The Perks of Traveling with your Partner(s) and Friend(s): New Mexico

While I drove us back down south to Ruidoso, David copy-interpreted from the passenger seat what I was signing. He did this so Maya could see what I was signing since she was sitting in the back. At one point, I giggled. David “interpreted” my giggle by mimicking my giggle. That made me giggle again with which he also mimicked with added facial animation. He meant to provide full accessibility for Maya but then the giggles became contagious, having developed into laughing fits. Before we knew it, David and I were in an uproar of hysteria. Our stomach muscles clenched. Tears trickled down our flushed faces. During this whole ordeal, Maya sat in the back, looking at us with mix looks that read as “Y’all are adorable” but “also…uh, pretty nuts”.

David is one of my best friends. Maya is my fiancé (just incase you didn’t already know. Hello new readers!). This particular vacation posed as an opportunity to weave together the connection David and I have long built between us since college and the relationship Maya and I have developed the last few years. We met up in El Paso, Texas to kick-off our four-day, activity-packed road trip. After picking up our free rental car upgrade to a white 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport, we traveled north to Alamogordo, New Mexico, swinging our bare feet out of the car, eager to dip them into the White Sands National Monument‘s sand dunes. As we sledded down the steeper dunes at the edge of the park, it dawned on me how healthy it felt to be traveling with one of my best friends and fiancé.

After a night of a classic chips/guac/margs combo and a good night’s rest in a Tiny Home tucked in the mountains just outside of Ruidoso, we trekked further north to Albuquerque to check into our glamping site. One morning we woke up at 3:30 to witness the thrilling morning glow show of the International Hot Air Balloon Feista. We nearly froze our “tootsies” off. However, I’ll have to vouch for the others and say it was definitely worth it! After braving the freezing temperatures and eruption of hundreds of hot air balloons ascending into the blues, we feasted on an afternoon of wine hopping. Our one-of-a-kind stay in Albuquerque taught me that traveling together is unparalleled to anything a bond can develop on a daily basis. It also soothed me whenever I witnessed some of the two most important people in my life relishing in one another’s company independent of me.

Our road trip continued north with a midday hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument before we arrived to Santa Fe for an afternoon. In Santa Fe, we spent a few hours at Meow Wolf, which was just – to put it very simply – idiosyncratic and marveling. This is the best way I can put it: Meow Wolf is an immersive, stimulating experience where you won’t only be found in a Victorian mansion filled with clues but in an alternate world of interactivity and wonderment, distracting you from solving a mystery…which was basically the whole point. When we left, we turned back southward to return to Ruidoso for one more night before returning home.

The last four-ish days, Maya and I rarely exchanged romantic affection. We seemed to have mutually agreed to focus on the dynamics friendship brings while road tripping with David. Because of this, I felt our fundamental foundation enhance with the understanding and enjoyment of one another outside our romantic lens. Having David present helped Maya and I emulate positive habits shared between two good friends.

We became three amigos, cruising along the desert terrain, hopping from city to city, living up to our humanity as it is.

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