I’m from the United Kingdom right and more specifically from a part of the UK that rains a lot and is relatively cold in winter, while you could never fully trust the typical Merseyside summer’s day to stay sunny either. Show me a picture of a beach however and perhaps just like everybody else who lives on planet earth, I’d immediately associate it with either a holiday or some luxury seaside property representative of an aspirational life. The truth is there’s just something about beaches which just fascinates, well everybody really, but in particular the traveller. What exactly is it about the beach which captivates the imagination of so many travellers though? We’ll probably never really be able to point it out precisely, but exploring and unpacking the traveller’s unwavering fascination with the meeting point of the ocean and the earth is worth the time, I think.
Biologically speaking, we can’t really dip a water bottle into the ocean and take a refreshing drink of what is extremely salty water, so our fascination with the beach can’t really have anything to do with what would otherwise be an endless supply of the vital life-giving substance we can’t do without. Yet we tend to gravitate towards the beach under the spell of a number of different driving factors. The most expensive real estate comes in the form seaside properties, which in turn gives rise to expensive holiday accommodation, usually taking the form of a hotel with ocean-facing rooms at a premium, or indeed a selection of exclusive holiday resorts with private beach access as the main selling point.
Some holidaymakers in fact don’t feel as if their holiday was complete if part of it wasn’t spent lazing around on the beach, surfing, swimming, or interacting with the sea in any way. Other holidaymakers will tell you that the very best parties are those which take place at the beach, like the one which the winner of the Maxinutrition 30 day physic transformation competition will get to go to in Ibiza. The refreshing ocean breeze is more than enough for the more chilled-out beachgoers, but the bottom line is in some way or the other, the beach has become synonymous with what a traveller aspires to, whether to just temporarily enjoy a holiday getaway or to ultimately have the luxury of being able to walk a few yards from their seaside property to get a feel for some sand between their toes.
I have my own theory as to why we’re all so strongly drawn to the beach however, not just travellers. It goes back to the evolutionary instincts we kept from our transition from sea organisms to what we’ve evolved to, I think. The fish in us longs to go back to where it all started for us, or perhaps where it all changed significantly for us and the meeting point of the ocean and the earth symbolises a measure of success in more ways than one, which I guess is also why we have phrases such as “beach bodies” for success of the physical variety.