The beach is essential – a list of my favorite beaches

Aganoa Beach - Saaga, Samoa is my slice of paradise

Summer is nearly over and the cool Fall weather is upon us. Suddenly I’m wondering where all the time went and why, for the second year in a row, we have missed out on taking a trip to the beach. Any beach!

We’re landlocked and it is difficult for Super Mom who was born and raised in San Diego, one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Me? I was born in California, spent time in Samoa (that sounds like a prison sentence but really it was paradise), I’ve lived on Oahu’s North Shore and I’ve visited some of the prettiest beaches the world has to offer from Florida to Hawaii and Mexico.

The beach saved me…literally. When I was a teen the beach was my refuge. Eighty percent of the time I visited the beach just to sit on the shore, listen to the waves break or pound against the reef and just think about life. The other twenty percent I spent in the water thinking about life. When there’s little else to do you have a lot of time to think and maybe I had too much time on my hands, but that’s what the beach does to a person. You can’t help but appreciate nature and how small you feel in the grand scheme of things.

We Polynesians have a love-hate relationship with the ocean. It’s difficult to explain. On the one hand you get island fever from spending your life surrounded by water. Your options are limited. The only way in or out is on a boat or a plane and if you don’t have access to either, you can understand how some people can find life pretty daunting when you know there’s something else on the other side of that wide expanse.

The ocean is life-sustaining. For centuries our forefathers have fished the Pacific, gathered materials for medicines, seasonings, adornments and general purposes. We sailed the Pacific for war, marriage, politics but most importantly for land and the expansion of our way of life. The beach and the ocean are sacred to us. It is part of our consciousness. It’s part of our being. That’s why I try earnestly to make an annual trek to a beach somewhere in the world. It is refreshing. It is soul-cleansing. It is an essential part of me.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite beaches (so far):

  • Makena Beach (Maui, HI) – It’s cliche, but you will be hard pressed to find a more pristine piece of real estate on God’s green earth. The water is crystal clear and it is beautiful whether the beautiful Hawaiian sun is kissing your skin or its over cast with a bit of a breeze. I love the seclusion and though its a popular tourist beach you still have an odd feeling of isolation here. Absolutely gorgeous!
  • Santa Maria Cove (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) – Snorkeling has become one of our all-time favorite beach activities and this location on the Baja Peninsula is one of our favorite spots. The cove provides a welcome shelter from the winds that gust through several other locations on Cabo, the water is warm and there is plenty of interesting species of fish and coral here. Visibility under water is second only to more popular destinations like Molokini, Hanauma Bay and Kona in Hawaii.
  • La Jolla Cove (La Jolla, CA) – It is our favorite family-friendly destination. There are longer stretches of beaches along the Southern California coast but this one offers beautiful lookout points, deep water and an attraction that you don’t often see at your favorite beach – seals! Super Mom likes this beach because of the facilities, easy access to shopping, a grassy area for picnics and showers. Mom’s think of those types of things. Dad’s just want an adventure.
  • Aganoa Beach (Siumu, Samoa) – This is my sentimental favorite because it’s where I spent my teenage years and it’s where my ancestors have called home for centuries. It is a surfers paradise and a launching point for great deep sea diving, fishing and other water sports. The isolation from the rest of the world makes it ideal for those who truly want to get away from the rest of the world. Though it is growing in popularity, this is my slice of paradise.
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8 Responses to The beach is essential – a list of my favorite beaches

  1. I miss the beach too. I know “that busy” feeling all too well. And sadly, haven’t been to any of these beaches… yet. 🙂

  2. Marlowe Wolferstan says:

    Seti,
    You need to come check out some of the Australian beaches. Honestly, they are fabulous. Manly Beach is Sydney is a favorite, but the beaches right by my house are great. I love the soft, white sand. Nothing like what I grew up with in California. Personally, I miss Utah’s mountains, but I don’t know that my ownPolynesian hubby would survive away from the ocean! Marlowe

    • Seti Matua says:

      Marlowe you’re right. I love the mountains. I guess its all a matter of perspective. You gotta give to get, right? I’m hoping the family can visit Australia one day real soon.

  3. Eddie Matua says:

    Ah Sedi,
    when I saw the picture you posted of “OUR BEACH” it brought back some great memories. Good times, brother, good times.

  4. Lloyd says:

    I only know two on that list, Mekena and La Jolla Cove, but love them both. (Actually, Little Beach, just beyond Mekena is my favorite, but we won’t go there. 😉

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