Sheep in the Big City

As summer settles, millions of people throng to airports seeking to escape from the mundanity of everyday life, each with their own vision for recuperation. The question of  why this vision differed is one that has occurred to me on and off for many a year. It was recently brought to my attention once again by an article that correlated your preference for a mountain get-away over a beach as a measure of your introversion.

Having been someone who always admired mountain-living, albeit from the far away confines of my dusty desert home, I thought this rung quite true, but upon discussing the study with a group of friends, I realised that the flaw in the study was the association of tranquility with the mountains and social engagement with the beach. The problem with basing a study on this very large assumption is that many people associate the beach with the idillic portrait of a hammock strung between two coconut palms, gently swaying in the breeze with the quiet splashes of the brilliant blue sea against the shore. I think it is safe to say that no introvert would be walking away from that.

So if your preference between mountains and the beach wasn’t determined by your degree of introversion or extroversion, what then accounts for this difference? I chanced upon the answer when talking about dream holidays with a friend who had spent much of his life growing up in the mountains. He saw nothing special about them, his heart craved the beach. On the other hand, I, who grew up 10 minutes from the beach, saw nothing special about it. While this is not to say that I dislike the beach, I do like it, but I would pick the mountains in a heartbeat. So is your propensity towards one determined by your geographic proximity towards the other in your formative years?

To test my theory, I spoke to my younger sister, who was to act as the control for my little hypothesis. Her response  was “Neither, I like the city.” For a time, this threw a wrench in my theory, but this morning when I was greeted by the vision of lakeside cabin on my desktop as the sand storm howled outside my window, I realised that solution to the Mountain versus Beach versus City conundrum was a manifestation of one of the hallmarks of the human condition; to forever seek that which we do not have.

What about you? What do you prefer? What are your thoughts on the matter? 


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