We moved to the beach two years ago and there is a culture that we had to learn quickly in order to keep up with the locals. For example, surfers have their own language which includes words like grom, waves are firing or mushy, carve, snap, and thruster. There is an attitude and a way of life living on the ocean that includes what you wear and say, to daily rituals.
I asked all my beach loving friends here in San Diego about the culture of living near the beach, and we came up with these top 13 ways to know if you are a major beach bum, brah.
SURF REPORTS TRUMP TRAFFIC REPORTS
Tim who sounds like he’s been shredding the gnarr for a hundred years gets on the radio and tells us that there is a small, but still fun, SSW swell with some WNW backing it up which means another day of gnarly waves. Yay! I love it when Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High gives me the surf report over the radio every morning. Classic beach living.
YOU HAVE 15 PAIRS OF FLIP FLOPS
A pair in every color and you wear them year-round. You will eventually leave half of your pairs of flip flops at the beach. When it rains, people like to get their UGGS out, dust them off, and pretend they need them for a day. But a couple of days later it’s back to the flip flops, because you live by the beach.
IT’S ALWAYS SWEATER WEATHER
Even if it’s a perfect 75 degrees during the day, it always cools down at night (unless you live in the tropics). Here in San Diego, we bring a sweater wherever we go at night because once that sun sets and the golden hour begins to appear, the chill comes out.
AN OCEAN VIEW NEVER GETS OLD
One of the highlights of my day is driving my kids to middle school because there is a big hill we climb and once we reach the precipice, we are rewarded with a magnificent ocean view. It’s just stunning. Every morning I say the same thing. . . “look at that ocean view, kids. Isn’t it gorgeous?” The other day my V said to me, “mom, are you going to say that for the rest of our lives?” Yes. Yes I am.
YOU FEEL A LITTLE SMUG
Not going to lie. The people who live in my town feel like they have hit the jackpot when it comes to places to live. I imagine whatever ocean you live on in the world, you feel like you may be the luckiest person alive.
There will be a thick layer of sand in your car at all times. I gave up on my car a couple of months after moving to the beach. Something remarkable happened recently, though. My husband went and got the car cleaned! I accidentally took that car to pick up the kids from surfing, got about halfway to the beach, and turned around to get the beach car (minivan). I wanted one of our cars to be sand-free for at least one day.
There is a thick layer of fog every May and June without fail. Sometimes it burns off, but many days it does not. By the end of June, I am about as grumpy as one could get living by the beach. But then comes July and the sun is out for the next six months straight. I’ll stop whining and remember how fortunate I am. Until May.
WE ARE OBSESSED WITH SURFING
I mean people are literally obsessed with surfing, people!! I know grown men and women who get up for dawn patrol every single day before their office job. I have friends who spend every lunch break surfing because only getting to surf a half an hour is better than not surfing at all. My son and his friends live and breath surfing. Now that is the beach life, brah!
SEEING AN OCEAN ANIMAL IS ALWAYS A THRILL
Everyone who sets their gaze out upon the ocean always thinks they see a whale, because everyone wants to see a whale. Whether it’s a whale, seal, dolphin, or even a fish jumping out of the water, sea animals are a thrill. A shark, well, that we can do without.
BEACH TOWELS EVERYWHERE
Wet, sandy beach towels end up everywhere. Beach towels in the car. Beach towels in the yard. Beach towels in every bathroom. Beach towels in the garage. When you live at the beach, sandy beach towels are a way of life.
LABOR DAY AND TOURISTS GO AWAY
Labor Day signifies that time of year when those of us who live at the beach get our beaches back from the tourists. Oh, we love you tourists, don’t take it personally. But it is so magical to go to the beach and find a parking spot right away. We grab our surf boards and beach chairs and cruise out onto that empty sand. Just beautiful.
SAND GLITTER TOES
This one is very random but so funny. If you paint your toenails and go to the beach that same day, you will get nature’s glitter bling on your toenails, 100% of the time. It doesn’t matter how long you let your toenails dry before you head out onto the sand. . . you will still get glitter nails.
YOU CANNOT RELATE TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOVE THE BEACH
Impossible. How can you not like the soft sand on your feet? How can you not appreciate the ocean waves crashing, putting you in a meditative state. The sheer vastness and beauty of the water. The smell of fresh salt and moisture in the air. You cannot be unhappy at the beach. The end.
As the mother of four children, including a set of triplets, it is important to me that my family all honor the earth, giving back and preserving the health of our oceans by making small changes in everyday life. Since beginning Ocean Junkies, my entire family has a new conscious awareness of using plastic straws and utensils in restaurants and how it’s related to the trash we see on the beach. It is my hope that through Ocean Junkies and other wonderful activist websites, we can raise awareness about plastic pollution and increase sustainable living by re-using what we have already created and creating from biodegradable and compostable materials.