I have noted a trend on social media over the last few years that beachcombing is becoming more about the “stuff” than about the “journey.” People hoard beach stuff. They argue over it, become obsessed by it, and spend hours devising new ways to show it off or sell it.
Granted, beach treasures are what draw many of us back into nature and out on to beaches again. But beachcombing is a multi-dimensional activity offering many, many valuable treasures. Like gratitude. And hope. Patience. Peace. Joy. Intrigue. Friendship. Exploration. Awe. And ultimately, for most combers, it heightens a desire to better care for our planet. With all these other gifts, "stuff" pales in comparison.
My walk with cancer a few years back reaffirmed the importance of such intangibles and nowadays, I work hard to embrace life fully, associate with people of good will and intention, and take advantage of learning opportunities and new experiences. Such things provide the foundation upon which the International Beachcombing Conferences rest.
And this year is no different. Like its recent predecessors, IBC ’18 will be a ‘boutique’ conference, small but inclusive, open to consummate and novice beachcombers alike. A more intimate conference gives everyone ample opportunity to get to know one another and perhaps find more treasures on the beach as well.
So come, join me in mid-March to beachcomb around Bogue Banks on North Carolina's magnificent Crystal Coast. Take a few days to slough off the weight of the world and play like a kid again in one of the world’s most intriguing sandboxes.
Deacon Ritterbush, Ph.D.
(aka Dr. Beachcomb)
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