27 May 2015, 1:39pm
The Outer Banks Travel:
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Comments Off on Loving the Beach

Loving the Beach

Beach Self Portrait AKA Beach Goddess

Beach Self Portrait AKA Beach Goddess

Having just returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my mind and senses remain awash with the transformative powers of the beach.

The Surf

The Surf

Warm sand in my toes, the fun and freedom of walking barefoot, the thunderous sound of the surf, the gentle surging of water as each wave becomes absorbed into the sand, sea foam, myriad shells, sea breeze whipping through my hair, the tingling of my skin as I emerge from a chilly dip in the surf, endless stretches of reflexology, the entertainment provided by scurrying sandpipers, crabs and other birds and creatures new to my world, the searing heat of the sun, the chill of the ocean air, the smell of sunscreen, the taste of salt on my lips after an ocean swim, the vastness of the empty length of sand and water before me, the ever-changing interplay of every shade of blue, beige, red, yellow and green cast from the sea, sand and sky, the busyness of beach activities such as surf fishing, kite boarding, sand castle building, beer drinking or just lolling around reading a book or doing nothing but relaxing, sleeping or soaking up the scene, the infinite array of beach toys, paraphernalia, carts, coolers, chairs, towels and toys that serve as the accessories to a day at the beach, the Crayola-crayon colors of all this cheery garb and the bathing suits folks have donned, the parade of shapes and body types I can’t help checking out, the sky, the cacophony of gulls’ cries mixed with children’s laughter and adults’ friendly salutations, the charms and jumbles of the lucky-to-live-here surf side houses that line the beach, open-air beach showers, the emptiness that becomes my mind within a few minutes of stepping onto such a swath of shoreline, the occasional whiff of salt air, the letting go of the tension I carry within my body–yes, this is some of what I love about the beach.

bab1

Capturing the Surf

Bubbling

Bubbling

Babbling

Babbling

Bubbling and Babbling

Bubbling and Babbling

I have even come to love the gritty feel of salt and sand that covers parts of my body when on and off the beach.

Tracks

Tracks

Sand

Sand

I’ve always been a pool/lake/mountain girl. I’m a super swimmer and I love the great outdoors, but my times at the beach have been minimal–it’s still somewhat unfamiliar territory for me. My exposure has been growing though and I am rapidly becoming an irrepressible fan of the beach.

Beach Entrance

Beach Entrance

Watching the Water

Watching the Water

Solitude

Solitude

It’s no wonder. Since the relaxed, let’s-embrace-this-great-outdoor-play land approach of the beach is similar to my Rocky Mountain lifestyle. Silly me. I brought a kaleidoscope selection of summery frocks and baubles–really not much at all yet still, I only wore half of them. Over and over. I didn’t touch my hair straightening iron once, nor did I use a blow dryer. Just like in Colorado, I lived free and easy without many added embellishments except for some dabs of mascara and eyeliner the few times we went out. And, of course, lip gloss every day. Yes indeed, in addition to loving the natural beauty of the beach, I love the free-spirited way of life it promotes.

Beach Play

Beach Play

It’s now almost summer and the big beach season is upon us all over the United States. Even if you’re a landlocked Rocky Mountain dweller such as myself, I hope you’ll carve out time to embrace the beach scene. Boulder-bordered shores of an icy alpine lake can provide a beach-y experience, too.

More Fun

More Fun

Just make sure you dial in all your senses to some of life’s best simple pleasures. Breathe deeply, long and hard. Ahhhhh. Now relax.

Either way, I’m sure there will be a gulf between you and a more fast-paced way of life. And you, too, will love the beach.

Sandpipers and Friend

Sandpipers and Friend

As further incentive to making beach time a priority, read Save the American Vacation in this week’s TIME magazine. It confirms what many of us already know–that using your paid leave and disconnecting entirely are not easy tasks. I actually was on my computer and iPhone a fair amount during my time away, but that’s also part of being a travel writer. Plus, I travel more than the average person. How can I go somewhere and not report on it, especially in this day of social media? And how can I not go away?

Beach Houses

Beach Houses

Ask yourself the latter and you’ll be halfway  to planning your trip.

Note that all the photos featured in this post were taken by me during my trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Oh actually, a couple were also taken by my boyfriend who discovered almost three decades ago that this part of the United States boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Moi

Moi

 
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