Is the Seashore Really Any Enjoyable?


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For hundreds of years, human beings feared the ocean. “Any Seventeenth-century European pirate might let you know terrifying tales of sea monsters dwelling in the dead of night waters,” Adee Braun wrote in 2013. “A pirate was about as prone to swim within the sea as a pilot is to leap out of his aircraft.” And the seashore, “because the gateway to the ocean,” wasn’t very compelling both.

Braun went on to elucidate that seashores remained largely empty till the 18th century, when the English started to research the doable medicinal results of the ocean. Chilly sea water was launched as a “surprise drug” for the illnesses of British excessive society. And the remainder is sandy historical past.

These days, seashores are well-established websites of luxurious, however in recent times, Atlantic contributors have began to query whether or not oceanside holidays are literally any enjoyable. Final 12 months, the author Lauren Groff made a compelling case for the “psychological torment” that kicks in if you happen to begin to consider the unintended penalties of a seashore trip on the encompassing surroundings and place. However she started her essay with a compelling description of the bodily torment of the seashore, too:

I hate the seashore. My pores and skin burns and blisters as quickly because the solar touches it, I dislike sweating with out exercising, and sand is senseless in any respect to me—it’s simply sizzling and gritty grime that different individuals apparently get pleasure from rolling round in. I used to be raised by dad and mom whose thought of leisure is chopping miles of trails within the woods and portray a whole home by hand, so the prospect of enforced idleness makes me panicky. Plus, the ocean itself, whereas aesthetically pleasing, is terrifyingly untrustworthy.

Personally, I discover swimming within the ocean—and even simply staring out on the water—to be one among life’s nice joys. Nonetheless, I hear Groff’s level in regards to the darkish facet of a day within the solar. As we speak’s studying listing encompasses all sides of the seashore debate.

On Seashores

Beware the Luxurious Seashore Resort

By Lauren Groff

These ostensible paradises have a darkish facet.

The Historic Therapeutic Energy of the Seashore

By Adee Braun

When docs prescribed solar and sea to enhance circulation and contract tumors

Seashore Vacationers Are Doing It Mistaken

By Richard A. Friedman

To essentially take a break, strive vigorous train.

Nonetheless Curious?

Different Diversions


My colleague Rachel Gutman-Wei reported final week that there’s a lifeguard scarcity in America—and that there’s been a lifeguard scarcity for a century, if recurring headlines are to be believed. Lifeguarding may not be probably the most in-demand summer time job—we’re now not within the Baywatch period of the ’90s, when lifeguards have been endlessly glorified—however those that shield our swimming pools and seashores haven’t been forgotten, Gutman writes: “If the lifeguard is as soon as once more an endangered species, it’s nonetheless beloved: extra like an enormous panda than a Gerlach’s cockroach.”

— Isabel