Dealing with endless amounts of bullshit is literally the WORST feeling ever. You just need to breakaway!! And that is when travel comes in – it’s my remedy.
Earlier this year, my family went through a series of unfortunate medical events. My elderly father was unwell and bedridden for longer than normal. Needless to say, after strong reluctant of my father’s participation to seek medical assistance, I made the executive action to call the EMS. That began the most emotional and mental turmoil I’ve ever been through.
From January to April, my father was admitted into the hospital 3 separate times, underwent 3 operations and had an extended stay in a rehabilitation facility. My mother and I heard so many different possible diagnosis, possible issues/complications, spoke to too many doctors/specialists/nurses… I didn’t even know if the doctors even do know what’s best for the patient or are the hospital just looking to make the most profit from each bed.
I was under so pressure being the main communication between my mother, my father and the medical professionals. It tore me down a lot. I always took myself for being a strong, independent, brave individual but damm did I feel so defeated. Regardless, I was grateful to have a father strong enough to brave everything that he went through; and a mother who was a rock to hold us together with her infinite care, love and optimism.
Stuck in a rough patch in my life between family issues, just getting out of a hell of a storm at work and being unhappy where I was in life.. I needed a break. I needed to breakaway.
I needed to let go, to walk away from the situation and not stress so hard. I took everything too personal, I felt like I had to be the rock for the family but my mom told me “Don’t overexert yourself, don’t stress yourself out, don’t worry. Enjoy yourself!” I have forgotten, we are a family. There are other people here to support me, I’m not out here by myself holding up all the walls of this house. So when my father was in stable condition, I planned to take a short 4 day trip to New Mexico. I never thought to go there but why not!
It was so liberating to get back to my passion.. to spend endless hours planning, finding all these gems in NM, discovering the natural landscape out there, talking to local hosts about recommendations. I was back in my element. I was back to feeling a little bit of myself again. I had to remind myself –
- Do what makes you happy, treat yourself well too!
- Don’t get buried in all the bullshit of life
- Make yourself a priority
- Find solitude from all the noise and find yourself again
New Mexico brought me so much more than an escape. It brought back my equilibrium. I got a glimpse back into what happiness felt like again. I was reminded that there is more than the negative circumstances or situation I am in. These roller coaster ride of experiences taught me to be even more brave, more patient, more composed and more uplifted.
I drove through the whole state of New Mexico from North to South and bit East and West. It was absolutely stunning and so soothing. To be alone with the road and absorb everything at my own pace. No real limits… just settling into the city of Albuquerque, driving up north to soak in Santa Fe’s rich colors and culture, roaming the dead silence of the Badlands, learning and walking through the Chaco Culture National Park, soaking in the hot spring in Truth or Consequences, sliding down the White Sand Dunes in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. I was reminded of the history of Native Americans and their rich culture. It was everything and more that I needed to get back to being human again.
Chaco Culture was so breathtaking. I explored the land and imagined how life use to be there. There are free tours to learn about the architecture, the culture, the communication method, how they read time and seasons. It was well worth it and elevated my experience.
Santa Fe was a short visit. I wish I had more time to take in everything it had to offer. I spoke with the Native Americans at the trading post and they were so sweet with their storytelling and hospitality. It reminded me that kindness is everywhere.
Bisti Badland was surreal. It way out in nowhere land. I was out there alone for hours and just roamed. The rock formations, the isolation, the history – made me speechless.
Truth or Consequence is a small town in the middle of New Mexico and so charming in it’s own way.It felt abandoned and isolated but when I walked into an establishment, I felt the warmth radiating out of the staff. It was my oasis to soak for a few hours after endless hours of driving. I learned to relax in those moments with the river in the backdrop.
White Sand Dunes is located near the border of Texas. It was so fun to slide down the sand dunes and watch the sand ever so gently move. The sunset tour was a must to close out my day there. I could have stayed there all day mesmerized by it all.
My last few hours before my flight, I had to squeeze in something amazing. I drove up north a bit from ABQ airport and hiked the Tent Rocks @ Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. It was such a treat.I have never seen such rock formations. It was so scenic and not a hard hike at all. Perfect way to sum up my New Mexico road trip.
Remember, to always make time for yourself.
“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”
― Aylssa Speer
Live, Learn, Love soulfully!
Angela in wonderland // Follow me on IG @jelloooh #jellooohexploration