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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 stuff, become obsessed by it, and spend hours devising new ways to effectively show it off or sell it.

Granted, beach treasures are what draw many of us out to beaches and back into nature.  But beachcombing is a multi-dimensional activity that offers us many valuable treasures. Like gratitude. And hope.  Patience.  Peace.  Joy.  Intrigue.  Friendship.  Exploration.   And ultimately, a greater desire to care for our remarkable 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 whenever I can. Such things provide the foundation upon which the International Beachcombing Conferences rest.

And this year is no different. Like its recent predecessors, IBC ’17 will be a ‘boutique’ conference, small but inclusive, open to consummate and novice beachcombers alike. Due to venue size, space is limited to 55 participants but this enables us to hold a more intimate conference giving everyone ample opportunities to get to know each other and perhaps also find more treasures on the beach. It also allows me to have time to share my knowledge and have fun as well.

So come, join me in early February on the magnificent Big Island to do all things “beachcomb.” You can be a little kid again! Dismiss all your worldly cares for a few days and come play with friends in one of the world’s most intriguing sandboxes. 

Happy Combing!

Deacon Ritterbush, Ph.D.
(aka Dr. Beachcomb
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