Vacation Confessions and Contradictions

I’m in the middle of a long-overdue two-week vacation and I have some confessions to make. It’s completely possible that many things I believed to be true about myself are just not quite accurate.

I was born in the tropics and lived there until I was 21. Since moving to Virginia I have enjoyed the hot summer and dreaded the cold weather months. Ask me where I want to go on vacation and the answer is easy: the beach. Unfortunately, opportunities to spend any significant time at the beach have been rare.

This year we planned and saved so that we could go the beach after Labor Day and stay for a week. We waited and dreamed of it for many long months. Labor Day weekend came at last and we headed south to the Isle of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina.

We arrived late on Saturday afternoon and our first priority was getting some food in our  stomachs and then some food in the kitchen. The beach could wait a little bit longer. Having our dinner with a view of the ocean and the salt in the air was enough for the moment. And then we settled in our home for the week and I found that all I really needed was here:


First confession: I love being at the beach; don’t really feel a strong need to actually be on the beach.

Turns out all I really need is to hear the waves, see the ocean, feel the ocean breeze and the warm sun on my skin. Then when I want to cool off, the pool is really so much more convenient and you don’t have a bunch of sand to deal with.

This was quite a revelation for me, but not as big as the next one I discovered the next evening:

Turns out I enjoy skinny-dipping. At night.


I am an introvert by nature and generally shy. I avoid situations where I could be embarrassed or where there could be a chance of people laughing at me. I have struggled with my body image and self-confidence, but I think I’ve made progress over the last few years. But never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be someone who enjoys swimming in the nude. (Another confession: it was much easier to shed the suit the first time after a really good martini.)

It was such a sensual experience that it soon turned into the highlight of each day (and didn’t require any special warm-up drinks). The couple of nights my evening swim was cut short when lightning lit up the sky and thunderous storms shook the house felt like such a letdown.

I never knew that I could be such a hedonist, but that was definitely the theme last week. Wow. That doesn’t even begin to cover it, but probably enough said on that subject in this particular forum.

Final thought on summer days: hot summer days and nights aren’t as much fun once you’re home. The warm weather just makes me tired and lazy. So I guess maybe I should reconsider thoughts of moving back to a more tropical climate. But if there’s a private pool in the back yard….

3 Comments Add yours

  1. The beach is way down the list of places I long to be.

    It’s been decades since I’ve been skinny dipping.

    I’ve been putting my kids and my husband ahead of myself for so long that I’m not even sure what *my* dream vacation would be.

    That’s sad, if common.

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