Timeline: December 2017-March 2018
Previous post on our travel assignment timeline: Moving Back to The Coast of North Carolina, Struggles of the Camper Life (December 2017)
Old Stomping Grounds
We arrived back in Eastern North Carolina in December 2017 and stayed at the same campground where we had lived when we were there earlier in the year from January-April. This was the first time we had ever returned to the same jobs/location again. We returned to the same clinics as before, with me at the Morehead City clinic and Jared at the Swansboro clinic. We had some of the same coworkers as before, but we also had some new faces. The company was undergoing a change in management, so we were there to help out during the transition. We worked for two weeks at the beginning of December, and then took two weeks off for the holidays to go home and see family/friends in Virginia.
Home for the Holidays
We were happy to take a couple weeks off to be able to spend some time at home with family and friends. Jared also took his brother on a vacation as a belated graduation present… to Aruba! I was able to be home to help my sister and brother-in-law move into their new house, spend lots of time with my mom, see my friends from home, and go up to visit family in Pennsylvania. We saw both our families for Christmas and went to a local party for New Years Eve. It’s always great to be home!
We got back to Eastern NC in January just in time for the big snow/ice storm which wreaked havoc on the coast, because they are not well equipped to deal with winter weather and the roads mostly turn to ice. We also experienced the coldest winter this area had seen, probably ever. There were numerous all time record low temperatures recorded, and most consecutive days of low temperatures. Granted, the lowest was still above 0, albeit in the single digits, but it was certainly not what anyone expected at the beach! Needless to say, cold temperatures are always “fun” when you live in an RV. We certainly dealt with some freezing pipes/water hose and no running water a couple times.
Friends, Friends, Friends
Despite finding ourselves back on the coast when the weather was cold (when everyone says the best time to be there is in the summer!) we were fortunate to have a lot of friends in the area this second go round and enjoyed lots of fun weekends. We had made some good friends from work; my old roommate from graduate school lived in the area; another friend from graduate school wasn’t too far of a drive; and another friend lived nearby and vacationed there on the weekends! I was thankful to spend a lot of time with all of them, because normally when we’re on assignment we don’t really get to socialize as much because we’re normally exploring the area on our own and aren’t near anyone we know. Also, sometimes it can be hard to make good connections in just 13 weeks, so I was thankful for a second go round to form even stronger bonds.
Some highlights from the first few months included: eating dinner and going out dancing at the Morehead City Waterfront, trying out the local brewery, girls weekend at nearby Atlantic Beach with my two best friends from PT school, a quick weekend trip to Southport/Oak Island/Wilmington area, weekly girls night yoga and dinner, and shag dancing lessons at Atlantic Beach!
Figuring Out Our Next Move
We had considered various options, including being tempted to take the management’s offer of permanent jobs at this location because we really liked the area. However, sometime around Christmas we got the crazy idea to take our “Around the World” International Trip in July! So we were looking for employment to cover us from the contract end date in March until July. Because we were going to be leaving the country and flying out of Virginia, we decided yet again to stay on the East Coast. At this point, we were hoping there may be a chance they could extend our contracts at the same location, which is always easier and it would allow us to stay in the area for the summer! This wasn’t sounding likely, as they were fully staffed at my clinic (actually, kind of overstaffed). But then a curveball was thrown when the only permanent PT at the clinic’s Jacksonville, NC location decided to leave. So, they were going to be without any permanent PT’s at that clinic. They offered to extend our contracts if I could move from the MHC clinic to the Jacksonville clinic, while Jared would remain at the Swansboro clinic. This was a great option for us, as we were able to just move our camper down the road about 25 miles to allow us to be between my new clinic and Jared’s clinic. We were still fairly close to all of our friends and we were able to be by the beach for the summer!
Next Post: Second half of our contracts in Jacksonville and Swansboro, NC