At one point in my life, I seriously thought I would live in another country. And I attempted it – first in
Instead, as fate would have it, I relocated to
But it wasn’t until I was reading the January 2012 issue of New Mexico Magazine that another very important - and very appealing - factor crystallized. It was put into words by author Hampton Sides (who wrote Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson) in his reflection on
“Yet even with statehood, I’m not sure
Bells went off when I read this paragraph. I didn’t carry out my expatriate dream, technically, but I found something of an equivalent in my own country. To say that
For further proof of
- Many Americans do not know there's a state called
. New Mexico
- Those who do realize it’s a state are often confused about it.
- The license plates say “New Mexico USA” to clarify things.
- It’s the only state in the
with a bilingual constitution. US
- Along with CA, it’s one of two states with a Hispanic majority.
- We have the first female
governor, Susana Martinez. Latina
- The state flag colors honor Isabella of Castilla.
- The state flag symbol (the Zia sun symbol) is Native American.
- Most city (“
”), street and forest names are Spanish. Santa Fe
(“adobe”) style architecture is one of a kind. Pueblo
- The government tested the atomic bomb here. (Ahem.)
You get the point. It just took me a while to get it – that New Mexico is clearly an extension of my previous wanderings and the strong tug I felt to move to Latin America. Now, as I drive home on a dirt road looking at cows in the field, I realize it’s not unlike a scene I would see in rural
So I guess there's just one thing left to say: Feliz Navidad!
p.s. On January 6th, the US Postal Service will release New Mexico’s official Centennial Stamp, which is pictured above. Keep an eye out for it as it’s quite gorgeous.