Introducing: A mountain-person from a mountain-less country
“Which do you prefer, the mountains or the seaside?” is one of those questions that I never get asked at home because I am from the lovely seaside country called the Netherlands, which – as the name betrays – is lacking in altitude.
We have some hills close to the border, but there’s nothing here that I would refer to as an actual mountain. In fact, the country is actually sinking a little bit every year.
Similar small talk questions that are more commonly asked in Europe would be “Are you a dog person or a cat person?” or “Night owl or early bird?” or maybe even “PlayStation or Xbox?” though with the last one we’re probably not learning about each other’s personality anymore but rather looking for adversaries.
When I was living in Japan in my late teens, I occasionally received the mountain-or-seaside question. That would be a great time to surprise people with the fun fact that there’s not as much choice in the Netherlands as there is in Japan. But more commonly, I would sheepishly reply that I’m a rare case of mountain-person born and raised near the coast– at about 3ft below sea level and miles away from any kind of serious elevation.
Daydreaming somewhere else
As a child growing up on flat lands, the mountains just didn’t seem real to me. Once a year, I would watch them from the window in the backseat of the car bound for central Europe, and it just reminded me of the two-dimensional mountains in the background of a Pokémon episode on TV. Or perhaps even the inaccessible area of a videogame that the devs never really developed and you can’t actually walk to.
I would daydream about getting lost in those mountains. About what it would be like to see those hard-earned views. I would force myself to stay awake in the backseat because I so desperately wanted to see the flat lands turn into hills, then turn into mountains. The sight of the mountains means free time, good views and exciting adventures – and now that I’m an adult planning her own vacations, I can try to live out those daydreams. But 2 weeks of living out daydreams is not enough.
Nice to meet you!
Now that you know all about my precious childhood memories and dreams, let me introduce myself properly.
My name is Annick, I’m 27 years old at time of writing. Mountains, cats, night owl, PlayStation. Born and raised in the Netherlands, currently living near the edge of the woods with my husband David and our cat Cyp. My indoor hobbies include drawing, reading and video games. My outdoor hobbies you already know.
In March of this year, I will be leaving home to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for charity and to push my love for mountains to the limit.
I’m excited to meet my fellow mountain people.
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