Always Salty: How Growing Up Near the Beach Shapes You

 

Growing up at the beach makes you a different kind of person. Every time you move away or go out of town to a place that is far from the ocean, you long to be back near the shoreline at one point or another. If the smell of the ocean and salt on your skin is a normal occurrence for you, then you most likely have grown accustomed to being near the beach and it's shaped who you are. Learning how to swim before you walk, being able to stand up on a surfboard and spending your Saturdays tanning or building sandcastles all may sound familiar and may have been and may still be a larger part of your life than you could have imagined. Not only does growing up near the beach affect your physical environment, but it allows you to grow into a certain type of individual and helps you realize the values that you know are important and that are important to the people around you too. As someone who has grown up near the beach for a majority of my life, I've noticed that being one of these people has affected me and others in a number of ways that are both obvious and indistinct ways. 

 

1. You've learned to appreciate nature to its full extent.

 

As someone who grew up near a natural habitat, you've been able to reap all of the benefits of having access to a beautiful and everchanging environment. Being able to sit in the sand and watch the waves roll by has allowed you to realize how calm and at ease you can become when visiting the beach and spending time in a natural setting. It's nice to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle and constant immediacy of today's society. You know that nature (and the beach especially) allows you to clear your head, take a break and recharge. 

 

2. You understand the importance of the environment.

 

Through spending so much time at the beach, you've begun to know that the environment is important and truly deserves to be protected. You may not be a strong activist of the rainforest or fully believe in global warming, but you know that the sand dunes protect you from getting struck too hard by a hurricane or that sea oats shouldn't be stepped on. You become aware of how nature not only benefits people by being a fun alternative to going to the movies, but that it houses animals and ecosystems alike.

 

3. You've learned to be more laid back. 

Spending time near the ocean has allowed you to realize that time is all relative and there's no need to rush and especially no reason to worry (at least when you're at the beach). Through taking the time out to lay in the sand for a few hours, go on a surfing trip or just read a book by the shore, you have a place that you can use to change your outlook from a negative to a positive one. A combination of the seabreeze, soft sand, ocean waves and sunshine create a sensation for you that helps you destress and unwind. 

 

4. You Know Where You Belong.

 

You know that even if you move away for awhile or life finds you in a faraway place, you'll always come back to where you're meant to be: near the ocean. Whenever you step foot back on the beach, you realize what you've been missing and you take advantage of the time that you will have there while it lasts. Being away for too long feels as if a small piece of you is missing and you may not have known what it was until you were able to get back to the beach once again.

 

5. You understand the importance of community, family and locality.

 

Lastly, through being a frequent beach-goer, you've come to realize that spending time with your family at the beach on the weekends is not something that should be taken for granted, but instead should be saved as a memory. You most likely have seen the same people at the same beach and understand that your local community is shaped by the beaches near you. It serves as a communal place for people to meet up, host gatherings and just have fun. 

 

All in all, being someone who has grown up near the beach shapes you into the person that you are, whether you've realized it or not. It has more likely shaped you in more way than one and in more ways than stated in this article, but your next step is finding out just how on your own time and through your own personal story.

 

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5