Myths of Living in the Southwest: Debunked

Taos Ski Valley

Guest Post

This post is by James Lander of the couponing website, They strive to provide the most authoritative and comprehensive repository of couponing information available on the web.

For many Americans, the Southwest seems like part of a completely different country; with its vast deserts and relatively small presence in the day-to-day media in America, many people hold misconceptions about the Southwest that simply are not true. Let’s look into some of the more common myths about life in the Southwest and see if we can break them open.


It’s Too Hot and Dry All The Time


While vast stretches of the Southwest are indeed dry, hot desert, this is definitely not the case everywhere. In fact, the Southwest is home to some of the country’s most majestic winters and snow activities. For those who like it to be warm all year round, stick closer to the Mexican border especially in areas likeArizona. If you want to get out and enjoy what winter has to offer, however, check out northernNew Mexicoand areas likeTaosfor awesome ski resorts and snow activities.


Many parts of the desert Southwest also enjoy cool evenings in contrast to their hot days. Because of the wide expanses of land, temperatures can change quickly from hot to cold and residents can enjoy a cool break from a long hot day.


Nothing Grows There


In fact, the American Southwest is home to some of the most vibrant and unique plant life that nature has to offer. From agaves to yuccas, the plants that grow and bloom in the Southwest can be incredibly vibrant sources of natural beauty. Some residents – through diligent watering and maintenance – are able to cultivate more traditional gardens, but most embrace the fantastic flora that naturally populate the desert climate.


Many residents of the Southwest create elaborate xeroscape gardens that allow them to create vibrant plant environments that need little to no water. By incorporating the natural beauty of the Southwest – balancing blooming cactuses with dry grasses and other plants – these gardeners can build complex and beautiful gardens right in their own backyards. Unique plant life grows across the Southwest and makes it one of the most interesting natural landscapes to inhabit.


There’s Nothing to Do


A common misconception about the Southwest is that everything is far away across a big, flat desert. This is absolutely not so! There are a number of vibrant big cities across the Southwest includingSanta Fe, NM; Albuquerque, NM; andPhoenix,AZ.With all of the same modern luxuries of another other major American city, residents who crave hustle and bustle, shopping, museums, and everything else a city-dweller hopes for. Communities likeAlbuquerqueoffer their own particular specialties like vibrant music and arts scenes.


On the other side of the spectrum, the Southwest is home to an incredible array of outdoor activities to fit any nature-lover’s wildest dreams. There are rivers to raft or kayak down, mountains to climb, beautiful trails to hike and explore – and let’s not forget theGrand Canyon. With a landscape unlike any other inAmerica, the Southwest offers an unlimited number of options for people to get out of the house and have a great time.


All the Food is Tex-Mex


Unsurprisingly, given the close proximity to the Mexican border, a significant portion of the food you’ll find in the Southwest is based on flavors and techniques common to Mexican cuisine. And while this will be some of the best, most authentic Mexican food you’ll ever eat in your life, there are plenty of other options as well. Communities across the Southwest offer cuisine of all kinds that cater to the preferences of their residents. Many residents of the Southwest highly value local farming and organic practices, so “green” foodies will be right at home.


Ranching and farming are still major parts of the Southwest food economy, so meat-lovers will have no problem finding a good steak or other delicious meal to order. Local eaters are also treated to many local specialties, which cannot be found elsewhere in the United States including green chili – a favorite of Southwest diners.


As you can see, the American Southwest has plenty to offer an open-minded visitor who is willing to put aside everything they thought they knew about the area before. It can seem like a vast, unfamiliar territory, but anyone who decides to come by and check it out will almost certainly find something new, different, and just their style.





About dovalpage

Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana and now lives in Taos, New Mexico. She has a Ph.D. in Spanish literature and teaches at UNM Taos. She also freelances for Taos News, Profile, Hispanic Executive and other publications. A bilingual author, she has published eight novels, six in Spanish and two in English, two collections of short stories in Spanish and one in English. Her English-language novels are A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004) and Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010). Her collection of short stories The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond was published by the University of New Orleans Press in 2012. In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted Ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regenta en La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012,) Orfeo en el Caribe(Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013) and El retorno de la expatriada (The expat’s return, Egales, Spain, 2014). Her short novel Las Muertas de la West Mesa (The West Mesa Murders, based on a real event) is currently being published in serialized format by Taos News.
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