what do you choose: mountains or beaches?

“i think we go to the mountains really often,” i said.

“maybe…” came the stoic reply with the hint of the question mark at the end.  i could continue it meant… i did.

“we live in the coast, to the west of india. and towards the end of the year we seem to make our way to delhi, then by road we head further north and then some more travel and then we roam around the mountains for days. covering short distances of 30 – 40 kms on bad roads which makes it take hours. and we come back and then do it again? why?”

“i don’t see it as a pattern… it’s just happened twice.”

yeah, well, just twice. but if we do it again next year, it’s going to be three years in a row… we make this long trek, by flight, rail, bus, car to the himalayas. our yearly darshan of those great, big snow-capped peaks that only look more beautiful each time we go by. (p.s.promising no mountains in 2014)

in 2012, we went traversed the beautiful lake district of uttarakhand. from nainital to bhimtal to sattal and then another small tal hidden behind trees on the way. we walked along the banks of the lakes. we shivered. we ate all the roadside food and we gaped at the white snow capped mountains shimmering in the distance. we wound our way up and down these hills. in 2013, we went to spiti… just as the season was withering to a cold and dark end with the promise of a white december!

“… think it’s the silence,” i pursued after a short pause. “the lack of people in these places. we go during off-season to remote locations, so there are no people! there is a complete silence moving around the hills, a silence, a pause the beach doesn’t give. …where you hear only your breath and heartbeat travel in uniform rhythm… where that one single bird calling out in the distance is noise.”

it’s a far cry from maria who went to the hills when she was feeling lonely. i seem to go there to be alone. hmmm… (the things I discover about myself when you think aloud…)

all this thinking about hills vs. beaches started when one of my travel companions of the trip to spiti trip asked me, “would you settle down by a beach or on a hill?”

and i thought about it long and hard… here’s my answer!

the mountains grasp me by my heart, they make me breathe, make me feel alive. the beach calms me down, the sea takes on my mood, it comforts me. i love them both but i am more in awe of the mountains and more comfortable on the beach. (read: beach-life is more suited to my really low fitness levels!)

what about you? where would you settle down and live forever and ever? mountains or beach?

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