Asking someone who lives in North Carolina whether they would rather travel to the mountains or to the beach is the vacation-planning equivalent of a Myers-Briggs personality test.
The most random predilections — a taste for saltwater fish over freshwater fare, for swimsuits over sweaters, for goofy golf over a well-groomed Bermuda grass-covered course — can help sort the beach bums from the mountain folk.
“Beach. Definitely. I’m a beach person,” said David Slyck (pronounced “slick”), who moved to Emerald Isle, off Carteret County, nearly two decades ago.
At the time, Slyck was a special-education teacher for the Department of Defense, and he took a job at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. He had never even been to North Carolina.
“I had no idea where I was heading,” he said. “Then I got here, and as soon as I saw Emerald Isle, I said, ‘That’s where I’m moving.”
The mountains are fine for some people, Slyck said, but for him, there’s nothing like a stroll along the ocean’s edge.
“If I’m upset with someone or something, I walk on the beach and I kick the sand and sometimes I use a few curse words. After I’ve kicked a few grains of sand around, I forget what the heck I was mad at,” he said.
Now retired and pursuing a second career as an artist whose main medium is car parts from early 20th-century American models, Slyck says for him, beach weather is a major attraction.