By Guest Blogger: Cassie Riddick

Every year, travel nurses want to set out for popular destinations such as Orlando, Denver, and Oahu.  Some have been to these places many times and they are looking for another exciting adventure in a different locale. Even experienced travelers say it can be a struggle trying plan an assignment, find housing and work a travel contract in those hot spots. So if you have “been there, done that, and seen it all” before, then set your sights on a new and unique destination, where you can have both employment and adventure: New Mexico!  Here is a traveler’s bucket list of five fun facts and activities that you might want to add to your New Mexico travel agenda!

  1. New Mexico is one part of the four corners. So if you are trying to mark off some locations on your map you can visit New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona all at once!
  2. If you would like to visit the desert, the White Sands National Monument is a gorgeous site. The sand dunes are made up entirely of crystals. (I am sure they also have an amazing gift shop!)
  3. If you are a fan of the theater, then you will find an exciting musical experience at the famous Santé Fe Opera.  An event that is held outdoors, the mountains work as a natural amplifier to project the music for miles and the costumes are amazing to see!
  4. If you are craving an authentic taste of New Mexico then you can indulge your taste buds with a bite of the world’s largest enchilada in Las Cruces at the “Whole Enchilada Fiesta”. The festival claimed the Guinness World Record for 10 years (2000-2010) for making a massive enchilada, weighing 250 pounds!  Unfortunately, the 2016 celebration has come to an end in but there will be another round of partying in early October of this year.  If it was up to me, I would definitely suggest the world’s largest Quesadilla!
  5.  Finally we have saved the best for last! In the heart of New Mexico is a city of filled with Native American Heritage, Albuquerque. Located only a short Distance from Presbyterian Hospital, University of New Mexico Hospital and Lovelace Medical Center is that event is known worldwide the famous “Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.”

The event is the largest in the world, a week long and will be held next on October 7-15, 2017. A festival with an exciting spectrum of colors, expect to see all colors of the rainbow from violet, magenta, gold, Electric Blue and Firecracker Red.  Over seven hundred hot air balloons will be painting the sky. Balloons with characters such as the Energizer Bunny will keep “going, going, and going” from dawn until dusk. It is like a party in the sky! Some of our travelers have referred to this as the “Fourth of July of Hot Air Balloons.” It is a spectacular celebration that also consists of a Laser Light Show at night to a mass ascension of hot air balloons rising at once.

For those of us who like to dream big but keep our feet on the ground there is much more to do than ride in the balloon; this event is surely a spectator sport. There is the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Launch to watch where Balloon Pilots race to the sky. There are also competitions for Balloon Glowing, Special Balloon Shapes and Afterglow Fireworks. If you enjoy live music, they have daily concerts and delicious Native American food. There is a Ferris wheel, and carnival rides for adults and children of all ages. It is a great place to visit whether you are bringing the family or a single traveler looking for an entertaining event.

Out of 622 reviews on TripAdvisor, 494 travelers have rated this event Excellent, and 82 travelers rated this Very Good. In 2016, TripAdvisor suggested that this is a “Must See Event of a Lifetime.” So mark your calendar, pack your suitcase, and set your GPS for New Mexico. After all, you could be the next pilot in the sky, so up, up, and away!



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