It was 6AM each morning when I awoke to the orange sun rising over the ocean and the waves rolling into the shore. Seven days in the Outer Banks with family and my dog was the re-charge I was looking for in my life (two weeks ago). Although I worked 65% of the trip, it was much more relaxing without distraction and in a completely different zone, where I could really focus on the project at hand. It seems that working from the beach exclusively would be much better for my productivity, yes?
While on vacation, I awoke each morning to watch the sunrise, read a little on the porch with the pup, take a jog, get coffee from this little coffeeshop/bakery down the road and then in the middle of working, I played in the ocean, of course! Here are some of the things I learned on the beach:
(1) Get off the kayak before the last surf into the coastline.
The flags on the beach were out to warn of danger but being adventurous, we decided to take the kayaks out to test our luck. Unfortunately, the flags were right – the waves were crashing into the shore viciously and after only a few minutes out in the wild ocean, we chose to come back in. I was doing all right until the last surf came crashing into the coastline, launching me and the boat into the air, over top of the wave and crashing back into the ocean. The kayak rolled over top of me and smashed my head straight into the sand. My neck was sore for days. Lesson learned: don’t try to ride the kayak in on a treacherousness day.
(2) Bring an audio-book for the road-trip.
From Columbus, the drive to Outer Banks takes about 11 hours. To pass the time, I created a few playlists, listened to NPR, played on my iPad, worked on my laptop and also listened to a few audio-books. I ordered Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine because I am attending a seminar in which he is the speaker discussing how teams can achieve their full potential. It seemed right up my alley but as soon as I turned it out, his voice put me to sleep. Literally. So I had to switch gears fast.
I went to the extreme and turned on The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. You see, Gary is the kind of guy that is just so fun to listen to. I actually prefer hearing his books to reading them. He’s energetic, passionate and just by listening to him get pumped, you will too. By the end of the book, I was ready to take on the world. Make sure you listen to a short snippet of the book before committing to an entire roadtrip together.
(3) Time doesn’t matter.
Even if you aren’t an early person, try to wake up one morning just to watch the sunrise. It’s such a peaceful site to see the sun coming up over the ocean – something that you will never experience in an inland state. After that , you can go back to sleep or stay up and nap in the afternoon. The beauty of a beach trip is that time doesn’t matter. I found myself working early, sleeping midday on the beach and then staying up late.
(4) Be prepared to eat…and eat… and eat.
The most food ever. Just before the trip, I spent a lot of time focusing on working out, my juice diet and cooking healthy meals at home for dinner. I even brought the juicer on the trip and stopped at the farmer’s market on the way to pick up some fresh produce. It was supposed to be a week of healthy eating but boy was I wrong. Every single night we had an enormous meal and the following day I would say I wasn’t going to have another giant seafood meal and then sure enough, dinnertime came and everyone was gearing up for a feast. Next time, I’m going for one meal skip. Maybe just champagne for dinner (like the photo of the stormy beach night above)
(5) No running on the beach! Just find a nearby trail.
On the first day, I attempted to run on the beach in the morning. I bought those weird toe shoes and thought it would be a good way to get my morning exercise but after a couple hours, my shins and calves both felt stiffer and more sore than they ever had and it was just a few miles. Day two, I got back out there for more and found that I could barley even walk in the sand. It was time to change my method. I found a nearby trail and after a lot of stretching, it was a much better idea. Sure beach running like Baywatch looks beautiful, but it’s not only hard to do, it’s hard on your body.
Did you go on a beach vacation over the summer? Do you have any tips or advice for someone planning their trip next year?