Independent traveler

Love to travel, but hate tours? This blog offers insight on how to go it alone, from safe accommodations to seeing the best, and maybe the worst. After all, independent travel is an adventure. Flexibility and traveling on a budget are critical. No five-stars or all-inclusives. So hop aboard. Learn to enjoy travel at your own pace and price. Meet other adventurers like yourself and mingle with the locals. Remember: You may travel alone, but you wonʼt be lonely.

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The “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico, Pecos National Historical Park.

Ruins of a former mission on the site of Pecos National Historical Park outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.Ruins of a former mission on the site of Pecos National Historical Park outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I must admit that one trip to America’s Southwest a couple of years ago changed the course of my life. Having lived in Alaska for 32 years, I never thought that there might be another place I could be as happy, but recent travel to New Mexico, “the land of enchantment”, has given me other thoughts.

Visiting one of New Mexico’s many, many interesting historical and cultural sites, Pecos National Historical Park right outside of Santa Fe in only one of the state's highlights.

Desert flora make the site even more interesting.Desert flora make the site even more interesting.
While weather cannot be overlooked given the rainy summer and record snowfall winter in Anchorage, it is a total delight to walk the grounds of this historical monument and contemplate what life was like over three hundred years ago when the Pueblo people lived here. It is September and daytime temperatures are moderate in the high 70s to 80s. Skies are bright blue and sunny, punctuating the natural beauty of the desert landscape and ancient ruins, a sight I’m not privy to much in Anchorage.

I still believe there is no place more beautiful in the world than Alaska on a warm, sunny day, but visiting the desert which is a 180 degree turn, gives me room for contemplation. It’s a world of difference, not to mention a culture that is as rich and foreign as any other.

Mexico is one of my favorite destinations and New Mexico is becoming very enamoring as well. Of course it is only politics that separated the two and much of the culture of (old) Mexico lives on in New Mexico. Pecos is not only historical, but the current population is proud descents of the old.

For a step back into the past, visiting New Mexico’s historical sites is well worth a little travel off the beaten path.

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