For me, one of life’s biggest mysteries will forever be how people manage to look glamorous while at the beach. What is the secret?!
You know the people I mean? With the sunkissed skin and freckles, the golden speckles in their hair and just an all-round glow? While I sit there pasty white – partly my natural “hue” and partly the 3 layers of Factor 50 sun tan lotion I have on – probably with prickly heat on my arms and mosquito bites on my legs. Now I know we should never compare ourselves to others and all that jazz…but come on!
Despite it not being when I look my finest, I have always loved the beach. There’s something kind of magical about being by the seaside isn’t there? It’s like you’re nostalgic for memories of old family holidays while eager to create brand new ones at the same time. But lets face it, these people that make look it look effortless are lying!
Firstly there’s the sand. And it’s everywhere, On your skin, in your hair, in your shoes, in your bag, in your car, in your suitcase….in my not-so-professional opinion, you continue to find sand in unexpected places up to 7 days after a visit to the beach. It somehow creeps in even if you’ve already washed and dried everything. Twice!
Then there’s the suncream. Oh, the suncream! Remember when you were a kid and you would get lathered in sun tan lotion and then told to wait 30 minutes before going in the sea to “let it soak in”? Well no matter how old you are, those are STILL guaranteed to be the longest and hottest 30 minutes of your life, just standing waiting for the suncream to dry before you can enjoy a swim in the sea.
And don’t even get me started on the sunburn. It baffles me, but people (sorry to say it, but especially us Brits) seem to convince themselves that if they burn, “it will turn to tan in a few days”. I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous! If you get burnt, you look like a lobster, end of story. Not a good look in my eyes!
Now if the beach isn’t my chosen fashion catwalk under normal circumstances, I can confirm that the beach in times of Coronavirus is even less so – wearing a sun hat, sunglasses, a face mask and a swimming costume is in no way a glamorous look. Yet it’s one I proudly rocked all weekend!
I spent a couple of days in a quiet seaside town on the East Coast of Spain this weekend which was delightful, albeit surreal, it being my first ever “socially distant” and “new normal” beach experience. We wore our masks until we were in an open space where we could set up camp and from there on out, kept our distance from anyone else on the beach. There were additional security staff on hand to explain the rules and ensure everyone was abiding by them too, so although it was a surreal experience, it was a safe and sensible one.
Since I’ve lived in Spain I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen. Small little “calas” with turquoise water, the whitest sand and to-die-for backdrops. The sound of the waves, of people laughing and playing. The sun slowly setting and leaving everything with a golden glow which you can’t help but smile at. And this weekend was no exception.
That being said, Spain isn’t the only place with goregous beaches. My mum and dad recently reminded me of a funny story of when I was about 14 years old: the 3 of us were on holiday in Florida and went to the beach one night to watch the sunset. I can’t even remember how it happened, as thinking back it seems quite out of character for me, but I got talking to a guy on the beach who was about the same age as me and we decided to wander along the water edge, chattting away. But we clearly got too engrossed in the awkward teenage boy-girl chat because the next thing I know, I heard my mum and dad shouting on me. I turned round and realised we had walked really far away, so much so, my mum and dad were just tiny little figures in the distance. One (my mum) frantically waving, clearly panicked I was about to disappear into a Florida sunset and never look back, the other (my dad) beside her playing it slightly cooler but looking equally as panicked! Lets blame that one on the “sea air” shall we? See, I told you there’s something magical about being by the sea….
Joking aside, I really do find being at the beach so relaxing. Being a city girl at heart, it’s an escape. A fleeting moment of relaxation and quiet. Even if I do have to simultaneously worry about topping up my suncream, keeping sand out of the snacks and making sure the parasol doesn’t blow away.