Three and a half years ago I left Manhattan to take a job at Outside magazine in Santa Fe, sight unseen. I drove my navy blue Honda Civic into town for the first time, charmed by the adobe sprawl and the absence of tall buildings.
You could actually see the sky, and I’ll tell you what, it’s bigger here. I thought I’d have left by now (and I did, once, but came back pretty quickly), but this place is hard to shake. Ask almost anyone who wound up here about how it happened and you’ll likely get some variation of my story: came for a temporary job or drove through on a road trip and never left (or tried to leave and ended up returning). It’s less a cautionary tale than a characterization of how this place gets under your skin. Maybe it’s the 300+ days of wide open blue skies and sunshine, or the fact that you can skin a lap or rip a trail before breakfast, or the crowd-free everything, or the fact that you can totally forget what a traffic jam is. Maybe it’s all of that, but the truth is you just have to feel the magic for yourself. I’m telling you, once you move through this landscape you’ll understand.