New Mexico is the Enchanted State. And since we have been here in the last two weeks I have experienced very different emotions and states of being, which seems much more realistic than the idealized version of whatever enchantment is supposed to be. As an aside, I think that is life, not just living in an RV full time. But sometimes when I get filled with self-doubt I blame it on Andi. 🙂
To get to New Mexico we experimented with the idea of long drive days which surprisingly were easy. We originally had decided that 3-4 hours might be our daily limit, but now that we are staying in places longer, we both enjoyed hauling ass over two days as we drove from Austin to our next stop, Ruidoso. On the way we spent one night in the middle of nowhere surrounded by sand dunes (I never even went outside!), and on Sunday during the drive I was able to attend a 3 hour mastermind on Zoom, followed by a 3 hour writing class I’m in, also on Zoom. The time zipped by and Jeremy enjoyed driving and watching the landscape change.
Officially, NM is called The Land of Enchantment because visitors are often enraptured with the culture, architecture, scenery and cuisine. And, I have been enraptured several times, for sure since we have been here. We spent the first week in Ruidoso, which is a very small town high in the Rocky Mountains of Southeastern, NM. We parked Andi in an incredible RV Resort with insane views of the mountains, surrounded by deer, pine trees, and incredible sunsets. The peace and quiet was mesmerizing, and we were lucky to be there at a time when the Resort, which only has space for 19 RVs to begin with, was nearly empty. We spent most evenings sitting on the edge of our little spot eating cheese and crackers on the patio watching the deer graze, cooking incredible meals using the fresh ingredients we picked up in Texas, and checking out episodes of our guilty pleasure TV show, Love Island. This is also the spot that our cat, Fergus, learned how to open the screen door by himself which ultimately led us to a pet store where we got him a leash! Fergus loved being outside, however he still doesn’t understand the concept exactly so most of the time we just followed him around as he explored.
Ruidoso served up full outside and nature vibes for of us, which was welcome after spending time in Austin. During that week Jeremy’s aunt passed away in England, and it felt exactly right to process all the emotion in such a beautiful place. For me, Ruidoso was regenerating. My soul been craving peace, nature, and quiet. Because there is not much to do in this small town, our week felt very much normal. Work, cooking, relaxing outside, keeping up with working out, and doing things like cleaning the RV and laundry.
After a week in Ruidoso we headed to Santa Fe. The nearby mountains are still consumed by fires, and because of the lack of rain there is an abundance of dirt and dust that always seems to be in the air here. Our campsite was close to town, however it’s not pretty in a conventional way. That said, it affords incredible views of the moon at night, amazing sunsets and easy access to Santa Fe. Because of the blowing dust and the incredibly hot sun, we have not spent much time outdoors (the hiking trails are all closed ) and the wind was fierce. Maybe it was the wind, hot sun, or the dust swirling everywhere, but I felt anxious a few times during the week. Maybe it’s because I missed being surrounded by nature. Maybe it’s because I need less desert and more greenery. I focused more on noticing what I was noticing rather than trying to search for answers so I stuck to my routine, did a lot of extra meditation, and took lots of laps through the campsite on the walking trail that surrounds it.
The highlight of our time here for me has been about connection! We spent two nights visiting with a close friend who moved to SF from San Diego which filled up my soul immensely, and on the night of my birthday we went to an incredible dinner in town and ended up chatting with a couple sitting next to us for more than two hours as they shared their own travel adventures across America. These times of connection with old friends and meeting new people with common interests are the times I feel very lucky to be a full-time traveler. We spent our last day at an incredible spa where I got my first massage since my ski accident two years ago,, and walked up and down Canyon Road, the home to over 100 art galleries. The different styles of art, sculpture, and jewelry were thought provoking and Jeremy and I had a good time standing in front of our favorites trying to articulate what we liked about each piece without using the words, ‘That’s so cool!” 🙂
We are off to Colorado now where we will spend a few weeks exploring Pagosa Springs, Ouray, Grand Junction, Telluride and Steamboat Springs. And, we are excited to check out a few hidden treasures we didn’t even know existed along the way recommended by our dinner companions! Now that definitely blows my hair back!