The Land of Enchantment
Three months ago I relocated my Midwestern self from Minneapolis to Santa Fe to begin my career as a physical therapist, transition to the next stage in my relationship with my boyfriend, and embark on a new chapter in my life. I left the snowy land of hotdishes, Minnesota nice, and 10,000 lakes, and found myself in the Wild Wild West.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: my new home. “Holy Faith.” The Land of Enchantment. The feature city of two musical numbers (in “Rent,” as well as “Newsies,” a pivotal musical production of my childhood). The land of adobe. The land of hot air balloons. The land of the Pueblo Indians. The Land of Mañana (and “mañana” doesn’t always mean “tomorrow”). The Land of 300 Days of Sunshine per year.
Besides the apparent difficulties of starting a new job, moving to a new place, and attempting to not make my accent too obvious, there have been other challenges as I adapt to my new environment. I find it difficult to relax and let go, to live in the present, to slow down my pace of life to match that of the Southwestern lifestyle, to not obsess over horrible customer service and awful drivers (although I may add that out of the 31 states I have seen, New Mexico is home to the worst drivers I have ever encountered), and to accept that this culture has different standards and traditions, and that the only way to find happiness is to embrace my surroundings. I struggle to come to terms with the idea that this is now my Home. I am not a visitor or a tourist. I LIVE here permanently (at least for now). After living a pseudo-nomadic lifestyle for 7 years of school, I struggle to plant myself into new soil. And of course, my tastes buds have had their challenges as well as they adapt to green chile and enchiladas, while they crave Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee.
What have I enjoyed the most in my new home? Hiking! Jaycob and I have discovered amazing hiking trails in and around Santa Fe (with assistance from the Sierra Club’s publication of Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area). I always look forward to ending the work week by exploring a new hiking trail, so this will be the focus of my Blog.
Four years ago I took a travel course in British Columbia that centered around environmental issues and positive psychology. The course was an important step in my personal journey with yoga and meditation. I discovered, among other things, that there are two types of people when it comes to meditation: those who meditate on the concept of the Ocean, and those who seek solace in pondering the Mountain. I am an Ocean person, in awe of the vastness of the water and ferocity of the waves, at peace while riding on a boat or laying out in the sand. And yet here I am in the Southwest United States, in awe of the majestic, stoic mountains that surround me in every direction.
My goals in starting this blog are to look deeper into my hiking experiences and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, to rediscover my voice through writing, and to draw parallels between my hiking experiences and other events in my life.
I hope you enjoy my stories about hiking (and life in general)… from The Land of Enchantment.