Perspective: Beach. Mountains. City.

The new year can be daunting for a lot of people.  I, for one, am one who suffers from anxiety and borderline depression when faced with the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Although my feelings of dread have subsided over the years, I still feel my annual let down after the excitement of the Christmas season.

In light of the potential post holiday blues, I thought I would lighten the mood a bit.  I thought it would be good for all of us to start the year with positive thoughts, energy and memories, so I asked my awesome Perspective Group to tell me what they prefer; Beach, Mountains, or City, and why?

I polled one representative from each age decade to see how they weighed in. Are we more alike or are we polar opposites?  Come with me to find out.

Liney the sand mermaid

“I would pick the beach because the beach just seems so peaceful compared to the city.  And I also feel more engaged when I’m by the beach than when I’m by the mountains.  Also there’s so much to do at the beach like you can go swimming, you can go surfing, you can build a sandcastle and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Also the beach feels like one of those places where I can just let it all out and truly let my child part run free.”  ~ Caroline 10’s

“This is tough. I’ve never been great at choosing a favorite anything, so to narrow this down to one just doesn’t seem right or, really, fair to the other two options. And really, at the heart of it, I like all three for different reasons.

The mountains for the perspective they give me and for their challenge. Every year my family and I would vacation in the mountains and go hiking. I loved the challenging climbs; the steep uphills, the mud, the rocks. What was most exhilarating was reaching the summit. Looking down and seeing how small everything below me was always reminded me of life and the insignificance of silly things I would put so much weight on. Hiking the mountains allowed me to be with myself while also being with my family. I love the opportunity to just think and the mountains always provided the best backdrop for that.

Now the beach, for me, is a great vacation. Soaking up the sun, taking a dip in the warm ocean, now that sounds perfect right about now (especially since it’s currently cold and rainy where I live). The beach is a great getaway for me. It allows me just to relax and unwind. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit and not feel the need to do anything and the beach is exactly the place for that. The beach is also one of my favorite napping places, and I lovvveee me some naps, so there’s that too :).

Overall a city is where I prefer to live. While I do love to visit other cities, much like I like to head to mountains or the beach, what sets a city apart from the others is that it is my preferred location to live. I love the options a city provides. Whether it be activities such as museums, or shopping, or great restaurants. I feel there is always something going on in a city, and while this seems contradictory to my personality since I’m a pretty big homebody, I like to know I could be out somewhere even if I end up staying home to watch Netflix ;). I like the hustle and bustle. The opportunities feel endless. And while I like being alone, I like knowing I’m surrounded by a lot of people as well. I also like the culture a city brings. A metropolitan brings so many different people to one place and I like that.

If I could have it my way, I’d live in a big city where, depending on the direction you drove, you’re no more than an hour away from the mountains and the beach. I mean, one can dream, right ;).” ~ Cristina 20’s (

Jackie and Jesse beach pic

“Hands down my favorite place is the beach! I love the sand, the water, and even how my hair reacts to the salty air. I’ve been so blessed to visit so many beautiful beaches that it’s incredibly difficult to choose my favorite so I’m going to cheat and name my top two. For nostalgia, I choose Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, because it’s an adorable beach town that I grew up visiting with my family every year. But the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to was in Negril, Jamaica (pictured) due to its perfectly warm, turquoise water, soft sand, and beautiful weather, plus you can’t beat the sunset!” ~ Jackie O. 30s

Jen Sphar beach pic

“Given the choice, I would go to the beach every time. My love for the beach probably has a lot to do with my childhood. I grew up on an island, a very Long Island. <3 Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world were only a 30 minute drive from our front doorstep.  From the time I was born, during the warm months and in the summer, we went to the beach.

My Grandparents loved the beach.  For my Grandfather, having been a lifeguard in Brooklyn when he was a teenager, the beach was the perfect place to spend the day; playing in the waves, building sandcastles and laying in the sun. Many of the photos I have of my childhood are taken with my parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, wearing sunglasses and beach hats, under colorful umbrellas at the beach. My affinity for all things beach-related undoubtedly stems from being intertwined with fond memories from my childhood.

For me the beach is like going home. The waves, the sounds, feeling of the sand under my feet and especially the smells, all take me back and I am instantly in my happy place. When I was a teenager, the beach was a place that I would go with my friends to get away. Or we would drive down at night when we had nothing better to do.  Now the beach is where I have made amazing memories with my own family.  It is the most favorite place that my kids like to be and we look forward to our beach vacations (having visited various beaches up and down the east coast) every summer. I can already tell that I have passed my love for the beach down to them and I hope they bring their own little families to the beach someday too!” ~Jen 40s

“I am a city girl.  Although I spent my childhood and young adulthood pining for the beach, I have evolved into a city girl.  I don’t want to live in a city, not of any significant size at least, but the city is where I want to go for vacation.  It’s where I feel my truest self outside of my own house.

I am fascinated by the engineering miracles that fill a city.  From the artistry of actual people of an ancient time creating intricate masterpiece caliber artwork and architecture, to just marveling at how folks who live in a modern high rise get their heavy furniture moved up and in. It fills me with wonder and amazement.

There’s something about being in a city that, all at once, can make me feel the exhilaration and excitement of childhood, masterfully paired with a grown sense of sophistication.

I love the plethora of shops and endless cafes and restaurants.  There is no shortage of things to do and culture abounds.  AND as side bonuses, I don’t need to worry about wearing a bathing suit or if I’m going to get poison ivy.  Win. Win. Win.   Go Team City!”  ~Jennifer 50s

Barbara Alaska

“City, Beach, Mountains!!! How to choose?  I love them all.

But choose I must. Since I live in Florida, only 6 miles from the beach, the beach is not my choice. I enjoy being in cities for short periods of time. They are exciting with so much to do, but I prefer the mountains.

Some of my fondest memories have been in the mountains. Born in West Virginia, college in Frostburg, Maryland (in the mountains of course), hiking trips in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Sequoia National Forest, and the hilly landscape of Italy, and hiking alongside a glacier in Alaska have been just a few experiences I treasure and would love to repeat. And there are new mountains to climb, I hope, in the future. I am drawn to the TV sets of Outlander, Game of Thrones (The North) and The Last of the Mohicans. The mountains and forest call my soul.

In a song I wrote about visiting memories.  These lyrics explain my choice of the mountains:

“It’s the struggle of a mountain climb embraced by pine trees’ silence, the sights and sounds of nature breathe in us new life arriving at the stony peak surrounded by God’s vision.
Awestruck in wonder at such an awesome sight. In such a busy and noisy world, the mountains help me to find the silence and peace I need. It helps me slow down and observe God’s beautiful creation.” ~ Barbara 60s

architecture art bridge cliff
Photo by Pixabay on

“When it comes to beach, mountains, and city, I would choose mountains. I haven’t had a lot of time in the mountains, but the times I have had there were restful and I enjoyed the fresh air. I would not want to be isolated.  I would need to have neighbors and shopping areas to go to. I would like to have hiking trails to help stay fit. I have never been a beach person and do not like big cities; too much noise and people everywhere.”  ~Peggy 70’s

french neighborhood

“I’ve traveled to some very wonderful places, but of all the places to choose, the one place that sticks in my mind is a small hotel on “Rue Clare”in Paris, France.  It was located on a busy market street.  Just imagine running across the street finding delicious fresh food tempting you.  Either the scent of fresh bread, coffee, meats and cheeses, and a wide array of fresh fruits.  Then at 5:00 pm on the dot, the markets closed, the streets were cleaned, and the street was calm and peaceful.

Right next door to the hotel was a quaint cafe with seating outside and soft music playing.  A perfect spot to end a day of sightseeing.  Another perk was that the hotel was located less than a block from underground transportation.  Most convenient for the next day’s adventure.  So I guess the city wins for me.  Cest la vie!”  ~Temple 80s


In reading the responses from each participant, it was clear that each answer was influenced by how the environment affected our souls.  Each of us spoke to how their preference calmed them, or exhilarated them, and often brought to the surface memories dear to us.

As we are now squarely into the New Year, I hope that you were transported to your favorite earthy respite.  Be sure to share your choice in the comments.  Cheers to a Happy and Healthy New Year to All.  May 2019 bring you amazing soul reaching adventures.

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