I've just spent the last two afternoons on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. I feel like I'm on vacation, but I'm actually here for work. It's trips like this that make me really love my job. I'll try to remember this sentiment the next time I'm stuck on an overnight in a place like El Paso, TX, or Jackson, MS.
It was a bit of a culture shock being on the beach today. Last week in Scotland, we took a ferry ride to the island of Harris/Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Harris is unlike any place I've ever been, it's rocky surface made me think of being on the moon. After about a half hour driving on a single track road, we came to one of the most remote and beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Gorgeous white sand, mountains in the distance, crystal clear turqouise water. Luskentyre Beach was unbelievable, and part of what made it unbelievable was that we were the only people on this amazing beach. Not a house to be seen anywhere, in fact I think we only passed about 3 on the drive to the beach.
Fast forward to today. A thousand people on the beach, and not a square inch of property that doesn't boast a multi million dollar high rise. As I was sitting on my beach chair trying to enjoy the sound of the waves, I kept being distracted by the inane conversation of the obnoxious twenty somethings behind me. Either I'm starting to act like a hermit or I'm just starting to sound like my mother, but these girls really annoyed me. I realize they had every right to have a conversation on the beach, I just didn't want to hear it. I'd rather hear the sounds of bleating sheep in the distance. Is that what sheep do, bleat? Baa-ing in the distance just doesn't sound right. It doesn't matter, Luskentyre was so remote I don't even remember seeing any sheep.
Even though it was 30 degrees cooler on Harris, much too cold to get in the water, I felt myself wishing I was back there today. I remember being in Scotland for the first time 12 years ago, and thinking how amazing it was that you could drive for hours and not see a town or even a house. I thought, "How could anyone live somewhere so remote?" I still couldn't live there, but I sure don't mind going for a visit. To have a beach like Luskentyre all to ourselves was almost surreal, and I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to experience it that way.