If you want to learn how to be a beach bum, there is one nation that has it down pat – Australia! In Oz, hanging out at the beach is a way of life but it’s a way of life that, although seemingly free and easy, actually has some unwritten rules. Who’d have thought that being a beach bum has etiquette and a code? Want to learn how to be a beach bum – hunker down and read on…
The opening chapter of the unwritten rule book of how to be a beach bum is all about how to behave with respect to the sand. You will seriously damage your beach bum cred if you don’t go to the water’s edge to shake the sand from your towel (no-one wants to be showered in it). And when it comes to throwing sand over people, another no-no is to run in the sand between towels and sunbathers. Lastly – bona fide beach bums don’t discard cigarette butts in the sand.
Being a beach bum doesn’t mean you own the beach. And personal space is to be respected. You need to leave room between your patch of sand and your neighbors’. Everyone is at the beach to have fun and relax. Give people the freedom and space to do so.
The sun is a beach bum’s best friend. It is also your enemy. Give the sun free rein and he’ll fry you to a crisp. Peeling, blistered skin does nothing for a beach bum’s look and skin cancer will cut your beach bum career prematurely short. Be wise and follow the rules of sun safety. As the Aussies say, “slip, slop, slap.” Remember to reapply regularly, wear a hat when the sun is at its peak and keep hydrated.
Being a beach bum doesn’t mean you don’t obey rules. If the flags are up saying no swimming, you are not above them – don’t swim. If you’re going to surf, learn your craft. Know your beaches and the currents. Undertows have no respect for beach bums or otherwise.
Loud music may be the soundtrack to your beach bum life but not everyone will appreciate your taste in music. Music at the beach – unless for a party – should remain personal. Eighties-style ghetto blasters are a definite no-no, just like hooking up your iPod to speakers.
When you are a beach bum, an outing to the beach is not a major event. You don’t need coordinated outfits and perfectly applied make up. Your sandals don’t need to have been seen on the catwalks of Fashion Week. Beach bum fashion is about feeling comfortable and looking good. It should be effortless.
One of the guiding principles of how to be a beach bum is attitude. Being a beach bum isn’t about being a lazy layabout. It’s enjoying the freedom of space and rhythm of the ocean and sand. Beach bums are relaxed and easy going. They don’t stress if the sun doesn’t come out and there’s no fretting about tan lines. But that doesn’t mean you lack discipline. Being a beach bum is about letting go, enjoying life and going to the beach. No problems, no worries … just easy living.
I would love to pack myself off to a tropical island and live the life of a beach bum. Maybe one day I will. How about you?