Living by the ocean has slowly made me more aware of why I’ve always found water so fascinating. Water, particularly in the form of an ocean, has a captivating essence about it. It is an integral part of our lives, and though we have found countless ways to utilize it, we have no real control over it.
Growing up in Minnesota, I was surrounded by different forms of water, but I don’t think I really appreciated the enormity of its power until I started living by the ocean. Oceans are large and impressive bodies of water. They are surrounded by mystery, as they remain largely unexplored, yet it is this same mystery that keeps me drawn in. Living by the ocean has been a great experience for me thus far, and here are just a few of the reasons why.
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Riding the Waves
All right, I’ll admit that I don’t actually ride the waves myself. However, I do enjoy watching others ride them, and I would like to learn how to do it myself someday. Okay fine, I don’t want to learn so much as I just want to be good at it right away. The point is, surfing is cool; and a lot of that coolness stems from the waves themselves.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very impressed by what surfers can do, but they couldn’t do any of it without waves. Waves are both powerful and thrilling. Have you ever sat by the water and watched the waves roll in? They’re absolutely captivating and get to be even more so as they grow larger. It’s hard to tear your eyes away as the wave reaches its peak and begins to break – rolling over itself and forming a barrel that seems to spread from the middle out.
It’s great watching the waves crash into the shoreline, but it’s also nice to close your eyes and listen. Listening makes you aware of how hard the wave pounds into the shore; it draws your attention to the constant hum as they get closer. Listening to (and watching) waves is simultaneously thrilling and soothing, easily making them one of the biggest perks of living by the ocean.
When it Comes to Water, Size Matters
There’s no doubt that large bodies of water are usually considered more impressive than small ones. When you’re looking out over a massive body of water, it’s hard not to feel small. The sheer volume of water found in the ocean is spectacular enough to think about, but that’s not even what impresses me the most. I am far more amazed by how far you can see when nothing but water and sky stretch out in front of you.
The horizon is quite possibly my favorite part of living by the ocean (although I think I say that about a lot of things), not only because of how large it is, but also because of how far away it is. The blues of the sky and the sea mirror each other, causing the space in front of you to seem endless – a feeling that is, at times, overwhelming. You can get a taste of this feeling from smaller bodies of water, but the ocean is vastly more intimidating.
Another bonus of an endless horizon are the breathtaking sunsets. With the right conditions, an ocean sunset makes the whole world look fake; it’s like looking out from the inside of a painting. As the sun sinks below the horizon, you’ll see shades of red, orange, and pink; but you’ll also notice the deep blues that are creeping into your peripheral as night slowly overtakes day. A larger horizon increases the scope of a sunset.
The perks of living by the ocean aren’t limited to big ticket items; there are plenty of little bonuses as well. The smell and taste of salt in the air, the slight breeze that always seems to be blowing, and the distant sounds of nature all coalesce into one brilliant experience.
When you live near the ocean, you also have more of an opportunity to explore the coastline. Sea cliffs highlight the power of the water, while beaches allow you to enjoy the more soothing aspects. Around every corner, you seem to discover something new and interesting – be it a damp sea cave or a peaceful cove.
Living by the ocean certainly has its downsides as well, but it’s easy to see why these are often disregarded. When I would hear stories about houses falling into the ocean because of erosion, I used to wonder why anyone would be dumb enough to build so close to the water. I no longer do. I understand the desire to be as close to the ocean as possible because it’s a wonderful place to be.