It’s a natural paradise. The mountains have a healing power of their own. You look around surrounded by trees, rock faces, wildlife, and no buildings for miles. At night you look up and the stars are brighter than you’ve ever seen before. There is no light pollution to obstruct your stargazing. The beach and the city have perks and beauty of their own, but the mountains have this idyllic, untouched beauty. I grew up on the beach and it will always be my home, but in my adult years, the mountains have really stolen my heart.
Besides the obvious physical beauty of the mountains, there are tons of bonuses including health benefits, year-round activities like hiking, camping, biking, fishing, and skiing to name a few, being able to live remotely, milder temperatures, and simply being engulfed in nature. You might also want to participate in a practice called shinrin-yoku, which literally translates to “forest bathing” in Japanese. You use all 5 of your senses; smell, touch, sight, hearing, and taste, to receive the restorative benefits of the forest. Smell the crisp, clean air, touch the textures of the trees and leaves that surround you, feel the sunshine kiss your cheeks through the trees, take in the hundreds of shades of green, listen to the rushing waterfall in the distance, and if you’re lucky, taste nature’s sweetest treat, the honeysuckle. The sensations the mountains give you are endless. All of these things are scientifically known to lower blood pressure, increase serotonin levels, and generally improve your overall mood and happiness. You can even receive beneficial aromatherapy from the smell of the pines by clearing your sinuses and calming your nerves. Just an hour or two in the forest can give you these benefits.
Some of my favorite mountain towns include but aren’t limited to Asheville, NC, Boulder, CO, and smaller towns like Brevard, NC and Gatlinburg, TN. Asheville is a popular funky town full of art, music, craft breweries and is located right off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. All of these towns offer a variety of local mountain culture and make you feel right at home. In the city centers there’s a lot of mom and pop shops where you walk in and eat like you’re at grandma’s house, but with a combination of new trendy coffee shops, yoga studios, music venues, funky boutiques and outdoor stores. Whether you’re a tourist or local, there is fun to be had in these mountain towns.
Yet another perk of living the mountain life is its remoteness. Being in a city can be overstimulating, exhausting and a lot more of a hurried daily pace. Reclusing to the mountains allows you to slow down and really enjoy the little things in life. Instead of listening to the buzz of cars driving by, the buzzing of wildlife and nature will now fill your ears. Instead of taking a stroll through the city, you can take a walk through the woods. If you want to blast your favorite Stevie Nicks song in the middle of the day, with the windows wide open, and the cool mountain breeze filling your home, by all means, do it. Whether you’re looking out the window in your new forever home or your new vacation home, I promise the mountains are sure to change your life.