You can almost smell the sunshine and feel the grains of sand slip through your toes as you recline in your beach chair. Cold condensation from a bottle of beer drips down your hand as the sound of waves lapping softly on the shore become the lullaby to your favorite part of vacation.
It’s the moment where life’s troubles are far gone. You even find yourself practicing patience with extended family! It’s part of what makes spending time in the Outer Banks, arguably some of the best moments of your life.
You start to wonder what life would be like, if you lived in this paradise year-round. And as a local, I am happy to share with you that something magical happens when you ditch your shoes, the ‘real-world’ hustle, and recline into island life.
The Outer Banks Barrier Islands become a part of you as much as you become a part of it. And it’s more than those restorative beach naps that forge your bond. You feel rhythmic with your truest self. You realize how much you are a part of nature, as every day you find yourself wanting to rise early enough to watch the sun crack an egg over the ocean. You begin to notice a difference between the type of birds on the shore and you want to know their names.
Is that a Black-bellied Plover, a Least Tern, or a Willet?
Then you start to wonder what they are eating. Is it sand fleas, mullet, biofilm, or snails? You take more detailed notice to the species of fish that the people on the Nags Head Pier are hauling up. Perhaps there’s some Trout, Puppy Drum, or Bluefish. Your curiosity for your environment continues this way until you have multiple books and Iphone apps to help you identify all the trees, birds, insects, shrubs, fish, reptiles and mammals that coexist with you.
The Outer Banks Barrier Islands are a place where the power of nature is so strong that it forces you to obey and understand it. And most of all… appreciate it.
The second thing that forms in your identity when you live here is your activism. You learn just how destructive it is when a restaurant continues to offer straws, plastic cutlery and other single-use plastics. You realize how critical it is to use sustainable, recyclable products. You realize how environmentally disruptive oil drilling is, how much pollution may be left behind from careless commercial and recreational fishers, how the beach becomes a landfill from tourist negligence each summer, how gasoline boats contaminate our waters and how the human footprint endangers the Atlantic Ocean, the Currituck, Albemarle, Croatan, Roanoke and Pamlico Sound and our little stretch of sand, leftover from Appalachia sediment. You actively become protective of the beloved place that’s provided you with some of your life’s best moments. It is vital to make sure it gets protected, respected and preserved.
Your opportunity to be an important member of the Outer Banks Barrier Islands ecosystem begins today. Whether from your home in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Canada, New Jersey, or wherever!... While you’re focusing on saving, getting in shape, planning, and daydreaming about your 2020 vacation, don’t forget about what makes it so special to begin with. Your purchase from Sou'ld Life contributes to local wildlife and conservation groups. You have a personal impact in supporting the ecology and beauty of the Outer Banks Barrier Islands of North Carolina with each high-quality item sold.
Don’t forget to sport your apparel this summer and inspire Outer Banks love in others! And share this post so that this grassroots campaign can skyrocket and become just as memorable as your moments here.
Author & Team Member of Soul'd Life: Laura Buck