I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since my final day of work. It feels like a while ago. I’ll confess to logging into my Web Mail out of curiosity during some periods of boredom. 😀

Here’s what I learned:

I can pretty much live the same routine anywhere. Now granted, my own place with my own kitchen, freezer and refrigerator makes it easier to be efficient with my meals, but as long as I have a wifi connection, I’m golden. I don’t have any air conditioning in this 1950’s Schult trailer, but I haven’t needed any either. The final few months of work, I would spend my down time at home goofing off in the internet, blogging, with some night hikes thrown in. Not much has changed except I’m doing my walking and wandering during the day. I was more or less a hermit, replacing social activities with blogging…which you think would be less expensive, but considering I paid for a logo and blog coaching, and a financial bloggers conference (Hotel For FinCon cost nearly as much as 4 weeks here!), probably not.

I’m learning something that I suspected before I ever left my previous residence: Nomadic solo travel is exhausting. It’s just not for me. Which makes me thrilled that I’ve been able to stay here in Albuquerque for 10 days now, and another 18 to go. Today, I explored Madrid. Not Madrid, Spain, but Madrid, New Mexico.

Madrid, NM

It’s an old western mining town smack in the middle of a New Mexican two-lane state highway # 14. The road is also called the turquoise trail, which connects Albuquerque to Santa Fe. I had lunch at a bar top at an outdoor restaurant called The Hollar, which has a menu self described as “southwest meets deep south”. It was delicious and probably my least healthy meal of the trip so far. It was interesting to hear the servers talk about “a normal day in Madrid”.  I wonder what it would be like to live in such a town. The population on Wikipedia is only 149. Fun fact: The ending of Wild Hogs was filmed in Madrid.

It’s probably less than an hour from both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so it’s not like it’s totally in the boondocks, but there did not seem to be a whole lot to do in town. And I bet in winter it’s very isolating and frigid, at an elevation of 6,000 ft.  Other than the main road, all of the other streets said “private road, no parking” which made me think there wasn’t much else there besides what I saw, except for some residential houses..

The Hollar

The town even had an old school soda fountain. Of course, I had a root beer float, despite having just finished “Chicken Biscuits” which were two biscuits with fried chicken and prisciutto….with chips and salsa. Odd pairing, but none of the other “sides” sounded appetizing to me. 😀

 

Soda Fountain

 

I’ve never seen a “Don’t drink the water” sign in America before, maybe that is something we take for granted! And hey, if you’re ever in Madrid, NM, here’s the wifi password.

Don't Drink The Water

It’s ironic that before I left on this trip, I didn’t think I’d be planning any additional long term stays, and I thought for sure I wouldn’t actually spend “every night in Albuquerque” when I was here, but why not? Why spend more $$$ to travel around when there’s plenty to see here and already I have a paid for bed? Not opposed to an overnight elsewhere, but I feel like I’ve still barely scratched the surface on Albuquerque.

Tomorrow, I will be checking out the Balloon Museum, and coincidentally, another old school soda fountain. 😀

I’m stoked to spend extensive time in Southern Utah, as well, because there’s so much around there. After that? Hopefully I’ll have a better idea re: the timeline of beginning my next career. Knowing the answer to that question would allow me to plan an adventure (perhaps abroad) during a finite period of time, which I think I prefer vs. the open-ended nature of what this started as.

Before I embarked on that multi-day drive from CA to NM, my longest road trip by myself was a couple of hours. I’m glad I just went for it, instead of not doing it because I thought I don’t like driving, but I’m also glad that I hedged the possibility of not being a fan of solo long distance driving by booking a long term stay very early. It worked out so much better than I would have ever anticipated.

 

Til next time….