The current COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world and continues as a dominating force influencing daily life is offset positively by an opportunity it has created. People, for the most part — other than front-line essential personnel and business owners — have sequestered themselves at home to a large degree since mid-March, allowing much more time than usual for reflection and thought.
And planet Earth has had a chance to weigh in as well and validate the following results — cleaner air, less planet vibrations, more animal movement, for example. How we live is heavily influenced by where we live. The most relevant and important issues — the environment, nature, energy consumption and production, sustainable lifestyle, etc. — have been exacerbated for the past century or more by population growth and recent and continuing migrations worldwide from the rural landscape to the urban/suburban environment.
Many questions remain unanswered. When will isolation be over? What will life be like in the future? How will educational institutions; social, sports and cultural gatherings; travel, transportation and tourism industries; business conventions, houses of worship and prayer, hotels and restaurants — among so many other societal and business activities — reemerge and function in fulfillment of their raisons d’etre in the days and weeks, moreover years and decades ahead?
Whereas the aforementioned questions, as well as many similar ones, remain the focus of today’s intelligent thought and planning by people in leadership positions and otherwise, a primary realization is occurring within many minds — that lifestyle is of paramount relevance and importance. Where and how to live in the future are becoming more and more the question of the moment. One’s health, wellness and safety; one’s family, close friends and community; along with personal spiritual development and growth and professional pursuits and accomplishments rank at the top of everyone’s most important list, but the where and how increasingly are undergoing serious examination and contemplation.
Santa Fe provides rare present and future opportunity at a very desirable level for anyone considering a change, as this universally acknowledged and recognized destination exemplifies extraordinary, high-quality lifestyle and sense of place. Truly magnificent by all accounts, there are many elements the oldest capital city in the U.S. provides — extraordinary and enjoyable climate; amazing history and culture; nourishing and distinctive cuisine; significant influence from Indigenous peoples and their customs; agriculture; spirituality; low population densities; clean air and water; vast open spaces with big night skies; historic communities of yesteryear that are multicultural today; and old-world charm rather than high-tech modernization.
And surrounding everything and everybody is quintessential beauty recognized by all — in this Southwestern landscape under brilliant blue skies showcasing magnificent alpine mountains to verdant river valleys to arid landscapes once under prehistoric seas.
Lifestyle can and should be a matter of prioritized senses — how things look, the way things taste, smell, feel, sound. Rural America offers similar opportunities to what we have in the Santa Fe area. But harmony and balance with nature and the majesty and richness of the surrounding communities and lands steeped in the history and traditions of Northern New Mexico are unlike all others. Sharing the enchantment, nourishing the soul, rewarding the passion are among today’s opportunities for a new and superior lifestyle available to be fulfilled tomorrow. Another way of looking at fulfilling these opportunities is demonstrating leadership by example. The where and how of today is problematic and confusing. The where and how of tomorrow is crystal clear when viewed through one’s open heart, where most important decisions are best made, allowing 20/20 foresight to lead. Onward!
Chris Webster wrote this article for the Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper, he is my colleague, an entrepreneur, fine art broker, veteran real estate broker and consultant, former broker/owner of Sotheby’s International Realty’s brokerage operations in New Mexico and Mexico, and since 2015, the publisher and CEO of Leading Estates of the World. He has lived in Santa Fe and conducted business from his Plaza gallery and office since 1972.