Living in a small town can be difficult when you need access to goods and services that are only available in a city or metropolis.
While my trips into Albuquerque from Tijeras were genuinely long, that was nothing compared to the small town where I was born in northern Michigan. We had to drive three hours just to get into Lansing! This is a part of the state that is heavily wooded and hilly, while having only a smattering of small to medium sized towns. Anything that you would take for granted in a large city is completely absent when you live in the backwoods. Moving to Tijeras was a similar experience because I found myself constantly needing to drive into Albuquerque on interstate 40. However, the distance is a fraction of what I was dealing with living in northern Michigan as a child. One thing that frustrated me about Tijeras—and influenced my decision to finally buy a house in Albuquerque—was the lacking selection of various contractors. When I needed a new air conditioner in my little bungalow, I could only find three companies from which to gather price quotes. Now that I have moved to Los Volcanes in Albuquerque, I have three HVAC companies within walking distance of my house. However, my current heating and cooling contractor is based out of West Mesa just a few more miles east of Los Volcanes. Heating and cooling companies are important in the southwest because of the extremely hot temperatures we experience throughout the summer season. On top of that, we get winter weather that is cold enough to justify indoor heating as well.