What matters most is friendship.
We go through life with certain goals: making enough money to be comfortable, or even wealthy; feeling successful at our jobs; getting into peak physical shape; accumulating all of this junk that we forget we have two months later.
As the new generations come into adulthood, we’re experiencing an increasing shift in cultural priorities: Millennials and those in Generation Z are placing experiences over material objects. This is a mentality that beach-goers have been epitomizing for decades, but we won’t get into that quite yet.
A study conducted by Cornell in 2010 corroborated the value of this mentality, proving that “lust for material things fades but our unique experiences remain with us for a long time.”
As experiences gain more popularity among the people of the planet, so too do people. While we can go surfing, traveling and out to lunch with a friend, we cannot buy an iPhone 6 Plus with a friend, and therein lies the point: our society is learning to favor interpersonal relationships, as well as time with others, more so now than any other time.
Here are a few instances that having a designated beach buddy is in your best interest:
When deciding which beach to go to.
Whether you have quite a few or an abysmal number of options, your beach buddy provides the best perspective. She or he is the one who knows not only the best beaches but the best spots on those beaches, devoid of both obnoxious tourists and unruly kelp.
When having the most important conversation of the day.
The all-powerful (and most important) part of your day: what will you eat, and where? If you go any route other than that of the picnic, there will inevitably be a drawn-out conversation on what to eat.
As you’ve both been laying in the sun all day and are therefore nearly catatonic, it’s difficult to commit to any choice that means actually having to move; indecision is par for the course.
Your beach buddy is the one who always has some light snacks to tide you over tucked away somewhere and never fails to share the same level of lethargy.
When you want to try for that big wave.
It’s vital to have someone you can count on when you’re in the water.
Though surfing is traditionally an independent sport, catching waves with no one there to know if you never come up is ill-advised. Your beach buddy has always got your back.
When all you want to do is sit by the fire.
There is little better in life than sitting around a bonfire, swapping stories and simply existing while enjoying the company of those around you.
Your beach buddy is the one who understands that listening is more important than being heard; that sometimes it’s okay to sit in silence, and that the importance of the no-judgment zone is unquestionable.
You might be lucky enough to have several people like this in your life. So the next time it’s tempting to skip a day out with a friend in favor of a cold beer and some Halo, remember that real-life experiences (and people) are what make life worth living.