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Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument, NM (1)

Not all travel days are full of beautiful views. The drive from Palo Duro to Santa Fe was plain, nothing too exciting. But that allows me to concentrate on listening to another book by Brené Brown, 'The Gift of Imperfection.' I hope some of you will get curious about me writing about her and take a listen as well. I hope you can benefit from her work as I constantly do.

Knowing the weather will be cold in Santa Fe, I'm taking an Airbnb for the week. My budget is usually $30-$40 a night for a private room and bath. So far, all my Airbnb's have worked out great. I truly don't need much.

This morning I am heading to Bandelier National Monument. It's about an hour from Santa Fe. Bandelier National Monument, and protects over 33,000 acres of rugged, but beautiful canyon and mesa country, as well as evidence of a human presence going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities. (Copied from the website)

Now that is a beautiful ride; especially when some mountains are covered with snow caps. This is one of my favorite views! Please visit this place if you ever find yourself in the area of Santa Fe. It is unique on many levels and full of history and beautiful landscapes.

I start with exploring the main trail, the Pueblo loop. I let my imagination take me back in time. I know I would be a proud Pueblo woman. I continue to the Alcove House. Before getting to the site, there is a warning sign that you might want to turn around if you are afraid of heights. I keep reminding myself that fear is a state of mind. Most of the time, it's about confidence. So I start conversing with myself, I know I am scared of heights, but I try to convince myself that I have the strength and ability to climb those four ladders just ahead of me. I choose to push forward.

Holy cow! When I view those ladders, I rethink how much I really need or want to push forward. I know my problem is not climbing up the ladders, but more the coming down from them. I take a deep breath and start climbing. There is no way I am looking down or up. Oh wow, I made it to the top! What a beautiful view! That, for sure, was a prime location! My heart is racing, and now I need to get myself down—slow and steady, one step at a time. I cannot believe I did it!!! I am so proud of myself for pushing through and not letting fear take over. I was all by myself and no one was there to encourage me while I did it!!! My knees are shaking, and my heart is racing—what an exciting feeling!

When I returned to the visitor center, I asked for a hike recommendation. The ranger suggested the Frijolito Trail and shared a tip with me regarding a photo opportunity of the Alcove House (bottom right). Although I need to get off the path to find it, I am fine finding my way back because Alltrails is on. I am glad I make an effort to take this shot. It will remind me of the challenges and the courage I had.

I was talking with a friend about how amazing it feels to feel so free in nature. From a very early age, I had this strong sense in me that I was born to be in the wild. My joyful days are camping days. I truly feel at home when I am out in nature. I said it would be nice if everyone could feel this way, and a bright light bulb lit in my brain. How amazing it would be if I could somehow create a nonprofit organization that will empower women to be on the road, travel, and experience freedom and connect with nature. My imagination goes for a run. I already see it all clearly in my mind. In my vision, I see a land surrounded by trees and mountains and yes, a lake is a must! There will be some simple cabins, treehouses, RV spots, and tent platforms. A learning center, communal dining room, art room, and much more. It will be a place for community and support and open to all ages.

Now I need to buy some lottery tickets and hope to win! I'm trying to figure out how to go about this project, and wonder if it will ever happen. If it is meant to be, it will be. In the meantime, I need to learn and earn the experience of being on the road. One thing happening on this journey is a development of a stronger belief that life unfolds itself exactly how it's supposed to be, and we need to know how to float with what is given to us.

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