4. From Marin County, CA to El Paso, TX and back again.

In 2022, Shane (the now-hubs. Yes, I remarried) and I flew from our home in the Bay Area out to El Paso, TX, to visit with my cousins, aunts and uncles. 

One day during our stay, just for funsies, we started looking at local home costs. We couldn’t get over the housing prices. So. Much. Cheaper. Than. In. California. 

(State the obvious: Everything, Everywhere is So Much Cheaper Than In California.) A home that easily would cost $2 Million in our town could be purchased brand new for the cost of $400k, with modern and upgraded everything. It was driven home to us why so many Californians were packing up and moving to Texas. 

El Paso is a border town in a couple ways. It is directly on the border with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to it’s south, and directly touches New Mexico. During our stay in El Paso, we decided to leave the boys with my family and head to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a romantic getaway. Santa Fe is phenomenal, and it’s adobe-filled structures and homes spoke to my heart and were a joy to take in. We started dreaming about the possibility of “someday” retiring to Santa Fe. We quickly discovered that, really, because of it being a tourist destination, it wasn’t much more affordable than California.

Romantic getaway completed, we began the return trip back to El Paso, but took a short detour into Las Cruces, NM. We liked it even more than Santa Fe. In fact…we fell in love. Not Shane and I. We were already in love. (Married 11 years. Wait. We’re not actually married. We are domesticated animals. JK – that’s a brain glitch, but it stays. We are domestic partners.)

We fell in love with New Mexico. I’ll go into that later because it’s almost overwhelming to think about how my heart opens up in the desert. Like, totally vibrating with child-like happiness in the desert and mountains…I become a different (better, calmer) person.

I am my best self in the high desert.

I could write whole posts just on what I love about the Southwest, but never fear, I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll tell you little things here and there, and by the time you’ve read more of my posts, you’ll understand. If you don’t, it’s because perhaps I’m not good enough with words to adequately explain. 

To get why I love New Mexico (I’m just going to write “NM” from here on out, because duh), you have to understand a little bit about Marin County, California, where we live. 

So – that’s where I’ll begin my next post. Let me get my expensive athleisure on, grab a good glass of Napa Valley wine, and start thinking about how I want to explain the unique experience I affectionally have dubbed “Life in Marin.”


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