Traveling recharges me, especially when the destination is near the sea. Remembering old trips or planning new ones, I am drawn to be there. If you don’t know me, you may think I must have lived oceanside, but that isn’t the case. I’ve been a landlocked Tennessee girl my entire life.
So, why am I obsessed? Good question, but to be honest, I don’t have an answer. The best I can offer is my family visited the Gulf of Mexico most of my childhood summers, for which I am grateful. Memories of those trips are filled with wonderful moments.
During college and the few immediate years afterward, I didn’t have the funds or time to travel as much as I would have liked, but my singular college spring break trip to Panama City Beach did result in meeting my husband, Ron. Perhaps another reason I love the ocean.
When I got my first real job and was able to afford a short beach trip to Charleston, South Carolina; I was ecstatic. I vowed to prioritize taking at least one beach vacation each year to refuel my soul. So far, I’ve managed to accomplish this goal.
Standing in front of the vast blue ocean and rolling tides, I am at peace. Problems and stress fade away, and I feel the most like myself, or at least the person I want to be.
That's not the only thing that recharges me. I’ve had the good fortune to be able to apply my writing passion to cover beach destinations in travel articles. I'm also putting the final touches on my first novel, The Haunting of Palm Court, which takes place in coastal South Carolina, complete with all of the sparkling beaches, weathered beach cottages and vibrant Spanish-moss covered oak trees.
The book hasn’t been published yet, but writing it has allowed me to re-experience my favorite places and share the feelings they evoke and spark within. Just thinking about it, I can’t wait to stand at the shoreline, soak up the sun and let every worry roll off my shoulders and into the water.
Everyone deserves to have something that makes them feel this way. How do you recharge?
Image above: Stephanie's love for the ocean began as a child during a beach trip with her mother, aunt and cousin.