I just found out today my 4 week extension has been approved so I'll be here until mid January. After that, I have a 13 week assignment in Albuquerque. Although I feel a little ambivalence about leaving my "newly-found-small-town-outdoor-treasure",I am looking forward to a more cosmopolitan environment, a better selection of restaurants, culture and spirituality-options.
What have I learned so far??? Lots of useful information for my future!
1- I could live in a smaller town... I enjoy the smaller community. As long as there is a bigger town with good restaurants, performing arts and 'worldly' things within an hour or so drive, I can really see myself scaling down and living in a place with 10.000 to 100.000 population or even less. A slower pace of life, less traffic and a more developed sense of community would be worth it.
2- I can work outside of pediatrics. I am enjoying adult care quite a bit and can see myself transitioning more permanently to an adult setting, not necessarily in acute care, but a definite possibility.
3- A beautiful environment (mountains, high desert,...) makes up for so incredibly much. Every hour hiking out there seems like a full day of relaxing in a mainstream environment. That's why I have so little stress... Say 10 hours of hiking a week makes it seem like 10 days off!!! So living in the mountains or the desert would be an amazing plus. A more relaxed lifestyle GUARANTEED!!!!
4- I feel like I have some kind of deep rooted connection with New Mexico. I was here for the first time about 15 years ago as an extension of a Grand Canyon visit and have been drawn back here ever since. I don't really understand why or how. Maybe I was a cowboy or a native american here in a previous life??!!??