You’re not alone. Almost everyone wants to live by the ocean, whether that be in sunny California, back East, or down near the Keys. Sandy toes, sunburns, and sea breeze are in high demand right now, and for good reason.
40% of the US population lives on the coast, half of which live in California, New York, Florida, and Texas alone. That many people so close together means business. Florida and Texas in particular have seen huge population spikes in recent years as businesses and workers chase financial incentives. Not to mention the array of new remote job opportunities that allow for large amounts of people to live and work wherever they please.
So it’s feasible you’ll get that beachfront property someday. Well… if you consider a third floor apartment five miles inland with four roommates “beachfront.” Just because the work is there, doesn’t mean you can afford the prices.
Let’s say you do successfully move to the coast, though. What can you expect? As someone living in Corpus Christi, Texas, who’s also traveled to a lot of other coastal regions, I’m going to share with you a few of the top things you should know before moving into that “beachfront” property of yours.
Growing up in the south, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the argument “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” But it’s true. I’ll take a dry 100℉ in El Paso over a swampy 80℉ here in Corpus Christi any day. Living by the coast, it’s always humid, which is fine in the winter but horrendous come August when it’s 105℉. Some days, it feels like you need to drink a whole bottle of water just to walk inside from your car.
You’ll find that you get used to it though. I was shocked when I visited Dallas and I literally started shivering because it was 70℉ outside. The human body adapts. Plus, you’ve always got a nice breeze to cool you off, which we’ll talk about next…
Living with Sea Breeze
There is always a breeze on the coast. Some places more than others. Corpus Christi actually happens to be one of the windiest cities in the country, with wind speeds recorded as high as 161 MPH during hurricane season. Even without a hurricane, it’s not weird for wind speeds to break 30 MPH just from a normal storm front in my personal experience.
Remember what I said about the humidity not being so bad in the winter? Right, well, the wind becomes the next problem. If you live in an area where it dips down near freezing in the winter, the wind can make it lots worse. In the same way I’d take 100℉ dry over 80℉ humid, I’d take 10℉ still over 30℉ windy. The air finds a way through every opening in your attire and feels sharper than glass if it’s particularly cold.
All and all, the wind is more a blessing than anything. Without it, the heat and humidity would ruin day to day life. That being said, there are still times I wish it weren’t so windy.
Palm Trees are Dangerous
Technically speaking, all trees are dangerous to a certain extent, but palm trees are sneaky. They look harmless and pretty, but they can mean big trouble. A single frond can weigh about fifty pounds (up to a hundred) and a healthy palm can reach over fifty feet tall. It’s very important you maintain a palm tree because dead fronds falling can be lethal.
But if the whole crown falls, that’s even worse. We’re talking about potentially tons of force when that thing hits the ground. You would not want to be standing underneath that, or park your car underneath that…
Yes, that is a picture of my actual car after that exact thing happened. The crown of a palm tree snapped off and crushed the roof of my car like a tin can. And it was a relatively small crown on a relatively short palm tree. It would be exponentially worse if it had been bigger. So watch out for palm trees folks!
The Beach isn't as Cool as You Think It Is
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the beach is really only fun when it’s something you do once or twice a year. I still love the beach and I visit it regularly, but even I have stopped going to the beach so much. Any local you ask will tell you they barely ever go to the beach. It’s not always sunny and fun, it’s mostly a tourist attraction and, honestly, it’s not as cool when you can go there whenever you want.
Then again, that’s usually the case with every location. Everyone always wants to be somewhere else. So I guess the lesson there is to enjoy the things you have around you because other people likely envy it. That, and maybe don’t move to the coast purely because of the sand. It gets old pretty quick.
Although, I still want a beach front property someday. It may not be that cool, but it’s still pretty cool to me.
Final Thoughts & One Last Tip
Well, those are my primary warnings. It’s humid, it’s windy, watch out for palm fronds, and you’ll get tired of sand in your shoes eventually. I skipped hurricanes because I hope you already know that hurricanes are both very real and very dangerous. Even still, there’s a lot to love about living by the ocean and I’m sure this list has failed to persuade you otherwise. Even if you're not moving that way any time soon, maybe this will be useful to you on your next summer vacation.
But I’ll leave you with one last tip: if you’re just looking for a vacation, go in the fall. Less people, cooler temperatures, cheaper expenses, and an all around better experience. Summer trips to the beach are completely overrated.