The Jackson Five sang it, “I never can say goodbye no no no.” When you’re a travel nurse, all you do is say goodbye: to your colleagues, your supervisors, any other friends you’ve made along the way. It can be hard to keep friends when you live a transient lifestyle, but there are ways to stay in touch and stay connected to the places you leave. Here are a few creative ways to avoid really having to say goodbye.
Become virtual workout buddies
When friendships go long distance, especially new friendships, you always start out with the promise to text everyday, have Zoom hangouts and happy hours, and stay in each other’s lives. But in reality, this is hard to keep up. If you’re traveling to a new destination for work, you’re going to be swamped and looking to meet new people, and keeping up with your old friends might start to feel like a chore. A good way to combat this is thinking about how your friends from afar can be included in daily routines, things you were wanting to do during the week anyway. Forming morning or evening Zoom workout or yoga appointments with your long-distance buddy is a great way to do this. Not only are the two of you holding each other accountable for exercising and being healthy, you’re also creating an excuse to talk and catch up and see each other regularly. You can decide on some guided workout videos that both of you like, and one person can share their screen on Zoom and you guys can do it at the same time. After you’re done sweating, leave a little time for chatting.
As you’re planning your workout routine with your new virtual gym partner, check out our guide to socially distanced exercise.
This one’s going to seem super silly, but hear us out. Snapchat might seem like it’s only for teenagers, but the photo and video sharing app actually serves as a really fun form of casual conversation. When you’re really busy, texting can seem like a chore. Usually, when you text someone, it requires a purpose: you’re asking for something, relaying information or soliciting advice. Every text warrants a response and vice versa. When you don’t respond to what someone says in text, you can feel guilty and hesitant to share something new in the chat. It may seem totally ridiculous, but Snapchat kind of breaks down all of those barriers. You can send a snap anytime you want to without necessarily expecting a response. You don’t have to have something meaningful to say. It can be a picture of your dog, or your coffee, or a selfie because you were having a good hair day. And it takes very little effort on your end to open the app and click through the photos of your friend’s selfies, dog pictures etc. The end benefit of this new Snapchat bond you two have forged is that you get to see each other’s faces a whole lot more than you would otherwise. And you can keep a flow of interaction going pretty effortlessly. Of all the Gen Z apps to try, this is the one!
Start a book club
Want an excuse to get all of the friends you’ve made in placements around the country together? Start a book club! Or a club of any kind really. If you don’t have time to read a bunch of books, pick a TV show to watch together week by week and talk about, or a classic movies club, or maybe a club where you can talk about the news and just process things together. Creating a monthly or bimonthly gathering that can unite people from all around could be a really fun way to see all of your friends’ faces and also introduce them to each other!
Everyone is becoming a master chef during the pandemic, trying out new recipes in place of eating out. But cooking doesn’t have to be a solitary affair. Encourage your new friends to share their recipes with you and vice versa! You guys could even Facetime together while you cook the same dish and drink wine and chat. If you drink enough wine, you might forget you’re chatting over the internet and not hanging out in the flesh.
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