My Favorite Place in the World

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The sun shines. The water glistens in the bright light. The wind swirls around me, unsettling the hot sand beneath my feet. I run to the ocean, disturbing the calm water as I dive in. The water surrounds me, engulfing me in its warmth. I am now at peace. For right now, at this moment, I am one with the water and the salt and the sand, and everything is okay. All my problems are washed away with the tide. It’s just me and the ocean. Just me and the beach. Just me and my favorite place in the world.

I cannot describe how much the ocean means to me. The waves, the sand, the sun, the water, the world deep beneath the surface that no human truly understands, everything about it just connects with me. I grew up with the ocean; it was on the shores that I took my first steps, learned to swim, and grew familiar with all the small creatures the dwell near the shore. No, I didn’t entirely grow up on the beach, though I wish I had. I’ve lived since birth, in the Chicago land area. However, once a year my family has gathered in a beach house in North Carolina, right on the ocean, for a weeklong reunion. I treasured those precious seven days I had with my family on the beach, for that is all I got; seven days of pure happiness, and then I went back to my normal, beach-less life. Don’t get me wrong; I loved growing up in the city, but something about those weeks at the beach captured my heart and made me yearn for more.

So many of my best childhood memories are centered on the shores of North Carolina. Surrounded by all my favorite people and things, there was never a dull moment. Though looking back it seems like we spent every waking moment on the beach and in the water, we also played games inside the beach house, or just hung out and talked while sitting on the porch, looking out at a beautiful beach sunset. When I was younger, no older than maybe six years old, I loved the waves. My cousins would be too scared to go near the big ones, preferring to stay near the...
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