Just sixty-some miles away from Orlando, Florida you’ll find yourself at Cocoa Beach. I’ve been residing in Florida for almost three months and it has never crossed my mind to take the short trip down to Cocoa beach on a day off, rather than going to the crowded Disney parks or laying in bed all day.
I don’t want to admit it, but I must– the Disney parks don’t feel as magical or exciting as they once did when I first got here… there, I said it! Therefore, when I’m not working, what is there even to do in Orlando besides go to the parks that I’ve already exhausted?
I’m at a plateau in my program. I feel like I’m doing the same thing everyday and stuck in a routine– despite the fact I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel to NYC, Boston, and Arizona during my time here, I still feel trapped when I come back. Now that I don’t have any further trips planned during the remainder of my time here until January, it makes my feelings of constrain and routine even stronger.
Because I have no choice but to be here for the next ten weeks and I’m, for lack of a better word, sick of the parks (sorry Disney), and I’m not leaving the state anymore, I’ve decided to finally explore different parts of nearby Florida as much as I can until I leave. Starting with…. Cocoa beach!
Today around noon, I left Orlando and had myself a mini one hour solo-road trip. First off, damn those toll roads. Thank you, sweet Arizona, for never making your poor residents pay to drive on stupid asphalt. As for you Florida (and the rest of the east coast for the matter!), smdh.
As I passed cute little restaurants and beach stores off the road, I pulled into parking to stow my little Kia away while I sauntered off to go find a place in the sand to set up camp and soak up the sun.
Oh my gah, how this was needed!
I can’t remember the last time I was this content and at peace here in FL. With an ocean breeze dancing in air, I shook out my towel onto the soft sand, got out my snacks, and let the sound of the waves frolic around my ears as I ate. It was so nice just to sit there and take in being in a different environment. I watched as the people strolled by and laughed at the entertainment random kids provided me when the waves crashed over them. I called my mom and I called my love. Additionally, I tanned while I attempted to nap. Then furthermore, I took out my camera and snapped a few photos of the beach and my Serengetee stickers (gotta promote right? #replife).
And finally, I started reading my new book by Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe. Okay, I’m only about 40 pages in but already 10/10 recommend. If you like anything that has to do with traveling, you’ll enjoy this little number. Below is an excerpt I found in the book today that completely resonated with me:
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Anyway, I read for a good while in between the times that I would get up and splash in the salt water. Good news: it wasn’t even that cold! Bad news: I’m still scared to go further out than waist level. I’m not tryna run into a shark or let a fish touch me. I was only gone for four or five hours, but those hours on the beach did wonders for me. I’ve found a serene place to experience one of those little “slice of heaven” moments I’ve talked about before. I forgot about work, I forgot about my responsibilities, and got outside of the Disney bubble. I didn’t feel the need to worry about anything that wasn’t there. Nothing like the sounds of crashing waves, gusts of salty wind in the humid air, and tiny particles of sand stuck to your skin like glue to make you feel recharged and rejuvenated.