Bamboo forest outside Kyoto, Japan

I grew up in Michigan then lived in New York, where winters are freezing and snowy and summers are hot and humid. Now I live in San Diego, in Southern California, which has arguably the best weather in the country. There aren’t discernible seasons: it’s nice year-round, with little rain and temperatures that never approach freezing.

Jim says that I have a “5-degree comfort zone.” I’m frequently too warm or too cold. Any time we go anywhere, I bring a sweater or long pants or shorts or an entirely different outfit, in case the weather changes and I get too hot or cold. In fact, at all times I keep a sweater, hat, and sunscreen in the car. I hate being caught unprepared, and being dressed inappropriately for the weather really irritates me.

A couple years ago, I visited my small hometown in Michigan for the first time in a few years. It was the perfect time of year to visit–October. The trees were changing colors and the weather was crisp and cool. I sat alone in my parents’ big backyard and stared at the giant trees swaying the wind, the same ones I stared at in my childhood, in complete silence, save for the airy fluttering of the golden leaves. It was so beautiful, inspiring, and moving, and brought me a sense of peace and clarity that I’d never felt before. I felt like writing a freaking poem, and you guys know I’m not super into poems. I felt amazing.

I had no clue that that weather and that setting was so important for me. Fall feels so good. It is comforting and relaxing. The temperature is not too hot and not too cold. It’s cool enough to drink tea and knit and take long walks through crunchy leaves. I love weather that is cool enough to wear jeans and a cozy hoodie.

Warm weather makes me sweat and feel uncomfortable. I don’t like being uncomfortable. And freezing winters are obviously uncomfortable, too.

Weather also has a huge impact on my first impression of a new place or activity. When we were in Croatia last year–a place I was so excited to visit–there was an awful heat wave that totally hurt my enjoyment of the place. Instead of looking back on the time fondly, I think about how uncomfortable I was. ugh. (See my tips on how to travel the world long-term when you are an HSP.)

Then there have been other times when the weather is JUST perfect, and it makes me feel almost giddy–like I’m on a high. I enjoy perfect weather so much (say 65 degrees?), it just feels SO DARN GOOD!!

Which places make you feel supremely peaceful? What is your ideal temperature, and does perfect weather make you feel giddy?