When we think of travel, we often think in terms of visiting new locations and exploring the unknown. However, travel can also be exciting when we return to a special destination. This summer, that special travel destination for me has been the beach at Bradley Beach, NJ.
Early this summer, after getting to Bradley Beach around 9:00am and staying until about 4:00pm, I was hooked. I’ve been back to this beach numerous times – more so than any other beach. (Actually, more so than most other places this summer. My usual quest for new adventures has given way slightly in order to soak up as much of this seasonal opportunity as I can.)
Morning is my favorite time of the day – no matter where I am. Waking up with the entire day ahead of you is a feeling that can’t be matched at any other part of the day. So, relaxing on the quiet beach, sipping a cup of coffee, with views like the one above, is the perfect way for me to start my day.
Since visiting the beach is a special treat for me, I like to watch the people who live nearby and are lucky enough to make the beach a part of their daily routine (like the man in the picture above). Some local people run or take their morning strolls on the beach along the water.
Even when the beach gets more crowded here, there is still a certain sense of calm. I like to feel that I have space around me when I’m on the beach. I think it’s nice when you can’t fully hear anyone else’s conversations – they’re just background noises – and the only sounds you hear clearly are those of the waves.
A fun thing about sitting on the beach is that though you don’t move, your view constantly changes. The tide ebbs and flows, ships and boats pass by, planes fly banners overhead, and clouds continuously dance in the sky. It’s like a never-ending show put on for you as long as you want to stay and watch.
Of course, seagulls are part of the beach experience. (I don’t mind them – as long as no one nearby is feeding them!) Their curiosity amuses me when they walk the perimeter of my belongings, checking out the situation and looking for food. And when you have a camera with you (as I do), whether soaring though the air or grooming themselves on the beach, they make pretty interesting subjects.
This year, I’ve done most of my summer reading on Bradley Beach. Once my coffee is finished and I’m settled, I can easily get lost in a book for a few hours. It seems somewhat ironic though, to think of a travel destination as a place you go to only to intentionally leave once again through a book. But really, reading books in many ways is similar to traveling, and like a special travel destination, when we’re really lucky, we come across a book we want to visit over and over again.
If you’re interested in spending the day on Bradley Beach, a daily pass at Bradley Beach costs $7 per person and since there’s about half the season left, beach badges are $35 (the full season was $60).
This article was first published with The Jersey Girl, August 14,2010.