This past weekend I spent a day in one of my favorite places in Britain so far: Brighton.
I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a mid-term slump, I suppose. I’m a bit homesick, and I’m stressed over planning trips and getting my coursework done. At home, the first thing I usually turn to in times of stress is the beach, or anywhere by the sea, really. Unfortunately the Thames doesn’t really cut it for me, but thankfully I was able to spend some time on the southern shore.
While it’s not the beaches on the New Jersey shore, the ocean is good to me. In the 18th century, doctors believed that sea air and even sea water had excellent health benefits, leading to a mass move of people creating holiday homes on the shore. Brighton is where George IV’s Royal Pavillion resides, and it’s where he came to work on his health, as he claimed.
I don’t know if the seaside does anything physically good for the body, but I know that it does a hell of a lot for the mind. Being on a beach and looking out onto the water and feeling the salty air whip my hair around let me breathe for a moment. Just a moment. Maybe just a moment was not enough, because I find myself stuck in the city and wishing I was on the shore, but I’m grateful that I was there at all.
Seeing a pier, bountiful ice cream shops and beachfront stores made me all the more wistful of being home on the Jersey Shore. Not that I don’t enjoy London immensely–it’s just that I often let my anxieties get the best of me and the only thing I want is to be home with my friends and family lying on the beach at dusk.
Brighton is a city, a small city with unique shops, but it’s also the seaside. It’s a mix of the two things I love the most. I have a feeling that my visit wasn’t the last time I’ll ever go there. I hope it wasn’t.