Updated: Jan 31
As a healthcare traveler, I am constantly asked this question. It is honestly such a tough one to answer. If someone sees my Florida plates, they assume I am from there. But truly, Florida is just my “home base” for full time residency purposes.
Let’s start at the beginning. I was born in Connecticut. This is where I lived for the first 9 years of my life. I got to experience all four seasons, which was awesome as a kid. I have vivid memories of jumping into giant piles of leaves, tubing down hills covered in fresh powdery snow, and building giant snowmen and igloos. The seasons made every holiday feel absolutely magical. Plus, I never had to deal with any of the adult responsibilities related to living in the snow, like shoveling the driveway and defrosting the car. Unfortunately, Connecticut became too expensive for my mom, who was a single parent trying to make ends meet. So she packed my brother and I up and we all moved to Tennessee. We chose this state because my aunt lived there and highly recommended it.
We lived in Tennessee for about 8 years. I went to elementary, middle, and high school there. Many of my earlier friends came from wealth, and I did not. I’m talking mansions with home movie theaters, wine cellars, multiple recreation and living rooms, pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc. I lived in a small single story house that was, in their words, “cute." I tried so hard to keep up with the latest name brand clothing and accessories that my peers flaunted. My poor mom had to spend so much pointless money just for me to attempt to fit in. Eventually, I gave up on trying to fit in with the wealthy crowd and became involved with a different crowd in high school. It wasn’t the best crowd. I got myself in some bad situations and learned a lot from this period in my life. My mom and I both recognized a problem and that we just weren’t happy in Tennessee. Her career allows her to work pretty much anywhere once she re-establishes herself. So we set our sights on living by the beach, and what better place than the gulf coast of Florida? We took a trip down there, starting at the panhandle and working our way south. We checked out cities, high schools, and colleges along the way. We decided on Venice, secured a rental, and boom! We were on our way to living in paradise.
I lived full time in Florida for about 7 years in multiple cities. Tampa is the last city I lived in, which has good vibes and does hold a special place in my heart. As stated previously, this is still my state of residence for tax purposes. As a healthcare traveler, the only way I can qualify for tax free stipends is if my expenses are duplicated. Therefore, I still pay rent in FL and return for at least 30 days a year. Florida is where I graduated high school, moved out on my own, went to college, started my career, and blossomed into the goal-oriented adult I am. But to say I am “from” there also doesn’t seem fitting. I accomplished many major life goals in Florida and have plenty of fond memories there, but that’s just not where my roots are. It doesn't seem that I truly have roots anywhere.
Full Time Travel
In May of 2021, I drove across the country to California to start my travel healthcare journey. It is my hope that one day I will come across a city that feels like “home.” Don't mistake that for being my goal of this journey. My goal is to experience new places, immerse myself in nature and the beauty this country has to offer, meet great humans, and make meaningful connections. I’ve obviously been raised to have a nomadic soul, so moving from place to place is nothing new to me. My recent airstream purchase is sure to enhance this experience. I’m so incredibly thankful for my new home on wheels. No matter where I am, I can always bring my home with me. If I find a place that feels right to go back and settle one day, that would be amazing. But for now, I am going to appreciate every new day, every new place, every new face. I am dedicated to living in the moment and enjoying what this crazy life has to offer.