Finding Vacation. Finding Adventure.

Oh, those beloved vacation days we earn as full time professionals. Sometime, around August and September, the pessimist part of me wonders why I’m given annual leave in a job like Housing, as there seems to be very little time where I have a weekend free, or a few days I can miss work.

It was in September this year that I realized in order to use that Annual Leave I had so rightfully earned, I had to make time myself. Thus, October adventures were created. This past October I worked one full week, and had three of the four weekends off.

The first weekend, my mom came into Albuquerque, about three hours away from Las Cruces, for the International Balloon Fiesta. This had always been a dream of hers to attend, and we were able to take advantage of where I am now to go! We also traveled throughout Santa Fe, New Mexico, and went to some of those most beautiful places I have been in New Mexico thus far. While the ascension of the 700+ hot air balloons was canceled the morning we went, there were still many opportunities for us to see hundreds of hot air balloons around Albuquerque, including from our own hotel window. It’s always nice to have family around to revitalize you and refresh your perspective on things, but adding some adventure and traveling into that always makes it even better!

The second weekend I went back to Muncie, Indiana and Ball State University to visit campus, participated in Homecoming, celebrate my best friend Amber’s birthday, and honestly, just to get away from Las Cruces. When I made plans about a month before to come out and visit it was a sporadic decision, and when the day was finally here for me to fly out I was honestly a little nervous. Going back to Muncie was going to be a big step for me, mostly on a personal level (if you can’t tell, I’m a little dramatic), but it ended up being just what I needed. I spent the weekend visiting mentors, walking around campus in beautiful Fall weather, participating in an Alumni panel for my grad program, and spending countless hours watching old movies with two of my closest friends.

The last weekend in October I was lucky enough to have my best friend since 5th grade come visit me in Las Cruces. There’s something refreshing about having people come visit you, as it gives you an excuse to be a tourist in your own town. While Alli was here for less than 72 hours we conquered NMSU, Homecoming, and Las Cruces. We had so many adventures and spent many hours talking and catching up, and after I dropped her off at the airport, I was unsure of what to do. I had just spent a month traveling and exploring all over, and now was faced with two months before seeing family and going home.

This was quickly fixed last weekend when I decided that just because I wasn’t entertaining a guest or traveling somewhere else, I wasn’t going to go have fun where I was. I spent the weekend running, going to the Farmers Market and Renaissance Fair, and taking part in Dia de Los Muertos in our town square. It’s up to us to find vacation, find adventure, in such a busy time in our lives. I think sometimes it’s easy to sit back and say “I’m too busy” or “I wish I could go to this, but (insert excuse),” but eventually you just have to make the time to enjoy where you are and who you are with.

Where will you let the next few months take you?

Katie Ericson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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