The life of a professional beach bum around the world

March 5, 2012 in Philosophy,Travel

Over the past four months, I’ve been to 14 different beachside destinations*, swam in 10 different bodies of water**, gotten sunburnt twice and napped in countless hammocks.

Lone palm tree at Kiki Coconut Beach, Pho Quoc, Vietnam

My Instagram feed is a continuous loop of palm trees, ocean sunsets and coconuts with a straw in them. I’m barefoot more often than not, and I rarely have a reason to put on more than a bikini and a sarong.

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. That’s the scholarly excuse for my beach bum lifestyle: the justification for needing my ever-browner body to be closer to salt water, sandy earth, fresh air.

Christine Amorose in Andaman Sea, Railay, Thailand

Cities have become a shock, an overwhelming rush of noise and smog and crowds. There are some things I still love about urban life, like the simple pleasure of people watching at a café or wandering through alleys searching for street art. But I’m realizing more and more that I’m happiest near an endless blue horizon, where the sun shines brightly across a wide sky and I’m constantly covered in a sea-salty film and dusted with specks of sand.

Orange sunset from Viet Thanh Resort, Pho Quoc, Vietnam

There’s a certain universality to beaches: the glowing orange sun sinking into the endless expanse of water looks remarkably the same in Maui, Perth, Pho Quoc.The calming sensation of letting go and floating carelessly in the salt-heavy waters of Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea. Smearing on sunscreen and falling asleep under the blazing sun, headphones tucked in my ears and a book thrown haphazardly to the side.

Pina colada from May Restaurant, Viet Thanh Resort, Pho Quoc, Vietnam

And seriously, a pina colada tastes best when your toes are digging into the silky sand, no matter what country’s local rum is fueling it.

Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grande, Australia's best and whitest sand beaches in Western Australia

But no matter how beaches can blur into each other to the uninitiated—don’t you ever get sick of just lying on the beach, a friend wonders—it’s the idiosyncracies of each stretch of sand that I remember. The jagged semi-submerged rocks that took hold of my stand-up paddleboard in Pho Quoc. Tossing a football with my parents in the calm, waist-deep waters of Kamaole Beach. Being terrified to dive into the waves in Sydney. The trademark red and yellow flags marking the safe surf in Perth. Dodging the rain drops as we sprinted toward the waves at Talia Beach—because if you’re going to get wet, you might as well swim. Thinking that the sand at Cape Le Grande was so white it could pass for snow as it squeaked beneath my toes, and waking up with the birds for a sunrise swim in Lucky Bay.

So will I ever get sick of just lying on the beach? As long as my Kindle is stocked with good books, as long as the sun is shining, as long I can swim in the sea at sunrise and sip a drink at sunset: I don’t think so.

*St KildaBrighton, Bronte, Maui, South Australia, Cape Le Grande, Rottnest Island, Perth, Bali, Gili Trawangan, Phi Phi, Railay, Pho Quoc, Nha Trang

**Port Phillip Bay, Tasman Sea, North Pacific Ocean, Great Australian Bight, Indian Ocean, Bali Strait, Bali Sea, Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea

  • http://thisexactly.blogspot.com/ kelly

     I’m lucky enough to have been raised at two different beaches, and I will never understand people who get bored of the beach. When they say, “But you’re just doing the same thing every day?!” my response is, “Well, sure, but I have a different book!”  And anyway, if you get bored of sitting still and reading, you can always go swimming.  Perfect.

    I love that this is your life right now, by the way — it looks fabulous.

  • camorose

    Ummm EXACTLY! Love breaking up reading/listening to music with a long walk on the beach or a swim :)

  • http://dulcetdevotion.com/ Melaniehillier

    Oh my gosh I feel like we were separated at birth. I feel exactly the same and am so glad I found your blog! I am looking forward to following your adventures as a beach bum:) Hoping I can be one some day too.

  • Claire

    Wow, this posts , makes me want to run to the beach…lol I live in the South of France, so not far.  Love reading your blog.  How is your travels going?  question, how do you travel, i.e do you work aswell? and what is next, or should I say where. tee hee.. x

  • http://www.europeantravelista.com/ Debbie @ European Travelista

    All of your pictures want to visit a warm beach and soon!  Pina Colada. Mai Tai or any other tropical drink definitely tastes better with the sand between your toes and a balmy wind blowing!

  • http://www.bravenewworldtraveler.wordpress.com/ Jill

    Woohoo! I adapted a beach-bum mentality in Australia and became infinitely happy every time I’d hide under a palm tree to catch a nap, my skin became crispy and sunburnt and I could taste salt on my lips. There’s something about living you can learn from spending a lot of time at different beaches. All beaches are different and lovely in their own ways. I do love a tropical beach, that’s for sure. Glad you are enjoying yourself!!! 

  • http://twitter.com/wnderlustprojct Sheryll

    *sigh* Super, super dreamy. I die over your instagram tweets all the time.  I can’t wait to take my vacay in SE Asia! I’m totally hitting you up for tips. 

  • http://downtowntraveler.com/ Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    Great photos! I also love beaches… sun, swimming, relaxation– what’s not to love?!

  • jennaebert

    STOP IT.  i’m saying that in the friendliest, most envious manner :):) but really tho….white sand, black sand, blue waters, gold sun, cant get any better than that combo !!!!! 

  • http://twitter.com/eurotriptips Marie-Eve Vallieres

    Amazing photos! Seems like you’re having the time of your life :-) Ain’t nothing wrong with being a beach bum!

  • camorose

    Ahhh glad you like it :) The life of a beach bum is definitely not a bad one to aspire to–if only I could keep this up forever!

  • camorose

    Ahhh yes I used to live in Nice and I absolutely love the beaches there–although it’s the best when I splurge on a chaise lounge at a private beach! Plans are always evolving, but I am looking forward to heading back to Paris and Nice for a bit this summer :)

  • camorose

    You just can’t beat an umbrella drink with your toes in the sand! :)

  • camorose

    I spent way too much time in Melbourne–didn’t explore nearly as many beaches in Australia as I would have liked :)

  • camorose

    Haha and when you get here, I’ll totally be living vicariously through all your tweets and posts–I know I’m going to miss the beaches and lifestyle of SE Asia like crazy!!!

  • camorose

    Can’t go wrong :)

  • camorose

    No complaints over here :)

  • Valerie LeComte

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! Laying on the beach with a good book is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world!

  • http://www.wheremyheartresides.com/ Ashlee Gadd

    I crave your life. Seriously. 

  • camorose

    It’s not a bad life :)

  • camorose

    I won’t lie–playing beach bum hasn’t been too much of a sacrifice :)

  • Usssamajor88

    how do you afford to do this?

  • camorose

    Blogging/writing/working in Australia in social media and marketing/a lot of saving!

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  • LostInCheeseland

    yea nope, wouldn’t get tired of it either! What I wouldn’t give for one of those white sanded beaches right now…

  • camorose

    Tell me about it…my tan is fading SO quickly, and it’s sad.

  • http://twitter.com/redhunttravel Red Hunt

    It’s a tough life, huh? Ha…..have you found the ‘perfect’ hammock yet?

  • camorose

    The one on Gili Trawangan wasn’t too bad–any hammock with a bit of sunshine and an ocean view is OK by me :)

  • http://japantourist.jp/author/rashaad.jorden Rashaad Jorden

    I idolize the beach bum. Maybe “idolize” is a strong word, but I never get tired of a good beach. What beach will you hit up next?

  • camorose

    I’ll be spending a few weeks sailing through Croatia this summer–plenty of beaches there!

  • Choco_mademoiselle

    the pina colada picture!! awesome!! :)

  • camorose

    The pina coladas were even better! :)

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  • nomoreoklahoma

    I’m looking to move to a beach and start my.life off new. How do I do this?!

  • camorose

    Probably best to reference this post: http://www.cestchristine.com/2013/02/what-do-i-need-to-move-to-a-new-city/ Good luck!

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  • Opinion420

    Sounds like the life…till you get skin cancer and need modern medical help. If you’re okay with taking the chances and the suffering, more power to you.

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