I spent the summer living a whole new life. One that I would have never experienced gathering up the courage move. I wanted to move south for as long as I can remember. But no matter what life throws your way, you’re never ready for what might happen. Living on an island had never crossed my mind.
I’d cut out pictures of seascapes, beach chairs and fun in the sun and paste them onto a dream board. My original goal was to end up within driving distance to the beach. Now when I walk out into the street I see the ocean. They say “shoot for the moon and land among the stars,” but I feel as though I’m standing triumphantly on the moon when I was only shooting for the stars. Visualization is a great tool to be successful. If you envision yourself having what you want, then why wouldn’t you eventually obtain it?
Kure Beach (pronounced CURE-ee or Curry) is truly amazing. I feel blessed and accomplished by being here and try to express my gratitude on a daily basis.
So, what’s so different here?
No. 1 — Island Time.
Nobody is in a hurry to do anything at all. As if everyone is on vacation. That, or taking your time is more valued here. I haven’t decided. But whatever it is it’s adding years to my life.
Nobody knows “island time” like my good friend, Adam. I waitressed at an authentic North Carolina BBQ restaurant for a couple of months before landing a job as an in-house graphic designer. That’s how we met and we have been inseparable ever since. He has been teaching me and leading by example how to be slower and live more in the moment. You begin to notice the little things and appreciate your current surroundings and situation.
No. 2 — Manners & Friendliness.
Yes’sir and Yes ma’am are part of everyday speech. It doesn’t matter what your rank or status is, people will call you that. It’s just good manners! Chivalry and accepting chivalry is also a big deal. Opening doors, helping with coats and offering assistance is common. Then there’s an overall friendly attitude. People you don’t even know will walk right up to you and begin an unsolicited conversation. I’ve only ever had good experiences and always keep my wits about me, but spontaneous conversation isn’t a bad thing to be open to. Where I’m from (back in Minnesota), it’s far more noticeable when someone does these things or it’s common more in older generations because it’s rare. The warm, friendly vibrations do the heart good.
No. 3 — Seafood galore.
If you want a lot of seafood and for cheap, this is the place! My grandmother, mother and I did our first live crab boil with blue crabs from Seaview Crab Company. It was fun picking on the crabs because they were alive and feisty! Pro tip: The crabs with the most fight in them are the TASTIEST!
No. 4 — Weather.
Duh. It’s amazing. The sun shines 95% of the time. Rain only lasts an hour at most and usually occurs in the evening. Around September it gets noticeably cooler, about 50s to 60s, but nothing compared to Minnesota Winters. We did have a few scares with hurricanes, which thankfully translated into a couple days of heavy rain and high wind.
The main thing I enjoy about the weather is that you feel as though you can go out and get something done or have fun. You hardly ever see a dreary day and feel the need to spend time indoors. Since moving here, we still don’t own a television or a couch. We simply don’t need them! I’m always able to take a five minute walk down to the ocean and partake in all it has to offer anytime I want.
No. 5 — Activities.
Longboarding, surfing, swimming, tanning, searching for seashells, and long walks on the beach are ways people typically spend their summers here at the beach.
My first summer here was truly magical. Adam is always down for adventure. We spent many nights walking the beach after work late into the night and days exploring in his dune buggy or finding new places to eat. Okay, so we mostly ate, but we’ll get to that in another post.
Cooler weather is great for longboarding, walks around town, coffee at the beach and wandering in and out of shops. The best part though is that it’s quieter without loads of tourists all week long, week after week. Which is great if you love to EAT. There are better wait times and specials just for locals! I don’t go out and buy things hardly ever anymore, but what I do love is trying new local food joints. Fall and winter are the times to do it!
Photography has always been part of my life and my favorite activity by far. There are so many unique opportunities to go out and capture every day. I’ve been really fond of the beautiful sunrises lately, which you can view on my Instagram @gypsyminimalist.
No. 6 — Aesthetic.
One thing you’ll notice immediately upon entering the island are the colors. Everything is bright and vibrant. Buildings are built on stilts in case of flooding, but the fact that they are also painted so brightly made them really stand out from what I’m used to. And no one is shy with beach decor. Everything is about the ocean, seashells, seahorses and even mermaids! Which leads me to my next point…
Live the Salt Life. It’s a brand for the whole island. If you have the Salt Life logo on your car, you’re obviously from the island. I noticed this fairly quickly after moving here. Initially, renting a motel room was the only option to get started and there weren’t any that were satisfying in terms of cleanliness or security in the larger city. My grandmother recommended the motel she stayed in when she first came here, Dry Dock, which happened to be on the island. Driving between the City and the island made me notice the stickers proudly and prominently displayed on the cars around town. It’s definitely something that binds the community and makes you feel as though you’re part of something. We all came to the beach for a reason. That’s a great feeling to have when you’re so new and far from where you came.
I am thankful everyday for the place that I’m in at the present moment. I still have so much to explore. Be sure to check back and follow my Instagram @gypsyminimalist for realtime updates.