Have you ever started something – a project, a gym membership, and New Year’s Resolution – that never came to fruition? You were too tired, too unmotivated, or simply didn’t feel like doing it? And then proceed to kick yourself every single time you mentally revisited that ambition? I’m sure I’m not the only one out here feeling this way.
When I first started this blog back in 2017 (yikes, that makes my 30s terrifyingly close), I figured this site would be flying high by now. My schedule would be jam-packed with excursions to opposite sides of the globe, trying out different resorts, action sports, and restaurants to share with my thousands of fans. I’d be leading my own retreats and getting paid to eat the most exquisite food and discover trendy new adventure locations. With a pen in my right hand and a margarita in my left, the world would be at my fingertips.
Alas, my fingertips write to you from the cold depths of a British winter. These winters hit a little different, what with the UK known for its horrifically leaky houses. Don’t know what a leaky house is? Lucky you. It means they’re so poorly insulated that the heat quite literally leaks out of them. We have hot water bottles over here for very good reason.
My life, though slightly different than 16-year-old Sophie living in America may have envisioned it, is spectacularly me. 2023 was a year of beauty, challenge, and growth. As a serial flight buyer and schemer, I went to Florida, Denmark, Spain, Wales (ok, not that far away but still…). I passed my UK driving test, ran a 10k, went freediving again, won a second award for Ornitherapy, worked a job I love, and helped support Cape May Cares.
But, I still didn’t keep up with this DANG website! My last blog was posted in November 2021 before I started my travel to Nicaragua. It’s been over two years and I’ve had enough of it. This will be my last post… when it comes to posting inconsistently. This time, I’m serious: We are bringing this website back to life… with a twist.
While travel has and always will play a key part in who I am, I feel a different calling at this point in time: Blue spaces. These are made up of any location that involves water, from rivers, lakes, and oceans, to fountains in a city center. I’ve been drawn to blue spaces from the time I was old enough pick a direction to waddle in while diaper-clad. My hometown is one of the most spectacular beach towns on the East Coast of the US, though I may be slightly biased.
But, blue spaces about more than just visual beauty. Blue spaces play an integral role in contributing to our wellbeing. With more stimuli disrupting our previously nature-based lives, water offers us a form of self care that is both restorative and preventative. I say preventative in particular in referencing mental health. Depression and anxiety rates are higher than ever, with overwhelmed hospitals and doctors offices trying to manage this mental health epidemic.
Now more than ever, it is time to prescribe nature as a form of preventative medicine for mental health and wellbeing. What does a walk in the forest cost you, or a swim in the ocean? What can we regain by reconnecting with nature? Why not use what’s right in front of us?
To be honest, blue spaces and the science behind them is not my area of expertise. I didn’t study this subject at college and don’t work in a field of research. Which means? These pages are my testing grounds. Or, I’m dipping my toes in the water, if you will. So, I hope you join me for the swim and, together, we can discover what these magical spaces have to offer us.
As Blue Mind author Wallace J Nichols says, I wish you water.