People and community give a place its vitality and special character. This is certainly true of New Mexico. It is not only the home of scenic beauty and creatures, but also the home to many Native Americans, and this area rightfully celebrates their rich cultures and history. When I am in New Mexico, my heart lies within the adobe houses made by the indigenous people. I enjoy exploring the way Native Americans have lived there, finding many lessons from adobe houses and cultures. It makes me want to explore these cultures further. I will try to explain why this land calls to me.
Bandelier climbed its way into my heart.
I take a trip to Bandelier National Monument. My curious mind takes me here to explore the ancestral Pueblo dwellings, to feel the way they were constructed and used. I notice many unique holes in the mountains. I wonder if these holes are entrances to homes of indigenous people? Yes! It adds a sense of mystery to this beautiful landscape.
I am very excited to see ladders in the mountains, ladders that take me not only up, but back into history. It is an impressive adventure for me to climb 4 wooden ladders to the alcove house, 140 feet above the canyon floor. It is raining heavily and quite chilly, my hands are cold and almost numb, but I make the climb. The cold weather and great height do not scare me. When I reach the cave, I now see first-hand how Pueblo people lived and experienced their life so long ago. It is an amazing history lesson, hike and climb. I realize that for me this is the true New Mexico.
Climb the Bandelier, not so the ancient Pueblo people can see you, but so you can see them.
Don’t miss: Let your feet wander!
Taos Pueblo: deep in my heart.
“Each time I leave here it is like a death and each time that I return it is a birth”—Georgia O’ Keeffe
I can’t agree more, it says what is in my heart.
Ancient pueblos were constructed by the Native American tribe of Pueblo people, one of the world’s longest continuously inhabited communities. It is a special place for me, not only the adobe-style homes that I love, but also because I can see and imagine an ancient life that seems fantastic to me.
I am lucky to see snow at the adobe homes, snow that stays on the ladders and the roofs of the adobe houses, some with blue-colored doors, making this place more beautiful. I don’t why, but when I see glimpses into daily life here, the dogs roaming the area, the few remaining people still living here, shoveling snow and praying in church, my heart feels very warm. I know it is home for them, a simple and blessed life.
Much time has passed since these homes were constructed. They are over 1,000 years old. All that time, these dwellings and this community have been given love and care to stand the test of time. Love makes a house a home. it is true. Yes, it is an old and small town, but it is full of love. Can you feel it? If not, go there and experience it yourself. This love inspires me to bring some of their handmade crafts back to my own home.
Don’t’ miss: Spend time on listening to the native people share their story. And try the fresh food made onsite.
Fall in a desert diamond: Santa Fe
What are your thoughts when diverse arts and a rich culture meet adobe architecture? It really gives Santa Fe its charm, a place in a league of its own. I stop shooting photos as a tourist and begin shooting what I feel, not just what I see. I feel this place’s vibrant colors, vitality and magic. The street artists share an artistic spirit, and it calls to me.
Visit the wonderful art galleries and historic buildings with vast numbers of shops full of handmade art. Discover so many different giant paintings, antiques, potteries, jewelry and vintage art from around the world, much of which you will not find anywhere else in the world. I am in an artistic ocean.
I would happily move here to nearly any corner of this city. Santa Fe is like a diamond: it sparkles in the desert as an incredible charm.
Don’t miss: Stop taking photos long enough to immerse yourself and absorb this artistic environment. If you can, visit Santa Fe at Christmas. The luminarias light the whole city and it is magical.
Nothing is better than the experiences found through travel. It exposes your body, mind and spirit to new places and allows you to discover new beauty in so many ways. This is true of New Mexico: the home to amazing landscapes, natural forces, beautiful creatures, fantastic art and many Native Americans.
This place calls to my body and my spirit. It truly is the Land of Enchantment!