Mountains, Beach or somewhere inbetween?

Do you love mountains, are you happier by the sea, or a mix - do you actively look for sits in a particular environment or let inspiration guide you?

We finished a fabulous house sit last week in the French Alps close to Chamonix. It’s the fourth time we’ve been back to this area over 2 sits now and it’s fast becoming a favourite region where we are looking for more sits in the future. We enjoy long hikes and have found that owners with dogs here generally have pups keen to be out and very active too!

This is a new situation for us having transitioned from mostly international sits, to sits closer to our temporary settled home in France and we’ve never really searched for sits over and over in a particular area. Now we’ve seen the valley across all four seasons including Christmas, snow, sun, Autumn & Spring (and deserted through a lockdown) and I’ve realized I really do LOVE the mountains!! The might of mountains along with the peace and quiet interspersed by the sound of cow bells - tranquil, beautiful and relaxing, yet with so many options for outdoor activities.

We added a few days vacation at the end and hiked up high to a mountain refuge where we stayed overnight, heading further to the head of a glacier. I could have stayed up there forever!!

Here are a few pictures from our house sit and our vacation.




That looks absolutely amazing Vanessa.
I love walking/hiking so the mountains are very important to me, but then I also love the sea and the rush of energy and spray that it brings. Maybe as I lived most of my adult life in Cape Town, I got the pleasure of both. Now living in Cascais, Portugal, I have the lovely sea walks along the promenade and then I can go into the Sintra hills for the peace and calm that trees and views give me.
Gosh … it always amazes me how much nature brings such important and positive energy for the soul.
It really makes you love life. :smiley:


We did a sit in the mountains once in a small village in Switzerland and it was phenomenal that you could really not hear any noise from cars, airplanes or other human activity. Extremely relaxing and tranquilizing! Only during the weekends it got busy, during the week it was almost a ghost town since only a handful of people live there permanently. My favorite location would be something like the coastline of Montenegro or Norway: mountains directly at the sea. The Amalfi coast is also spectacular and Italy also has a fair share of other scenic coastlines (although they do tend to be a bit busy).


@Timmy I relate to that - the sort of peace and quiet that’s almost noisy :smiling_face:

Norway would be fab as a combination destination - mountains and sea. I’m not to keen on the idea of a cruise but I’ve often glanced at those smaller ships that pass through the fjords. Looks sublime!

I visited Amalfi many many years ago and that road along the coast is stunning! Did you find that the beaches were packed with people in Italy?


Yes, for sure. Italians are definitely beach goers, especially on the weekends locals will flock to the sea. But the mountains are comparatively empty, hiking is not as popular as in more northern countries and we would usually not meet almost anyone even on the most popular and scenic routes.


Freddie Mercury said it clearly and plainly.

"Adventure seeker on an empty street
Just an alley creeper, light on his feet
A young fighter screaming, with no time for doubt
With the pain and anger can’t see a way out
It ain’t much I’m asking, I heard him say
Gotta find me a future move out of my way
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now

Listen all you people, come gather round
I gotta get me a game plan, gotta shake you to the ground
But just give me, huh, what I know is mine
People do you hear me, just gimme the sign
It ain’t much I’m asking, if you want the truth
Here’s to the future for the dreams of youth"

I want it all (give it all I want it all)
I want it all (yeah)
I want it all and I want it now


Thanks @Therese-Moderator we did have fabulous weather too. No mist, fog or low lying cloud!! I’ve always been either living by the sea, or nestled in the mountains (or “big hills” in Wales :rofl: ) but not enjoyed both at the same time!! I hear the Sintra hills are beautiful … sounds like you’ve got the best of both. You are so right… nature grounds us and is incredibly good for my soul anyway :smiling_face:


I’m a sea/ocean/water lover. The noise, the colours. Even when it’s angry it is somehow beautiful. I’m at my best beside water although I have enjoyed the last three months in Canada. I suppose there’s always water somewhere in Canada.

Monday morning at the office somewhere in Biscay


@ElsieDownie That “somewhere in” spells “freedom” to me !!


I agree. I’ve never felt so free than when doing blue water sailing. The nearest land is five miles away, down the way. Miss it so much.


this is probably the only home I would seriously ever consider buying again :laughing:
There is nothing like it.
I need a good quite invisible captain.
Preferably one that would be happy out on the dingy most of the time. :rofl:

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@Amparo I can lend Ian to you :rofl:


Have seriously thought about it. Maybe I will find a good adventurous person in South America :wink:
one just never knows and I am wide open to possibilities.
Beautiful photos btw.


What a great conversation! Thanks @Vanessa-ForumCMgr for getting us started.

As for our favourites…? We’re all over the place, like hummingbirds flitting from one beautiful place to the next. We love staying in rural areas with mountains and never-ending fields where we can walk for miles without seeing another soul, but we also love the biggest of cities. There are also the places where land meets the sea, music festivals to go to, history to be explored,…so much to do and see!

We’re still feeling “finally free” after the pandemic lockdowns and my recent retirement, so we’re happiest doing a little of this, then a little of that. There are just too many great places we haven’t visited yet.

What fantastic lives we all live! :heart:


and butterflies! It is natural to flit around!
Have fun!


I’m definitely a beach person but also a city person. I did a wonderful sit in an ocean view villa with swimming pool in the Caribbean and another sit on the Gold Coast of Australia. I don’t particularly care for rural locations unless the sit is in the summer and a swimming pool is available. I also love sitting in the very heart of a city as a thrive on the hustle and bustle!


:running_woman::running_woman::running_woman:Photo #3! Looks like an awesome trail run w a doggie type place…:+1::+1::sunglasses:


Well @Vanessa-ForumCMgr having come from Colorado, USA where we lived both on the plains and up in the mountains at a ski resort town, we were definitely spoiled to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. When we moved to NC, USA we found we were only 3 1/2 hours to the beach, so that became our new love and where we wanted to spend so much time…even bought a condo on the beach in SC, USA. After now spending twelve years here, we find we are back to enjoying the beauty of the mountains equally as much as the beauty of the sea…and we are fortunate enough here in NC, USA to have both within a very short driving distance to our home base. We now have the best of both worlds!


Mountains, beach or somewhere in between … anywhere that feeds my soul and we are incredibly lucky if we get the opportunity to experience even one place of beauty for there are many in this world who will never know that feeling, for them it’s just a digital view on a device … I count my blessings each time my heart says WOW, which is every time I turn a corner when driving through the mountains from From Vancouver BC to Edmonton, AB … or when standing on the top of Blackcomb Mountain at Whistler, even looking out from my home across Loch Long, Scotland and now from Bainbridge Island across the water to Seattle.




There seems to be a water theme running through these images :wink:


I am a mountain person. Hubby is a sea person. So we ‘compromise’ by doing both frequently! He keeps dreaming about a life on the water - frankly, the thought of this makes me all panicky. How will I get to the mountains when I’m stuck on the water? I like to feel land under my feet. But hey, I’ll try anything once…as we keep telling others - if you don’t like nomading, you can always go back to a fixed location…