For the past few months I’ve been working with several women from out of town and have begun to see my state and all that it is, good and bad, through their eyes. I’ve become used to defending Albuquerque to people who unfairly compare it to world class cities like New York and LA and find it refreshing when out of towners appreciate the quirky strangeness that is New Mexico. 

On Monday mornings, I get to hear about hikes to Bandelier National Monument, road trips south to White Sands, hot springs in Truth or Consequences, and nights spent at a lavender farm turned hotel, Los Poblanos. My coworkers come to work dripping in turquoise jewelry, cowboy hats, and boots found at the local flea market. 

Yesterday we worked at Laguna Pueblo and, rather than take this location, and its artists who set up booths near our catering area, for granted, I was inspired to look at their wares and buy a handmade, painted pot. I’ve also been unearthing my very underworn turquoise jewelry, and just discovered a lavender salve made by Los Poblanos that is perfect for the dry, cracked hands brought on by costuming and working outside in the spring. 

I am excited to have time, once we wrap in a few weeks, to explore some of the areas my co-workers have and to rediscover the state I call home and love, but frequently take for granted.