Confession time: I’m just not really that into beaches. It’s not that I absolutely hate the beach, and I always feel like I should like going. After all, I grew up near the water. There weren’t a ton of good beaches near my hometown, but still, it seems incongruous that I wouldn’t like the beach (but then again, I wasn’t ever that big on seafood growing up, and that was far more blasphemous).
This is not to say that I don’t like looking at beaches. On the contrary, I do. They can be really beautiful. I even like walking on them. The photo above is from a trip to Assateague Island in November, when I enjoyed a brief stroll along the beach. But there are a lot of ways that me and the beach don’t get along. And a relaxing beach vacation at a resort where you have nothing to do but hang out on the beach? It kind of sounds like a nightmare, honestly.
I Hate the Sand
I don’t think any of my beach complaints are particularly unique, but here goes anyway. I hate that sand gets everywhere. Depending on the beach you go to and how fine the sand is, it can be impossible to get off. If you’re staying somewhere near a beach, forget about ever being clean again. I hate putting on shoes only to find them full of sand. It’s gritty and it’s everywhere, even sometimes in my mouth. And if you try to eat on the beach? I hope you like a sandwich full of sand. Gross. I mean, look at that beautiful San Sebastián beach above. Way too much sand.
I Hate the Heat
I am not good with heat. Heat and me are not friends. When I was in Southeast Asia (see gorgeous Railay Beach above), I guess heat and I came to a truce since I forced myself to be there for roughly 6 months. But generally, I start sweating immediately. When I get hot I get mildly nauseous and can’t eat much of anything. And if you’re a regular reader, you know how I feel about food. I start to feel kind of weak in the heat after any extended exposure. It’s not a good look.
I Burn Way Too Easily
Also not a good look: sunburn. I can slather myself in SPF 50, be diligent about reapplying, and still get pink. I have had some wicked sunburn. And so easily. It’s not pleasant, in fact it’s rather painful. I am not made to sit out in the sun for a long time.
I Find Hanging Out on the Beach Boring
But perhaps the thing that makes that beach resort vacation sound dreadful is that going to the beach is boring to me. Take the photo above, for instance. We were on Ilha Grande in Brazil. We had just hiked three and a half hours to end up at the absolutely stunning and practically deserted Lopes Mendes Beach. It was truly beautiful, and probably the best beach I’ve been to. We walked a bit and then sat down. I got us sandwiches from a beachside dude with a cooler. I found a spot in the shade to lay down. I tried to read a book, but for a lot of the reasons above, I do not find reading pleasant on the beach. Also, there are inevitably bugs. Maybe that should have been a section above.
Basically, the only thing I want to do on a beach is walk down it, look at it for a bit, and sit for maybe 20 minutes max. I can’t lay out in the sun because I’ll get overheated and get a sunburn. I can’t read because the beach is honestly not that comfortable to sit on, it’s hot, and sand gets in my book. I can’t enjoy a good meal because of the whole sand issue as well as the heat. So I feel like I’m more or less physically incapable of being at the beach all day. I also hate snorkeling and am not interested in learning to dive (talk about an anxiety fest), so those things are out. I don’t mind wading in the surf but I don’t like going out any further because I start to get freaked out about what is below me.
And yet, I keep going to beach destinations. Why? Because it’s too beautiful to pass up. But give me a hike along a coast any day over hanging out at the beach. If you like the beach, I think that’s great. I wish I liked hanging out on the beach. But I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Do you like the beach?