I spent childhood summers on the South Carolina coast eating tuna sandwiches with my maternal family, sipping Fresca while the grownups sipped from Canadian beer cans sweating inside fluorescent coozies. I have fond memories of sunscreen, mysteriously persistent sunburns, salt-soaked bathing suits, toes reaching for sandbars, catching crabs in freshwater inlets, and searching for shells at low tide.
Yet when a tropical coastline beckons, and the timing works out, only a fool would resist. So I found myself in Zanzibar on Nungwi Beach, at the island’s northern tip, slathering sunscreen, kicking sand, and marveling at breathtaking scenery. Blue hues dominate Nungwi, reminding me of another of my favorite destinations.
The pace is slow, as it ought to be, and relaxation is the permanent modus operandi, a challenge for a stress-prone tourist trying desperately to wind down from a new gig.
Fortunately I had some help in that department from my main squeeze, whose deft expertise in the chill out rivals some of the very best. We slept, we ate, we wandered.
Made a few friends.
Took a sunset sail.
All signs — both literal and metaphorical — point to easing up and calming down.
And the food? An amalgam indicative of the cultural kaleidoscope that is Zanzibar, trading outpost for so many, for so long.
I can’t say I vacationed well, although I tried. Something in the stars kept me a bit on edge, pulled away from the now. My sense of anticipation has tended to go a bit haywire over the last few months, and smothers free-wheeling, barefoot, go with the flow vibes.
But I tried, I tried. And I was grateful for new vistas and a beautiful environment to practice in. Maybe next time I’ll get a little closer to mastery, and to embracing the phrase that echoed across the coastline …
Where we stayed and would recommend for budget travel:
*Note that Booking.com had cheaper rates than AirBnB for the same accommodations.