The Power of Nature

Maybe it was the end of a nearly two-week viral infection that had taken over my mind and body; maybe it was because my throat didn’t hurt anymore and I could swallow without my ears popping.

But I like to think it was purely just the salty air, the palm trees that lined the coast, the sunshine, the soft white sand, and the ocean.

I felt the change, the shift of mindset when the ocean was visible from the window but before the plane even touched the ground; it was when my eyes fixated on the blue waters below me that I instantly began to feel not just better but revived.

Travel burnout is a real thing; between being sick for well over a week, pmsing, loud hostel mates, beach withdrawals, and insane heat in a new, relatively dirty city do not make an ideal combination for a traveler in an already developing slump. I didn’t like the way I felt – I didn’t like the mindset I was in. I felt bored, unexcited, unwilling, trapped. I missed a routine, being in one place, and I was tired of exploring. There’s an infuriating paradox of travel and life; you want the opposite of what you have. I didn’t know how to make myself appreciate all that I was experiencing. I couldn’t remember how.

But the sight of the beach made me feel at home. It reminded me of all the things I was excited for. The human memory is a remarkable thing; the way we create memories through sounds, sights, smells, feelings, emotions – and the way those memories can make us feel the same way all over again. Nostalgia is a real bitch, sometimes – but it can be a friendly reminder, as well. In this case, I felt rejuvenated, refreshed, as if the waves of the sea had washed away the last 3 months of grueling travel and restarted my excitement for what’s to come. And I wasn’t sick anymore, so that was a huge plus. Every day that I woke up, I felt better.

I give the beach full credit for that. For the last four years, I have lived in Florida – the beach only just a mile away. I would make time for it as often as I humanly possibly could. Over time, I developed a love for nature that I never imagined I would have. It didn’t take long, either. I still remember the first time I truly encountered the sublime; I walked over a hill of sand and was faced with the glistening, bright blue ocean. I had never encountered something so blue, beautiful, and massive in the way that I did in that moment.

Over the course of a year, I fell in love. I learned how to deeply care for something bigger than myself when I fell in love with the sea. I learned how to be comforted by nature instead of people. I told myself that I would take care of it, and my love became unconditional.

I think I underestimated the power of nature; I had spent the last few weeks in a city, and I hadn’t set my eyes on a vast seascape in months. But coming here, to Ngapali Beach in Myanmar, was like going home to the love of my life – it recharged me in ways I didn’t think possible. It gave me the strength to carry on for the next month and a half of traveling before I finally settle down for good.

The power of nature is truly remarkable – have you felt something like this before?

Thank you for reading.

Until next time,

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