Are you prepping to attend your first conference in New Mexico or a trip here just for fun? We’ve put together 5 things to know to help make sure your time inside –and outside the meeting sessions – goes as smoothly as possible.
- Bring a jacket, even in the summer.
New Mexico is a high desert, enjoying many days of sunshine. But don’t be fooled: Once the sun sets, the temperature does drop. You’ll be happy you brought your light jacket!
- Expect to be asked “red or green?”
“Red or green?” – New Mexico’s state question (yes, we have a state question) – refers to the type of chile you’d like on your meal. If you dine at a New Mexican restaurant while you’re in town, and you’ll surely want to, you’ll be asked this. The good news is that there’s no wrong answer! Green chile tends to be a little hotter than red chile, but that could depend on the chef and individual chile. There’s no shame in asking for a sample of each or asking that your chile be on the side. And, if you want to enjoy both, simply answer, “Christmas.” You’ll find New Mexicans put green chile on – or in – just about everything, so don’t be afraid to add it to your eggs or on your pizza! Learn more about green chile here.
- Know the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Albuquerque is located at an altitude of about 5,350 feet – or more than one mile high! Santa Fe and Taos are even higher. Up here, there’s less oxygen in the air, so you’ll be breathing more heavily than normal and you may tire more easily. Alcohol could have a stronger affect on you. Common symptoms of altitude sickness include but are not limited to headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite or upset stomach and swelling of extremities. If you recognize symptoms in yourself, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Altitude sickness can be serious – consult a doctor if your symptoms get worse or do not improve. How can you stave off altitude sickness? Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
- Bring sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen.
If your convention features an outdoor excursion to Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, a hike in the Sangre de Cristo mountains or trip on the world-famous Sandia Peak Tramway, you’ll be exposed to the sun. Our higher altitude means the sun is more intense that it is at lower altitudes. You’ll want to protect your eyes and skin appropriately. Even in winter it is possible to get a sunburn.
- Bring an appetite.
You’re bound to have a meal of New Mexican food, which is different from Mexican food, Tex-Mex food, Cal-Mex food and just about any other type of food you’ve had before. You’ll taste sopapillas (fried dough pillows served with honey), chile, blue corn and stacked enchiladas as well as beans and rice and an array of other favorites here in the Land of Enchantment. You’ll want to try every mouth-watering item on the menu or offered in the conference buffet. New Mexican food can be very spicy. If your last bite was too hot, grab a glass of milk or some ice cream, eat something salty or have a sopaipilla – they help! See more about delicious New Mexico cuisine here.