I’m Moving to California

March 12, 2014
Goodbye New York, Hello California!

Escaping NYC and its erratic weather behavior for sunny California.


(As this post goes live, I will already have landed in Los Angeles to spend a few days with my friend Martha for her birthday who now lives in Burbank, and my other friend Nahid who’s also flying in from Houston before I start my new travel assignment in Palo Alto next week.)

Last year alone, I traveled to 15 countries, some of which I’ve been to, and others I visited for the first time.   My passport doesn’t expire for another 7 years but I already filled it all up, and have had extra visa pages added on to it since I’ve been back home in New York.

For the new year 2014, one of my main goals is to travel and see more of the United States.  I have been to over 40+ countries, and although I still have a large number of countries I’d love to visit, I have also been yearning to explore more of America’s own backyard.

Another important thing I have been wanting to experience is working in other hospitals in the country, specifically in their Pediatrics Cardiovascular ICU.  Since I graduated from university in 2006, I have only worked in one hospital in NYC, both in the adult and pediatric units.  It was the only hospital I ever wanted to work as a new-grad, and I achieved that goal.

I am now ready for something different.  I want to know how other hospitals operate, I want to learn from other nurses and doctors who do things differently, and just about everything else it entails.

There’s more than plenty of things, places, hospitals, and events to see, do, and explore in this country alone, so why not take advantage?

I have called New York home for the past twenty years.  I have grown up in one of the best cities in the world, and although my heart will forever remain in NYC, I have been more than ready to see, and actually live, in other parts of America.  As I’ve gotten older and traveled a lot more, I realized that from time to time, I feel this suffocating feeling if I don’t escape the city for more than three months.  Weekend getaways no longer do it for me.

The best way for me to go about seeing more of America’s different faces, places, and shenanigans? – Signing up for a nursing travel agency.

Basically, my recruiter finds me a job depending on my experience, whichever state or city I prefer or where there’s a high demand.  The travel assignment contracts are most, if not all, 13 weeks long with an option to renew for another 13 weeks or more.  Housing is provided for, with the option to take the monthly stipend instead and find my own place on my own.

Due to my critical care experience in the pediatrics cardiac ICU, I immediately received three job offers from some of the top children’s hospitals in the country.  After phone interviews within the week during the holiday season, I finally narrowed it down to one: northern California!

A few hours drive from Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, a cheaper plane ride to Colorado or Utah, and an even shorter distance to Hawaii, LA, and Houston where some of my close friends have relocated to.

It took quite some time for my California Nursing License to process and have had my start date pushed back twice because of this unfortunate delay.  I got desperate to the point wherein I was calling the Governor of California’s office a few times begging them to help expedite the process.

When I heard nothing, I got pretty frustrated to the point wherein I almost cancelled my travel nursing plans altogether, and travel to the Philippines with my dad instead.  Yet there I was in the bar two weeks ago with my colleagues and my friend Oscar points out that he recently checked my status – finally it was processed and active!

Other places I’ve got my eye on for travel assignments and US travel combined together: Colorado, Alaska, Utah, Texas, Hawaii, and Boston.

Frolicking on old abandoned railroad tracks in South Africa

To be quite honest though, as excited as I have been for this wonderful journey to start, a part of me felt an inkling of sadness: to pick up and leave family and and close friends, once again.  I was getting back into the swing of things at home, spending quality time and catching up with so many people, endlessly discovering new places and adventures in a city that never gets old, and being back on a full-time schedule at work even though I didn’t have to.

It’s those meaningful moments in life that I truly cherish and enjoy the most, the endless laughter and shenanigans, and even the solitude I still manage to find despite being in such a busy city.  I really do love my life in New York, despite all the traveling I do.   As I’m getting older, I have to admit, it’s getting a tad bit harder to leave.

Yet I’ve longed for this American ampills.com journey for so long, and I’m the type of person who can’t put anything to rest once I’ve set my heart out on it.  When life hands you the opportunity – grab it by the horns, don’t think twice, and enjoy every moment of it!

America here I come!

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  • Reply Melissa March 14, 2014 at 18:26

    This sounds like such a fantastic opportunity. The US is so big you should take time to travel in your neck of the woods. I am hoping to make a side trip there when I go home in June, either NY or Philly. Looking forward to posts about Cali!
    Melissa recently posted…Marrakesh: Discovering The Red CityMy Profile

    • Reply loveantoinette March 16, 2014 at 20:17

      Melissa I can’t wait! I have already arrived in California a few days ago and the weather alone is making me swoon! so excited to embark on another life adventure.

  • Reply Marisol@TravelingSolemates March 18, 2014 at 08:44

    Hi Antoinette, wow! 15 countries in a year! That’s amazing.
    I wish you all the very best in your new journey. I’m sure it will be very rewarding to you both professionally and personally. Life handed you this opportunity because you work hard for it. I admire you put so much determination in what you want. Enjoy, good luck and I look forward to hear more about it.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted…Mt. Everest Experience: A Scenic Mountain Flight in NepalMy Profile

  • Reply Jess @UsedYorkCity November 27, 2014 at 13:11

    Aww, congratulations!!! This is so very exciting, and being able to explore more of your own country is such a treat! I can totally relate with the feelings of sadness you have leaving friends and loved ones (when I moved to NYC I didn’t know a soul), but you will soon have your own new little group of friends, and be able to share your adventures with those back home via skype, text…even snail mail!;-)

    Happy Thanksgiving, and best of luck!!!
    Jess @UsedYorkCity recently posted…Happy Thanksgiving!My Profile

  • Reply Kelsey December 4, 2014 at 16:57

    So cool! I am starting my nursing career right now! I’d love to do travel nursing!

  • Reply Della Doggett May 21, 2016 at 02:41

    WOW!! I really love your moving story for me moving to the other country is really hard specially you’ve your previous place you live, But i will say a CONGRATS on you. Appreciated

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