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Adios, New Mexico & Gamarjoba Tbilisi


Image of a small adobe church in northern New Mexico
Sangre de Cristo Chapel, Cuartelez, New Mexico

I’ve left New Mexico twice in my life. The first time was just shy of thirty-five years ago when I moved to Denver, Colorado with my soon-to-be roommate in his 1972 Camero, a car that didn’t guarantee we’d make it to our destination without serious mechanical delays.

All the belongings I thought would be important to survive my first new months in a new city were packed in the trunk: a few changes of clothes, a wine rack, several books and a camera. I’m not sure why my twenty-year-old brain thought a wine rack was a must pack, but it made sense at the time. Even by the most generous standards, it wouldn’t have been possible to describe me as an expert packer. Fortunately, my father drove a U-Haul to Denver a few weeks later, saving me from my lack of foresight. Until he arrived, my bed was the floor, and I slept with a coat for a top sheet and a T-shirt stuffed with other clothes for a pillow.

Did I mention I wasn’t too bright when it came to packing?

Fast forward thirty-four years. I had lived in New Mexico again for fifteen years and was leaving once again, going much further than I had three decades earlier.

I’d like to think my packing skills have evolved significantly in the years between my first big move and second. It’s a lot more difficult to drive a U-Haul across the Atlantic.

Corie and I donated our wine rack, along with several carloads of other belongings, to the thrift store and packed everything we thought would be important for our first two years Georgia into six suitcases, two carry-on bags and two cat carriers (with cats, of course!).

This time last year seemed like a crazy tornado of activity as the move we had been planning for more than a year was close at hand. The excitement that had been building for months slowly started to turn to panic: can we really pull this off?

Both experiences have been life changing. There’s a satisfaction that comes to standing up to one’s fear of change and doing something big. But wherever one goes in life, he will always carry a part of home.

I’ll forever be grateful that a place as unique as New Mexico was such a part of my life and fondly remember the many times I’ve traveled around the state discovering its hidden treasures.


image of an adobe church and ladder in New Mexico
Nuestra Señora de la Luz Church, Cañoncito, New Mexico

image of the facade of an adobe church and black iron gate
Capilla de Santa Rita de Cascia Church, Bernal, New Mexico


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