Does our geography contribute to the development of our personalities?
One of my current tasks is to research places for us to live after my husband retires, the plan being for me to continue working, only full-time at that point. We recently looked in northwestern Arkansas, which is actually quite pretty. My husband very much wants to have waterfront property, and, having grown up near a rather large lake, I like living by the water too. ( I don’t necessarily need to be on top of it; however, I do want it accessible.) Two more things, though: it has to be in a relatively warm place, and it has to be affordable for us. Arkansas offers these advantages.
The problem for me, though, is these kinds of places tend to be tucked into very hilly, very curvy places. Not only does the driving aspect kind of freak me out, but when I got up into the development we were thinking about, I had this sensation of being stuffed in an envelope. The other places that weren’t developments were very isolated, also a freaky feeling for me.
The problem, I guess, is I’m a quasi-city girl who grew up and has always lived up here in the flatlands. People who come from hilly places tell me they get a strange sensation when they drive and they can see for miles ahead of them. I, on the other hand, find that very comforting. I am like that in other areas of my life, too. If I’m going to have a medical test, first I want to look at and touch all the equipment. If I’m going somewhere, I will try to find out everything I can about that place. Although I like certain kinds of surprises, when it comes to things I’m going to do, I want to see what’s coming.
I don’t know, but I imagine the “hilly” people have a greater sense of joy and discovery not knowing what’s around the next curve (and also greater reaction times to deal with the unexpected deer or pedestrian.)
An elderly lady I know told me about a lady from Kansas that she knew that didn’t like to drive here because all the trees seemed strange to her. She didn’t eeven like the ivy growing on my friend’s house. Hearing this story made me feel slightly less weird, and just how geography shapes our fears, goals, aspirations, and general eccentricities.