Budget Travel

Spectacular New Mexico Up Close

When Jessica Last and Charlie Wild quit their London jobs, they decided to go big. As in an epic exploration of the American South from Nashville to New Mexico - eight states over the course of more than two months, guided solely by the advice of their Instagram followers (@the.travel.project). Here, their unforgettable photo tour of their New Mexico.

"We spent three days on Mars, a.k.a. Bisti Badlands, New Mexico. Roaming alien rock formations, braving sandstorms, and camping under the stars - it was a completely unique experience. Camping definitely made the experience."

"Well, we certainly didn't expect to discover this. A few miles downhill from the alpine mountains, sandwiched in between the natural springs and the desert, lies Jemez Red Rock Canyon Trail. The historic trail is an incredible display of nature - geology rocks!"

"Having camped in the mountains with no shower for two days, we were grateful when one of our Instagram followers tipped us to Jemez Springs, bubbling hot springs overlooking a forested valley. A short trek through the trees led us to this slice of paradise. We've had worse baths!"

"The best part of this trip has been the people we've met through Instagram and the amazing experiences they've recommended. Our last night in New Mexico was spent on a sunset ride with Bri Marie Cimino, a local equestrian and photographer, across the stunning Georgia O'Keeffe countryside in Rio Arriba."

"Since we quit our jobs last October to travel the world, we have been lucky enough to wake up to some breathtaking views... this morning was no exception. We spent three days in a beautiful, converted Airstream at Hotel Luna Mystica, in Taos. With views of the Taos mountains, two dogs (this is Logan), two kittens, and starlit nights, Luna Mystica was a little slice of heaven."

"Our first stop camping, at Tent Rocks, could not have felt farther from the desert. This landscape is crazy! These amazing rocks formations were created over eons of erosion after a volcanic explosion took place in the Jemez region over 6 million years ago." 

"Twenty miles from civilization and with no other humans as far as the eye can see, this has to be one of the most stunning places we have ever been. We spent two nights camping wild in the White Sands National Monument in the remote New Mexico desert. It's fair to say that it was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives."

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