The sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. Quietly at first, a soft, gentle lap as the water is pulled backwards and pushed forward, but it gets louder as the day moves on. White froth soaking into the damp sand as it falls down hard against it. Deep brown and sandy white meet in a irregular pattern. Scratchy grains that get stuck almost everywhere meet seamlessly with soft and squidgy that lets you know that you’re close to the water’s edge.

Water that laps at ankles if you let it. If you almost dare to get close enough. A sharp, cold shock against achilles’, that drags all the remnants of sand away from in-between toes as it pushes and pulls its way onto the earth. A rhythmic movement. Crashing and dragging. Crashing and dragging.

Miles of white sand stretching out in front of you. It reflects the light of the day off it and feels warm under the soles of your feet. It burns sometimes in a way that isn’t ideal but is also something somehow triggers a part of your brain to relax. The grains that stick in every crevice of your body that you don’t even realise are there over the course of the day but you watch them rinse off and disappear down the drain when you wash the sun off your body at the end of the day.

A kind of heat that doesn’t feel close and oppressive like it typically does in the middle of city where nothing seems to move and the thought of moving feels you with a dread. It’s warm and pleasant and there is a breeze, a sea breeze, that almost brings a chill to the air. The days are largely clear and blue and the nights start with deep oranges and purples before they bleed and morph into the deepest of navy. The cycle repeats although occasionally they are full of dark, threatening grey clouds that also come with the promise of a fresh start. Almost like the place needs to be reset. So the air gets charged with some form of electricity and the word humid doesn’t seem to cover it and then lighting strikes and thunder booms in some kind of harmony with the crashing waves and the rain lashes down. And it’s sort of beautiful.

Then the sun breaks through the grey, the sea calms down, the sand slowly starts the drying process and everything smells deliciously of that fresh rain on the pavement smell. The tension is broken and the days feel a stillness once again and relaxation is reached.

There is more food then you really know what to do with and every time you think you’re full you somehow prove yourself wrong. Sipping on cocktails before lunch seems like a no brainer and no one questions it otherwise. There is a chance to watch the sun glisten off the blue chlorinated water of a pool under the reassuring presence of a too large umbrella.

All the reading that you could possibly want to do is a right there for the taking. As is the option to just do nothing and not feel guilty about doing so. Sleeping is no longer something that is taken from you too quickly by the sharp shrill sound of an alarm. Waking up can happen naturally. Which means sometimes you willing watch the sun rise because you’ve done all the sleeping that is possible for you to do, but it doesn’t feel odd. It feels welcomed.

Knowing that after a while everything feels like it has been reset and you’ve reached a point of relaxation that you honestly didn’t believe was possible when you set off with tension running tight through your shoulders and deep set purple bruise like marks under your eyes. Your hands feel like the only thing they are good for is to fly over a keyboard and grip onto an Oyster card to make sure that you don’t lose it. When it’s just another part of your day to be pushed and pulled about by strangers and having to squeeze onto public transport that really wasn’t equipped for rush hour in hindsight. Where stress and tiredness felt like they were all you knew, they were so deeply embedded in your bones.

Just knowing that there is a period of time, in a somewhat beautiful, maybe tropical setting, in which the only thing your really responsible for is yourself and finally, finally disconnecting.

Main sign off

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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