Why I will always choose mountains over beaches

I scrambled up one of the hilly terrains of Kumaon. It was freezing, I couldn’t feel my fingers, I was constantly slipping on wet rocks and breathlessness was slowly creeping in. There was a sharp blast of cold air, and I couldn’t have been freezing any more than I already was.

And yet, I’d take all of this over beaches any day.

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Why?

How can I let go of those brilliant sunrises and sunsets that paint the snow-capped peaks in fiery hues of magic?

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How can I skip those walks on peace-laden roads, lined by looming trees?

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How do I abandon the loyal mountain dog that follows me to every rugged corner, every mesmerizing turn that leads me to cute cafes tucked under hillsides?

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And what about opening my eyes to panoramic vistas and ending my evenings with stargazing; the hikes to isolated meadows and gushing streams?

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There is little room to be unhappy when you dip your evenings in a hot cup of tea, while listening to the birds chirp in nearby jungles. There is immense joy in the warm and cozy room where you can return after a long hike and unwind with a game of UNO or Scrabble.

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Credit: Te Aroha, Dhanachuli

And so, I hope that one day, you will walk the mountains, and feel the same joy that I find. It’s a place where your vague worries vanish into a herd of goats happily running past you, and where a chat with a local teaches you more about life than all your text books combined. This is where you learn, that despite the pain at the back of your throat after a strenuous hike, you are far more capable of doing things that you were made to believe you couldn’t ever do.

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And you, what do you like more?

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