words and photos by Sara Morgan
Most people are surprised to learn that I have never been to Disney World. That’s right – a middle class American mother of three school aged children that has never been to Disney World. Imagine it.
I am actually quite proud of this unique distinction. I am also proud of the fact that even though I have never being to Disney World, I have sunbathed nude on a beautiful, white, sandy, and very secluded beach. And no, I was not in another country at the time and I did not get arrested. Nope, I was less than 30 minutes from my rural home in South Louisiana.
I included the picture to give you a sense of how isolated and remote this beach is. The only footprints on the beach that day belonged to my daughter and me. The rest of the beach was pure white and the water in the creek beside it was cool and crystal clear. It was a perfect day and there was not another person in sight.
So, how is this possible? And, what did I mean by my private/semi-public beach?
The beach I am referring to is nestled deep within an upscale senior community; a community that prides itself on its well manicured golf course, but not on the spectacular beach that is accessible from one of their overlooked fitness trails. In the three years since I discovered the beach, I have come across only a handful of people out walking dogs on the fitness trail, and no one on the actual beach.
The 5K Fitness trail is paved, well-maintained and easy to access. Even though a sign (seen below) points towards my paradise, known only as a “Scenic Overlook”, no one seems to ever venture onto the beach, which is only a few dozen feet from the sign.
For two years, I waited anxiously for another person to join me on the beach, but never saw a soul. I scoured the area looking for signs of life, but the only signs I found were the footprints of animals that obviously came at night to drink from the creek.
One day, I finally gave into the urge to shed my clothes and splash around freely in the creek. It was a refreshingly empowering experience and even though I stood naked in broad daylight, I never felt more secure and uninhibited.
As I sat on my towel that day, I seriously considered why none of the several hundred residents of the community ever visited their beach. I also wondered how many other places there were like this in the world; accessible and beautiful, but rarely visited. I began to imagine that there must be hundreds, if not thousands of such places. These thoughts were the premise behind why I wrote this article.
While I feel that everyone should travel as much as possible, I also think we should not stop looking for the adventures that exist right under our own noses. Opportunities to explore and look at life with an open mind exist everywhere. This world is full of beautiful places that are sadly ignored by most of us.
Just because a place is not labeled an amusement park with its own concession stand, does not mean that place is not an incredible place to visit. I challenge all of you reading this to go out in your local communities and locate your own private paradise. Find a place that is accessible and safe, but rarely visited. Look at the world with a “wild eye” and seek new adventures in the areas that surround you.
After you locate your special place, or if you already know of one, let me know about it. Either leave a comment here or go to my website and send me a message. I would love to learn all about what makes your paradise so special. I think even in this huge world of ours, it is still possible for most of us to have our own magical place.
Sara Morgan is a self-employed software developer and author, who loves helping other people to live the life of their dreams. She believes the only limits we have in life are the ones we create for ourselves. Check out her blog at http://nolimitsthebook.com.