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This past weekend, we traveled east of Seattle to do some trail maintenance with the Washington Trails Association. Our crew leader for the day asked us to introduce ourselves and name our favorite thing about Washington state. I mulled this over for a bit until it was my turn, then decided I’d answer the many hours of daylight in the summertime.

My first experience with a 9-to-5 has definitely been made easier by the fact that when I get home, typically no later than 6 pm, I have a good four hours of daylight still ahead of me. That’s plenty of time for relaxing a bit and then going for a run, walking to the grocery store, or just enjoying the light for a little longer.

It makes sense to me why Seattle is such an outdoorsy city. Between its proximity to beautiful scenery and hiking trails, its combination of mountains and water, its low humidity and mild temperatures, and its extended daylight hours, there are plenty of reasons to be outside. Not to mention, most homes around here don’t have air conditioning, so the outdoors is often more pleasant than sitting inside.

Though my mid-Atlantic East Coast home is quite different, I’ve loved experiencing Seattle’s way of life. In all honesty, I don’t think I could ever live here year round — I’d miss the sun too much for the nine months out of the year that are mostly gray and rainy — but my Seattle summer has been nothing short of incredible and beautiful.