From Chicago to Santa Fe: Moving West for the Outdoors has been exploring the many reasons people move to Santa Fe from all over the country, especially within the last several years. People move here for the culture, the food, the art and the abundance of outdoor activities. Even with everything Santa Fe offers, moving from a big city to Santa Fe can come with some apprehension. You might ask yourself, “Is there enough to do?”, “Will I enjoy a city of that size?” or “Can I handle the chile?” All valid questions but what’s amazing is how the apprehension fades and you end up loving our City Different.

George Fischer & Gordon Sellers recently moved from Chicago. George has lived and traveled all over the country but there was one place he frequented that always felt special, Santa Fe. Eventually they had enough of the winters in Chicago so they decided to make the leap and head west to New Mexico.

What guided you to Santa Fe from Chicago?

I’ve lived everywhere for work but I always kept my home in Chicago. We moved from Chicago in 2014 but we’ve been visiting Santa Fe for 5 to 10 years prior to that. We kind of got tired of the weather in Chicago and the gray skies and as long as there is an airport, I can live anywhere so we decided to move to Santa Fe. We enjoy the blue skies, the lifestyle and getting out of the rat race of the city.

What was it about the lifestyle that attracted you to Santa Fe?

Well we are outdoor people so we love to hike and ski. Santa Fe has that for us 365 days a year. We always wanted some land. We ended up with 15 acres about 15 miles south towards Cerrillos, NM. Now we have plenty of land of our own where we can actually hike. Coming from a city that had a lot of culture, nightlife, events, we were a little scared coming to a town this size but we knew from visiting that Santa Fe has great museums, art, and a good restaurant scene. I’m a bit of foodie so I’m happy with the food scene here. It’s no Chicago or New York but it’s really good.  But I have to say, it was the outdoor scene that really did it for us.

What was the actual buying process like once you figured out that Santa Fe was were you wanted to be?

We actual started with a different real estate broker than Mark because we started looking in Albuquerque first. I didn’t know New Mexico well, so by chance he showed us a Santa Fe property in the same neighborhood we live in now. The house was horrible but I loved the neighborhood. I loved the feel of it. It just felt right with the rolling hills, lots of space. The houses here are not on top of each other and not cookie-cutter, every house is different. That Realtor was very honest with us about not knowing Santa Fe. He wanted us to look in Albuquerque so I went online and Mark’s name kept popping up everywhere I looked so I thought I better try this guy. I called him and we had a great conversation on the phone. He was very straightforward and open. I told him the area we wanted to look at and he set up different homes in the area and it was good because it gave us a chance to figure out where we wanted to live.

So with it being the Holidays, what is it about Santa Fe that you enjoy this time of year?

We enjoy the farolito walk on Canyon Road on the 24th. It’s absolutely amazing and different.  We usually have friends and family over for Hanukkah. We aren’t big bar people so for us on New Years we love to go to a great restaurant and get back home to a fire and bring in the new year. The past couple years we’ve gone to Geronimo and the Compound for a good meal.

Mark Banham

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