Arizona Travel Assignment

Bijan and I were lucky to score our first travel assignment in the location that we had wanted! We were aiming to start our careers as travel nurses in the Phoenix area of Arizona because Bijan has a brother that lives there, and tons of aunts, uncles and cousins as well. Not to mention, February to May is the perfect time to be there. We got travel assignments working at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, AZ starting in February 2019. With the help of Bijan’s amazing auntie, we were able to find a 3 month lease at an apartment complex a few miles from the hospital, and his aunts lent us all of the furniture and housewares that we could need. Once we were all moved in, we started working, and Charley starting attending an awesome doggy daycare! We worked on different units at the hospital, but worked day shifts and, for the most part, the same schedule. With the first travel assignment came lots of anxiety, stress, and some tears, but we powered through the difficult first month, and made it through the entire assignment, even extending by a few weeks into mid-May. We actually ended up really enjoying working at this hospital and loved living in Arizona.

Aside from work, Bijan, Charley and I went on some pretty great day hikes and weekend adventures. We also had some visitors and got to spend some time with AZ family. Here are a few of our favorite memories from our travel assignment in Arizona. It is really difficult to pick just a few!

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We loved living near Kaivan and especially our hikes with Kaivan and Lulu. This is one of our favorite spots to go hiking, east of Phoenix, a mountain range called the Superstitions.
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Hiking down above Canyon lake
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Skiing at the AZ Snowbowl in Flagstaff AZ. After skiing in Colorado (and falling quite a bit in the fresh pow), this was more our speed.
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Zion national park, The Narrows. We hiked a few miles into this canyon and felt lucky to pretty much have it all to ourselves. It can be dangerous in the winter with falling ice, but the icicles on the walls of the canyon were incredible.
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We attempted to climb up Angel’s Landing at Zion, with the trail being an ice luge and thousand foot drop-offs on either side of the trail, we decided to turn back. Believe it or not I have a huge phobia of steep dropoffs! We made it this far though and the views were incredible.
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We stopped by Bryce Canyon for a few hours and got to walk accross the top of the ledge of the canyon. The snow was incredibly deep in the bowl, so the trails in the canyon were closed. The perks of going in the winter, though, are the snow contrast on the orange rocks, and less crowds.
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Havasupai is not easy to get to! But after hearing about it from AZ family, and some of my patients at the hospital, we HAD to go. It was now or we probably would never make it there. Havasu canyon is off of the Grand Canyon and is incredibly remote. The reservation is a 10 mile hike to reach. It is an indian village that owns and maintains the campground and waterfall areas. We hiked in carrying all of our food and camping gear. We were lucky to secure last minute permits to go and happened to have a few days off from work. The water is a turquiose and as beautiful in real life as it looks in pictures (actually better). We went in March and weren’t expecting to swim, but the weather was in the mid 70s and the water was really comfortable. We wore our bathing suits the whole time. We explored and hiked around the creek and waterfall areas. We swam and saw some incredible stars at night.
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Abbey and my mom came to visit us in Arizona. We did a TON while they were visiting. Went to a lot of restaurants, we got to go for a few hikes around Phoenix. We went to a Red Sox v. Diamondbacks game. We also went to Sedona for a day.
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We went to San Diego for a weekend since it is only about a 5 hour drive from Phoenix. We LOVED it there. We also got to see one of Bijan’s friends from college who lives there, and got to try wakeboarding with him. We checked out a bunch of areas and beaches of San Diego and went to some great restaurants. Charley loved the dog beach!
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Bijan’s parents came to visit and we were able to attend one of Bijan’s cousins weddings with them. We did a lot of golfing, some hiking and visiting with family while they were in town.
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Hiked to Humphrey’s Peak, the highest peak in AZ.
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I absolutely LOVED cactus flowers and the spring bloom in Arizona.
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Surprised Bijan with skydiving for his birthday. He almost pooped his pants when I told him the night before that we were going skydiving, but he didn’t regret it. Coolest feeling and a great memory.
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One of our favorite spots, South Mountain, right in Phoenix but you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Only 20 minute drive from our apartment. The National Trail was really cool and had the greatest spot for sunsets. This was our last one before we left for Seattle.
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Our last day of work at Chandler Regional!
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The going away gathering Bijan’s family had for us. This is only a part of his AZ family. They are the best! We felt lucky to spend a little extra time with them while we were there.

These were only a few of the highlights of our assignment. We did a lot while we were there and we really tried to take advantage of every day off – as if every day was a vacation!

Bijan and I had our sights set on Seattle for the summer. We came to the last week of our AZ assignment with no job offers despite applying for several jobs in WA. Fortunately we got a phone call for a phone interview for the float pool at Harborview Medical Center that last week (we were planning on heading there jobless anyways). We were reluctant to take the jobs because neither of us had worked in a float pool before, but we had no other options, so we took the jobs! And off we went to Seattle. Next blog post, I will write about our drive from Phoenix to Seattle! Thanks for reading 🙂

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