Ever since I graduated with an Associates Degree in Illustration from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 1992, I dreamed of living ‘out West’. Eventually in October 2007, I was able to spend 21 days exploring the states and national parks in the Four Corners region. My wanderings at this time ended with a light snow falling in the high desert of Santa Fe. Little did I know, this ending was only the beginning.
Almost seven years later, in the summer of 2014, I came across an online article entitled, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. In it, the #1 stated regret was: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” At that point, I knew I couldn’t delay my curiosity — my SELF — any longer. I had stayed in Pennsylvania for my daughter (who was now 25) and my family all this time — and I certainly didn’t want to go to my grave thinking, “Why didn’t I at least TRY living out West? What was one year of my life?”
So on December 1, 2014, I started my second solo cross-country journey. Destination: New Mexico. Anywhere along the stretch of I-25 from Albuquerque and north could become my home as far as I was concerned. By December 7, I had signed a one-year lease for a place I found on Craigslist. I was officially renting a 500-square-foot solar-powered ‘tiny house’ in the sustainable community of Dixon, NM — living close to my values, but far from civilization — in between Santa Fe and Taos with only nature, the Rio Grande, some retirees, and a meditation cave to keep me company. I spent the first four months or so entirely devoted to my yogic practices and graphic design work but when spring finally hit I literally began to look outside my door, ready to explore this enchanting land all around me and indulging in a wildness that could not be found on the east coast.
I created this website as a commitment to myself to get outside and explore the Land of Enchantment during the two years that I lived there and as a way to record and share the experiences I had.