long story short...
Nevada makes a crazy good offer...
Steve accepts...
Within 2 hours they send the contract and he signs.
I contacted our previous housing landlord and arranged housing.
Just like that...
We are Nevada bound!
True story.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Housing Rant

One little word... VRBO
Why oh why didn't anyone tell me about this??
The heavens have opened up and housing glory is spilling out. 
Seriously though...
I'm ready to kick the over inflated corporate housing package to the curb.
Traveler's Haven you have disappointed me more than once 
with your crappy beds and half hearted furnishings. 
We gave you a chance to WOW us in Kingwood and while we love the apt and location,
you failed again with the beds and low quality furnishings.
I know we have pets but we desire better from you.
Overall we have been very pleased with private housing that is fully furnished directly by the owner.
The housing coordinator at Steve's agency has placed us privately when she found it available but sometimes it's just not there in the area we desire.
Both with the house in New Mexico and recently the housing in Nevada the beds have been amazing, complete with wifi and cable, big TV's, spacious rooms, fully furnished, w/d, pet friendly, and nicely decorated for a fraction of the cost of what Traveler's Haven has provided.
In the Eleventh hour, when the Nevada job came through with a glorious housing stipend...
we surprised ourselves by dealing with our own housing.
It works out to be a huge savings for us, and we still get to live really well...
On our own nickel.
If this turns out to be a good deal then
I'll be coordinating our housing from now on with the help of VRBO and AIRBNB
and any other housing leads I can muster.
I've already started researching furnished short term housing for our return to the Houston area
and I've been pleasantly surprised
at the availability and rental fees for vacation homes overall in Texas.
I hope to find us a great place to relax and spend the holidays later this year.
So it looks like our housing dilemma is solved and my rant is over...for now!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crazy West Coast Adventure 2

I know this won't be much of a surprise to anyone...
We love this area of the country and are excited to be returning soon. 
Steve has accepted a good strong contract that will take us back out to Nevada...
To gaze at rivers, mountains, and clear blue skies,
to breathe clean dry air, and see lots of wildlife,
We hope to visit ski resorts, state and national parks, 
And venture back into California, maybe even Oregon and Utah, too!
Nevada is a vast wide open desert and we only scratched the surface sightseeing last year.
While we originally planned for an East Coast Adventure in 2015, 
It's just not going to work out for us right now. 
God has other plans for us and while we have been somewhat disappointed,
We trust God's direction always.
Once we are settled back in Nevada, I'll blog about how this assignment came to be
so we will be able to remember always how God is continually working things out for us...
 guiding us and directing us.
We will be leaving a big chunk of our heart here in Texas but we plan to return in 9 months to spend the holidays with our family and re evaluate our future travel career. 
We are excited to experience many more adventures as we travel 
throughout the wide open roads onto more amazing west coast destinations in 2015.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


The weather has been so nasty here.
We are so sick of it.
Days upon days of sunless dreary cold rain...
What are we even doing here?
Spending time with our family... That is all.
Certainly not to enjoy the Texas weather which I have so longed for...
Ugh, we are so discouraged by so many things right now.
I hate seeing all the rigmarole that Steve has to go through while securing a new assignment.
This time around... I'm not convinced it's even worth it.
That's proof how tired we are right now.
So discouraged that we are contemplating a permanent full time job in Texas, again.
We do this every once in a while when the 
romantic notion of travel nursing starts weighing us down. 
We begin re evaluating everything.
Some days are hard.... Like today.
Some days are wonderful... Like our yesterdays.
But hopefully tomorrow will be better...
We just keep praying and wait and see.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Texas

Once again...
This travel life is full of hellos and goodbyes.
Sometimes saying goodbye is easy but not this time.
We have enjoyed every minute being back in Texas among family and friends.
13 weeks was too short.
These precious days just flew by too quickly.
We have stuffed ourselves with TexMex food and kolaches as often as possible.
We have celebrated and celebrated and celebrated every milestone imaginable.
We've driven in bumper to bumper houston traffic...
Endured days upon days of flooding rain,
Upgraded our travel vehicle,
Reorganized our storage,
Purchased a new computer,
Visited with as much family as time allowed,
And now it's time...
In just a few short weeks we leave to embark on another adventure.
The open road is calling us.
We are looking forward to our luxury apt and high paying contract at a new destination.
We will miss our Texas family so much but we will return again soon...
when our 2015 Crazy Homeless Adventure brings us back home again.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Camera Backpack

I'm hard to buy for...
I don't like stuff...
And I have everything I really need. 
However, there was one thing that I've been looking at purchasing for a while...
After months of researching and shopping...
I finally decided on this amazing camera backpack/daypack...

Lowepro - Photo Hatchback 16L AW Camera Backpack - 
Slate Gray

It's awesome and the perfect size for me!
Not too big and not too small...weighs about 2 lbs empty.

The camera bag is waterproof and removable!

I can't wait to travel with her to our next destination...

She even holds my ipad!

 It's the little things in life that make me so happy now!
I'll let ya know how she works out!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Texas Storage

We keep a rather small storage in Texas...
Mostly for keepsakes and household items that we just cannot part with and shouldn't part with, yet!
It's like christmas when we go visit it.

We spent a good half day over at the storage emptying it and completely repacking and rearranging everything.

I was able to retrieve a few special items that make my daily living easier like my rockin knife set, my antique Tupperware collection, cuisinart food processor and my crockpot.
My son grabbed up his old GameCube and a few wii games too!

Steve just switched out some seasonal clothing and a few personal items.
We've enjoyed using our stuff while we were here in Texas.
But's time to say goodbye off they go back in storage.
I would take them all with me but they are really too bulky and heavy for travel and since I don't use them everyday, they are best stored til next time. 
We have fine tuned with what we travel with so I'm not expecting to take anything extra with me on our 2015 adventure.
We truly need very little and we like it like that.
All that extra stuff just suffocates us and weighs us down. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our Next Destination

I've learned not to anticipate our travel destinations too quickly.
We are nearing the end of our stay in Houston and beginning to prepare for the next assignment. 
Where? I honestly haven't a clue.
Steve is fielding some opportunities in New Mexico and Florida
While at times I'm dreaming of mountains and ski resorts...
Or sandy beaches and blue water!
We could even find ourselves back in Nevada or Washington State.
So, who knows today? 
We are also researching housing costs and climate as well this time around.
Still we are 3 weeks out and anything can happen. 
I'm just beginning to purge and pack so we are even better prepared for the next road trip. 
Daily I'm organizing every little thing... I hate clutter.
Visiting the storage this week and pairing down what little we own.
We are so thankful for our new travel vehicle that will allow us 
to carry more of our necessities and travel in comfort.
Planning some final get togethers with family and friends too!
Booking our dr appointments and haircuts, lol.
The excitement is building to see which direction we travel in 2015. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


This travel life is grand but sometimes we are disappointed. 
Just like any life, it's full of ups and downs. 
My blog is full of days and days of our "up" moments but we experience many "down" days too.
Looking back we were disappointed right off the start.
We planned for an assignment in Santa Fe, NM but it cancelled.
We somehow landed in Roswell, NM instead.
It was weird but we made some great memories and completed our first travel contract together.
We wanted to go to Denver, CO last summer, but that fell through and 
We ended up in the vast desert of Nevada and it was a really good assignment for us.
Today we are nearing the end of another assignment in the Houston area.
It has been wonderful to spend the holidays near our family and friends.
But today we know we are moving on...
We have been disappointment in our stay here and it can't continue.
We also had a list of things we had to get done and most were completed.
Of course not all in the way we planned.
We even contemplated purchasing a home and settling back down in Texas permanently.
But we didn't...
We go back and forth on the romantic notion of RV living.
But we are not...
At least not today.
Financially neither one of these are good choices for us right now.
After much research we have made the decision to continue traveling in the same manner 
as we have all along by accepting the corporate furnished housing.
While we don't bank the housing stipend and make a bunch of $$, we live safe and comfortable.
Experiencing grand adventures by day and sleeping in a luxury apt by night.
We are able to find our balance somewhere between splurging and saving.
It's not always all about the $$ for us.
Corporate Furnished Housing is our splurge... and my security blanket right now.
We have weighed a lot of options and determined that this is the best choice for us this year.
It provides a good life for us and not something we are willing to compromise on today.
Maybe someday we will be more adventurous in this area.
But right now, this choice of home is best for our family.
We don't know what the future will be but we trust our father in Heaven does.
We know he holds us and this crazy travel life in the palm of his hand.
We know this life is temporary and only Heaven is forever.
In our moment of disappointment... this is our peace as we continue on our adventure.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rant on Housing

One of the first things we have to address this new year is our housing.
The possibilities are endless as are the multiple living combinations...
Since we are flexible, we are constantly tweaking our lifestyle to make it work better for us.
I never imagined such freedom existed after many years of being locked into 
Middle Class Mortgage Mayhem.
Thank God we were released from that burden.
2013/2014 was mostly a trial run to see if we would enjoy living in nomadic freedom...
And did we ever... 
We have had the time of our lives.
We are so thankful for all the amazing corporate housing we experienced
these past 17 months... (while we were living like rock stars!)
However, in order for us to continue traveling we must make some adjustments.
We have to become more efficient at how we live.
Corporate housing is grand but it is paid through the nursing contract housing stipend.
So it's different each assignment and is comes directly out of Steve's pay.
It's also only available during an active contract, so when the contract ends...
so does the grand pricey housing!
Bottom line about housing...
We need to provide our own if we are to ever make any money traveling.
The housing stipend is where the $$ is for most travel nurses.
We haven't experienced that aspect yet, lol,
But we hope to someday.
We have to see past the romantic notions of nomadic houseless living 
and get serious now about our future.
I never felt homeless during the last 17 months.
I never ever regretted selling our home.
But returning to Texas we find ourselves feeling empty 
when all others have such grand homes.
And we admit that the houses in Texas are great! 
We find ourselves looking and dreaming of real estate!
So big and affordable! 
And also to be compared to a noose ever tightening around your neck, lol.
Today we miss home.
We dream of our Texas home...
The forever home we know we will settle into someday.
But right now... today...
We need to find home, create home.
Even just a sense of home.
A small home will do.
We require very little but still we need a small space that's ours...
Something to call home.
I'm a homemaker...I can make home just about anywhere...
With whatever I can find on hand.
And I have at times. 
But I need something to work with...
As always we trust that our father knows and it will be revealed soon enough.
So exciting to see how God works this out for us. 
Of course we accept that his timing is perfect
Therefore we wait....
And we hope with so many possibilities before us 
and we pray that we make the best decision for our family.
We know we have only scratched the surface of this travel life.
Much more satisfying freedom lies beyond the unseen bend.
Til we embark on our next journey...
our days are filled with housing research,
Assignment location investigation,
Travel preparation,
And more Family...
And lots and lots of peaceful prayer!
Rant over for now...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 A Brand New Year

A new year with new hopes and dreams...
We let go of the past that cannot be and continue to move forward, 
Adding a few new resolutions to the mix.
With much prayer and anticipation,
We continue to execute our Plan A.
Our hope for this year...

* Cutting back on the extreme homeless aspect...don't get me wrong, it's been fun!!
But we need to set up a more comfortable home base.

* Living with even fewer possessions!! 

* Slashing our budget and saving more $$!!

* Taking more leisure time off between assignments!!

* Traveling even more to destinations still unknown to us today!!

* Returning to Texas more often during the year!!

* Choosing our daily living as a local and not a tourist!!

* Embracing the local cuisine without so much reservation!!

* Continue learning together as a family, digging deeper into homeschooling!!

* Churching with the locals, we have much to learn!!

* And finally...Investing in a rockin backpack, lol!!

I'm inspired by this beautiful scripture and have chosen it for
My charge this next year as we continue to travel with purpose...

 Micah 6:6-8 NKJV

"With what shall I come before the Lord, And bow myself before the High God? 
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? 
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? 
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 
He has shown you, O man, what is good; 
And what does the Lord require of you...
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Yep, that about sums up our 2015 New Years Resolutions!
Have a Happy New Year from The Hall Hacienda!