Picture the scene: The sound of waves gently lapping against the shore, the smooth sand sizzling in the sun, the shimmering sea just begging to be the latest addition to your Instagram …
From Barbados to Blackpool, the seaside is synonymous with warmth and relaxation. Everyone loves the beach. Don’t they?
Well, no, some of us aren’t taken in. Here’s why, in reality, the beach is actually dreadful …
Sand is objectively the world’s worst material
More invasive than a tech giant data breach, sand worms its way into your nose, hair, and underwear, and in any other context we absolutely would not put up with it. The only thing worse than sand, is the horrible, granulated paste that forms when it mixes with sun cream.
Read: Is your local beach considered one of Australia’s top 20?
All the posing
Yes, we can see the logo on your swimsuit, but no amount of unnecessary beach yoga will convince us to follow you on Instagram.
Urgh, just let us keep our T-shirts on in peace.
The burn you keep telling yourself you won’t get
Beach weather is a Catch-22: either it isn’t hot enough for you to be there in the first place, or it’s so hot it cooks you where you stand. A single day of seaside sun can mean a week of sleeping upright, and living in fear of a friendly pat on the back.
Seagulls are evil
Swooping harpies with beady eyes and greedy beaks, seagulls are to the seaside what pigeons are to cities. Their penchant for other people’s chips is well known, but we’re more worried about the inevitable volleys of guano.
You’ve hoovered the bottom of the car, shaken your sandals out the window, and spent several days squeezing salt from your swimsuit. Then just when you thought it was safe to put on clean clothes and rejoin society, you find a miniature sand dune in one of your ears.
You can leave the beach anytime you like, but it’s a long time before the beach leaves you.
The sea is not your friend
There are no different oceans, merely one giant water mass filled with raging riptides, unsettling signs of sewage, and an armada of slimy, Lovecraftian horrors aching to ominously brush past your legs.
We’re not evolved for such things. Keep two feet on the ground.
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You have to be really well prepared
Smart phones and sand are a match made in hell, and if you wear the wrong shoes bid them a tearful farewell because you are never getting those babies clean.
Even books aren’t safe, and if the scritchy-scratchy sound of sand in the spine doesn’t ruin reading for you, you must have the patience of St Paul.
It’s often not beach weather
Going to the beach on holiday is like cleaning your plate at an expensive restaurant. It doesn’t matter whether you want to – to not do so is a ‘waste’, and therefore a heinous crime.
No-one cares if the air is even colder than the sea, there’s rain forecast for later, and the wind is blowing up a sandstorm. You’re going to the beach, and you’re going to bloody well like it.
No-one wants to look after the stuff
Like the designated driver at a house party, there’s always one person that has to stay on shore to guard the stuff while everyone else frolics in the waves.
It’s better than the alternative. This summer Barcelona’s beaches have reportedly been so overrun with clothes thieves that the police department has been handing out ‘support packs’, containing clothes, flip flops and a metro card, to protect the modesty of burgled bathers.
You never quite know what you’re stepping on
Underwater rocks get a lot of bad press, but sand can hide things by land or by sea. Look out for discarded bottles, beached jellyfish, and jagged shells.
Read: World’s most beautiful beaches, according to Instagram
When you’re not swimming, what do you even do?
Let’s pretend for a second that all these problems just went away. That gulls became cute, people became trustworthy, and that the weather became permanently balmy but not burn-y.
Aside from the sea, there’d still be absolutely nothing to do. It speaks volumes that the most common land-based activity on a beach is probably falling asleep.
Do you enjoy the beach? What’s the worst thing about going to the beach? Let us know in the comments section below.
– With PA