While it would appear that in the US the road trip is the most popular form of family vacation, the beach is still a popular destination for a holiday in just about every country with or without a coast. The sea is a powerful lure even in countries like Britain and Ireland where there is no guarenteed sunshine and you often see children paddling in the Atlantic in insulated surf suits. The seaside holiday sojourn rose in popularity of the Regency period, when the Prince Regent routinely decamped court to Brighton. Jane Austen’s Persuasion included a seaside sojourn upon which the plot turns. Something about the ozone or the negative ions in the are, the salt spray, the invigourating chilliness of water on sunburnt skin, is universally appealing. It’s cooling in hot weather. You can legally run around nearly naked (although Jane would disapprove of that sort of disrobing.) The seaside is so damn, well, elemental. One quote I came upon celebrates that fact that you can do nothing far more easily there than anywhere else. Although I would query that definition of ‘nothing.’ Kite flying, beach combing, fossil hunting, fishing, swimming, surfing, rock pool skimming, walking, sunrise and sunset watching. These are not nothing. But they are all ways of leisurely letting your mind go out with the tide.
I am fortunate enough to live fifty minutes from the coast, so we can take day trips as and when we find a window. Winter beaches can be quite as wonderful (and less crowded) than summer ones.
Today’s Poetry Daily celebrates my favourite summer place since childhood. It truly does embody my happy place. The first line is a quote from Umair Siddiqui.