Whatever your temperament, there are beach conditions to suit it. If you crave the company of brightly clad, beach party types in bars buzzing with music, lights and activity, you can easily find a beach full of volleyball playing, jetskiing, laughing, partying comrades to splash about with. The warmer the climate, the better your chances. These bright, young (usually) things will inevitably be augmented by any number of other people hoping to sell you, and them, well, pretty much anything. Useful things (sunglasses), enjoyable things (manni-peddies), healthy things (fruit), and their exact opposites. I will leave you to fill in those blanks as you see fit; in my view (and possibly only my view) those unnaturally orange langoustiney things will suffice for all. You may well get sand kicked in your face but you’ll probably be scoring a goal between the rocks as you do.
If the life aquatic is more your scene, the beach is wonderful place to start. From it you can launch your board or small vessel of choice, with or without sails (or even a kite). You can even take to the waves up close and personal, floating on top of or beneath the water, depending on just how up close and personal you want to get with the life subaquatic. And on just how much kit you want to take with you. You can even, with scant regard for personal safety or the amount of time you will spend chasing up and down the beach, or possibly through the shallows in hot pursuit, take to the water in or on a range of inflatable objects. Rule 34A states, if it exists, someone has tried to cross a body of water on an inflatable version of it. And had to be rescued. In my personal experience, even on a clear calm day a giant inflatable object can slip its moorings and head out into international waters before you can blink.
The weightless feeling given by floating atop or even drifting beneath the waves offers a serenity, an almost dreamlike state that is associated with possibly the most popular incarnation of the beach, the deserted island. Sun, sea, sand and solitude. Just the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep, to wash away all the cares of the world. The beach also offers up its treasures to those who can appreciate them; a sea worn pebble that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand or a discarded shell, delicately textured and coloured, that will instantly recapture and recall the serenity of the coast.
A deserted beach offers time and space to take a step back, to reboot, reassess. It offers an edge, from which to start (again), or even potentially whence to escape. The combination of wind and waves, salt and sand, spray and surf all serve to exfoliate the skin and mind.
A place to sit and think. The beach is a liminal space, between the land and the sea. Existing in two states whilst simultaneously not quite being one or the other. Constantly alternating between the two. The line between the land and the sea, is a state of flux, now land, now sea, alternating with each tide and each wave that washes up and down the beach. The beach exists in two states whilst simultaneously not quite being one or the other. Those states, and the delineation between them, change infinitesimally with each and every ripple of the surf on the sand.
Despite all this flux there are two universal constants on the beach. Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you meet, you will never find anything happier than a dog on a beach. And there is absolutely nowhere better to watch the sun set. Or rise.