Life Outside: Surrounded by Sea & Mountains


Having grown up in the northern part of Germany means that I was fortunate enough to live close to the water, both the North and the Baltic Sea. Hamburg and Bremen were just a stone’s throw away and me and my family, starting at a very early age, went to Föhr, the biggest of the North Frisian Islands, once or sometimes even twice a year. Seaside feels galore. I have always liked going for long walks, looking at the sea, specifically in fall, when the weather in the north is more rough - the wind blowing harshly, waves crashing, the beaches are rather empty, and hot tea and warm blankets on the couch were waiting for us once we got back to our apartment. I believe this has spurred my desire to be anywhere near water in general, as I find it utterly peaceful.

I had the chance to move to San Diego over one and a half years ago (damn, this sounds so long, yet time flew by). Granted, even though California’s southernmost city is located right by the Pacific Ocean, the climate is anything but rough. It’s a summer atmosphere basically all year round, with mild temperatures. A different kind of seaside living that has its charms. They don’t speak of San Diego of ‘paradise’ without reason. The city’s residents are living where other people vacation. It’s a real blessing if one is able to make a living here, but that shall be a story for another time. Fact is, having the chance to live by the water ocean adds so much to my overall happiness. I personally see it as a great deal of quality of life. 

Here in San Diego - or southern California at large - a great portion of life happens outside. It’s awesome and I honestly believe it brings people closer to nature, be it the ocean because a lot of people down here are avid surfers or, like Rickey, active scuba divers; or the mountains, as those can be reached within about a 30 minute drive already, where people like to go hiking. Whatever you feel like. Oh, well, and if you feel deserty? Not a problem, comes right after the mountains. Hiking - yes, it’s a real thing here. I used to hate it when I was little; now I love it and see it as a great opportunity to leave a little bit of stress behind, hit the trail and enjoy the view (or serenity that is) as I get my sweat on in the woods, ideally.

Having the sea on the one side and the mountains on the other, this is my ideal place to live, I swear. 

What I also value a lot in a city where a great part of life happens outside is personal outdoor space. Rickey and I are fortunate to have the backyard (it’s a wonderful work in progress) where we actually, now that I think about it, need to spend even more time as it all comes together so nicely. A little secluded open space is great - to have a cup of coffee in the morning, play with Rocco, hang around and maintain the plants, or have dinner or BBQ with friends. 

Fact is, I see it as such a blessing to have both the mountains and the sea within immediate reach and live in this great place. Whatever my mood is calling for, I can either walk to the beach or hop in the car, hit the freeway and find myself surrounded by mountains. I have never felt more at home or at ease somewhere, with nature so close by. San Diego has the best work-life-balance - and I think I even read that somewhere a little while ago…

What do you love about where you live? What is quality of life to you?