Destin, FL

Not All Beaches Are Created Equal

Off Our Couch

I learned that not every beach is unblemished, they aren't all covered with attractive shades of white or brown sands, and the water isn't always inviting or blue.

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Postcard-worthy Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FloridaNat/Off Our Couch
I’ve learned that beaches aren’t always perfect. Actually, I’ve learned perfect doesn’t exist. Even beaches with the clearest waters and whitest sands have environmental concerns like red tide and natural nuisances like insects.

Having a beach vacation is an ideal situation for a lot of people looking to enjoy the outdoors and flourish in the natural environment. With gorgeous white sands, beautifully warm waters, and picturesque views, choosing to spend a leisurely weekend or a much-deserved week off at a beach is always a great idea, right?! Well, um, maybe, at least that’s the recent conclusion I’ve come to since my days of lounging on the sofa and binge-watching playlists of travel advertisements disguised as videos have come to an end. Since relocating six years ago to Florida, a state surrounded by beaches, I have had the opportunity to travel to beaches on the Florida panhandle, in the south of Florida, and along the Atlantic Coast. During my first couple of years in the Sunshine State, I would naively pack a beach towel, my sunglasses, and a swimsuit and drive to various cities expecting to run across their soft, sandy white beaches and dive into the warm, inviting waters just like the beautiful, fit people I vicariously watched on my playlists. As I personally experienced different beaches in different areas, I quickly learned that not every beach is unblemished, they all aren’t covered with attractive shades of white or brown sands, and the water isn’t always inviting or blue. I’ve discovered that some beaches are littered with trash, some have clumps of seaweed that make it difficult to walk across the sand or wade in the water, and some shorelines are rocky and even slender. In essence, I realized that not all beaches are postcard-worthy, and I recognized that not all beaches are created equal.

This understanding has transformed me into a more realistic and more educated traveler. I’ve learned that beaches aren’t always perfect. Actually, I’ve learned perfect doesn’t exist. Even beaches with the clearest waters and whitest sands have environmental concerns like red tide and natural nuisances like insects. Therefore, I am more open to just witnessing the experience of a new or even a revisited destination rather than seeking perfection. There are many more beaches for me to experience in Florida and worldwide so I have learned to pay attention to others’ experiences and read reviews ahead of time now so I’m better prepared. Having water shoes for rocky or shelly surfaces, packing bug spray along with sunscreen, or alternating travel plans to a different coast when there is an occurrence of red tide at the original destination are all ways to salvage a trip. I’m old enough to realize that even the best-laid plans can go wrong. So if I do show up for my next beach trip and things aren’t as expected, I may feel underwhelmed and I might even feel disappointed but I doubt I’ll ever feel surprised again.

To see some of our favorite beaches in the Florida Panhandle check out this video: https://newsbreakapp.onelink.me/2115408369?pid=mp_1591535&msource=mp_1591535&docid=0fPFK6u9&af_dp=newsbreak%3A%2F%2Fopendoc%3Fdocid%3D0fPFK6u9&af_web_dp=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsbreak.com%2Faf-landing%3Fdocid%3D0fPFK6u9

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