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Take Time to Smell The Salt Air

Not roses, but salt air.

Since moving to the Outer Banks in 2012 life has changed for me. Certainly for the better, but the pace of which I enjoy the subtle delights of the Outer Banks has altered.

It’s fairly obvious that as a vacationer, you get to spend uninterrupted hours savoring the Outer Banks during your visits. Yes, there are ebbs and flows during your week or weekend trip, but most of the time you’re in a euphoric state of relaxation and contentment that life in your regular routine would not normally provide. Herein lies the conundrum of living and working on the Outer Banks: balancing all the duties and responsibilities of work life while making a conscious effort to fully enjoy your surroundings. I’ll add that this hurdle is largest for those who relocate here and work. We are without preprogramming or recreation routines passed down generationally. The good part is this leaves many opportunities open while we shape our desired lifestyle.

I’ll admit I’ve struggled at it. Over the past years I’ve felt my habitat shrink to a few miles of bypass driving between my rental home and place of work… with occasional trips to Pennsylvania scattered amongst weekends full of errands. My wife and I spend time on the beach a few pretty weekend afternoons each summer, out of state relatives share their vacation time visiting us, and I occasionally go fishing during the fall when nothing else is planned for a weekend. This is not quite what I signed up for!

I think my hope is to express my envy of those on vacation, and admit my shortcomings as an envied year-round resident. The sand is warmer on both sides of the dune, I suppose. Yes, the pace of living is slower, stress levels are lower, and the view is infinitely better, but there’s still effort required by a large number of both vacationers and residents to savor every ounce of the Outer Banks. Don’t take your vacations for granted. Don’t put them off, nor miss out on experiences you truly wish to have while you’re here. If you live here, stop making excuses and start making more time to enjoy what’s around you.

It’s easy to preach via keyboard in an armchair, but I’m actively working on it. We have kayaks and beach cruisers always at the ready, and instead of reporting to work an extra 15 minutes early to get a head start on emails, I’m making efforts to stop at the beach for a short walk and few big breaths of salt air. Baby steps, I know… but find a way to translate this into your OBX relationship and you’ll be leaps, bounds, and many nautical miles happier.

That’s all for now, go forward and take strides to TRULY enjoy the Outer Banks!

-Robert Kissell