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Keeping occupied as a travel nurse spouse

May 15, 2013

As the husband of a travel nurse, Brad Crawford speaks about his experience on keeping occupied while his wife, Stasha, works at various facilities around the country: 

As the spouse of a traveling nurse, I have found that free time is no longer a limited resource in my life. Without a forty-hour week job and keeping up with a house, I am really free to do whatever I choose. This is especially true on the days Stasha works at the hospital and we aren’t on an adventure. Rather than waste this time on Facebook or watching TV, why not make good use of it and maybe even make some money? Here are a few very realistic options to occupy your time and make a little money or even pursue a new career while traveling:

1.       Start a website or blogYou have a couple different options when thinking about starting an online journal: Free blogs like WordPress where you don’t control the entire domain name, or paid options where you do. While paying $50/year plus the cost of a domain name slightly lightens your pockets, it gives you a lot more flexibility to do things such as create your own menus and the ability to earn a little cash by advertising – if your site becomes popular enough. There are plenty of books and websites that will teach you how to install Wordpress and get started in as little as 10 minutes. If you like a challenge, you could even teach yourself how to build websites without Wordpress using HTML and CSS. Who knows, if you enjoyed it and got good enough, you could start charging to build websites for others.

2.       Sell your services onlineThere are several websites that allow you to sell a service online including: Elance, Odesk and Fiverr. Create an online profile detailing your expertise and users looking for help with that topic can hire you for a negotiated amount. What kind of services are people looking for? – web programmers, designers, writers, editors, customer service, artwork, translation…… the list really is endless. If you don’t think you have any skills, you might be surprised. The website Fiverr.com has some very unique skills and talents on display and is great for getting some ideas and thinking outside the box.

3.       YouTube videosYouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Many people have taken advantage of this and use it promote their business or services. You can also make money from your videos. If you have a skilled passion like cooking or painting, you could upload “how to” videos and make money from advertisements that YouTube places on your videos. Again, the possibilities are endless. You probably won’t be buying a new car with the money you earn but $100 or more a month is possible. Some people even make a healthy living on YouTube from the large amount of traffic their videos receive.

4.       Temporary ServicesWhen all else fails, there is always the tried and true manual labor. Almost every small city has a temp agency that will find a job for you based on your skills. People are always looking for someone to unload a truck, shovel dirt, or work on an assembly line. It may not be the most ideal option but if you need some extra cash, you could just work a few jobs. They are “temporary” jobs after all. Just make sure the temporary service is your employer. If you take a permanent position, your tax home will shift to that location and will have a negative impact on your tax return for the following year.

5.       VolunteerVolunteering might not have immediate financial benefits but sometimes it’s not always about money. There are always organizations looking for extra help and would probably welcome anything you can bring to the table with open arms. It would also be a great way to socialize and network with others. You might even walk away with a new skill. If not, any time spent helping others is time well spent.

Time is one of our most valuable resources. Stephen Covey, a famous inspirational author once wrote, “How many on their deathbeds wished they’d spent more time at the office – or watching TV? The answer is, no one.” I love this quote because it forces you to look back on your life before it’s over and realize how much time you waste on pointless activities. Take advantage of your situation and pursue activities that will enhance your traveling experience. Find something that utilizes your skills and interests. If you don’t feel your skills apply to the online world, it’s never too late to learn something new!

As the husband of a travel nurse, Brad Crawford sees the travel nursing experience from a different perspective. While his wife, Stasha, focuses more on the “nursing” aspect, Brad is more concerned with things like the crime rate, what the weather is like, and what sort of fun things there will be nearby. Together they have created TravelNurseHelp, a website designed to combine much of the info a travel nurse needs in one place.

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