It was 10 years ago this week that I started my 5000 km journey to California.
I worked with a recruitment company and after the painful processs of becoming qualified to work in the USA, I was on my way! I had accepted a 13 week assignment in the city of Torrance, working as an RN in the neonatal intensive care unit.
I drove down with my parents, and had to make many stops along the way. Setting up a bank account in Great Falls, applying for social security in Reno, paying for my RN license in Sacremento.
Eventually I made it to my little apartment in Hermosa Beach. Pretty sweet deal, I had a furnished apartment paid for by the recruiters. just a couple blocks from the beach. It was fantastic.
My parents flew home a few days later, and I was on my own. For the first time ever, I was truly by myself. Some people thought I was crazy for moving to a strange city all alone. Some said I’d be lonely. I had never lived alone before this time, and I was ready to enjoy every minute. I also felt ok meeting new people, so I looked forward to forcing myself to go out and make friends.
I worked straight nights at my job, and I absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic hospital. The NICU was great. Staff were super and I loved the way it was run. (This eventually led to me leaving the NICU in Saskatoon, because it just couldn’t compare).
I was having a great time. I was able to make friends, work, save a lot of money, and have a lot of fun! When my 13 week assignment was up, I decided to head home for the summer, and return in the fall for a new contract at the same hospital.
Upon return I worked the same unit, still nights. This time I lived in the city of Redondo beach. I loved living in these beach communities. So casual and fun, and LA craziness was just close enough to visit from time to time.
I stayed for another 9 months or so. Travel nursing was such a wonderful experience, and one of the best decisions I ever made. I began to grow a little sad with the temporary life style though. Friends came and went in 3 month increments. I dated a bit, but nothing ever seemed to have long term potential.
Deep down I knew I wouldn’t live there forever, but it was still so hard to leave. A lot of people think I’m crazy for ever leaving, but I feel my timing was just right. I was in my 20’s and had a great time. Eventually, the parties would have died. The night shift life would have caught up with me. The crazy friends all settled down.
So now I can remember the experience, and I can still feel like a cool kid and say “well, when I lived in California….”