Are you a beach-lover? I most certainly am! It started when I was young and went to the beach with my parents to Morro Bay, California to go “clamming”. I remember being around 11, dressed in my “jams”, which were quite popular at the time. If you are too young to remember, “jams” were comprised of a halter top and knee-length shorts, in a wild Hawaiian pattern. It wasn’t very sexy, but for a young in’ not yet interested in boys, it was considered stylish! Jams were for swimming, but wet suits were required for clamming.

Before dawn, we would go to the shore, dressed in our black wet suits. We walked out in the water as far as we could and still expose our heads above the water. We used our special pitch forks and pushed them deep in the sand, hoping to hit something hard, hopefully a clam, and would dig it up in between the waves knocking us down, to check if it met the required size limit. Afterwards, we enjoyed a hot shower and fresh clam chowder. Oh, those were the days…

Now my trips to the beach are comprised of walking or jogging along the shore, soaking in the sounds of the sea gulls and crashing washes. It is a precious time for reflection, soul searching, and soul-soothing. It is a way to work out problems or just let them go. It is a time to listen to God, the Universe, and to yourself. I swear I can feel my heart rate slow down.

My last visit to the beach was to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Kure Beach, North Carolina. Both are lovely places to visit. Myrtle Beach is no longer the sleepy beach town from years ago. High rise condos line the beach. There is plenty to do besides golf, for which it is well-known. They offer some great seafood restaurants, shows and venues for family entertainment.

From South Carolina, I took the ferry across to Kure Beach, North Carolina, in my rental car. I laughed when Google Maps said, “keep going for one more mile.” Apparently, it thought I was driving! Kure Beach IS still an unpretentious beach town where the standard attire is flip flops and a bathing suit. You can wear shorts and a shirt if you really want to dress up! They have a lovely beach, great restaurants and many special events such as outdoor music throughout the year. The best part was meeting up with old friends! When you are a solo-traveler, it can be a welcome break to see a familiar face or two.

For those who have never gone to the beach, I highly recommend it. Save your pennies, dimes and nickels. Save your lunch money, coffee money, or whatever is necessary and find a way to visit the nearest ocean! Your soul will thank you.

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