For me, there is no better place to be happy than on top of a mountain! Maybe that sounds strange, but I'm here to explain.
I spent four months travelling around New Zealand, which was a fantastic experience. It offered a generous choice of both quiet coastline and majestic mountains. As a lover of the great outdoors, I took every opportunity to go hiking. Sometimes I was trekking for three days at a time, across moorland, through forests and up summits reaching more than 8,000 feet. There were distinct trails to follow up until a certain point, and then you had to climb (or crawl!) up any possible route. With the loose terrain, it often felt like two steps forward and one step back. However, I find that the physical strain and mental willpower it takes to reach the summit emphasises the sense of achievement you gain. Alongside the greatest reward - a spectacular view from the top! It is surreal to be face to face with the clouds, and looking out at neighbouring mountains and endless sky. Although I use New Zealand as an example, it doesn’t always have to be an enormous mountain for me to find that 'happy place'.
When I walk my dog up the hill behind my house in the Scottish Borders, I get that exact same feeling of peace and a sense of escape. It is the place I can truly put things into perspective. It is where I am reminded of the whole wide world that exists beyond me, and my daily routine. It is where I can physically see how tiny I am in the vast scale of things. When I sit at the peak of a mountain 8000 feet high, or up the hill beside the local golf course in my home town, I get the sense that I am in an entirely different, completely inspiring world.