Lessons From Beach Road | Outer Banks

You know, last week I was doing something I didn’t like at all and I’m glad I caught it when I did. A part of me said, is this getting on people’s nerves? Talking about the Outer Banks ALL the time? Are people going to get sick of it? Are locals who have lived here their whole lives or a few years longer than me going to scoff and say how I don’t know what I’m talking about or the way I can talk about sea oats and sand and shells and beach road forever and all day is weird and annoying?

Then I stepped back into the sunshine..where our family lives. You see– one of the many points in moving here for us was to choose to live in the sunshine..and a lot of things come with that. One of them is leaving what people who tend to judge a little extra, criticize a little extra and OVERanalyze a little extra back in our old life. And to not be those people to OTHERS or in our own lives to ourselves! That’s a daily challenge we fight to overcome and get better with. Growing up visiting here, getting married here, and now living here..that’s who I am…and so you guys…welcome to the blog where it’s all about weddings, couples, photographers, babies (with big chunky butts and legs) and the Banks.

Beach road is a beautiful thing. I can call it beach road. You can call it Route 12. Or Virginia Dare Trail. It doesn’t matter…here’s where I’m going to break something down for you. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live or if you are related to the ancestors of who made the road…the concept is the same. You call it whatever you want. Call it the yellow brick road if you want, it feels like that to some. But let’s think about this road…

Some of the houses on beach road are extremely high end, lavish, with chandeliers high on the third and even fourth stories. They are bright, cleanly painted and elaborate luxury homes. At night, their outdoor lights are new, shiny and clear twinkling from the beach road and you can see how NICE they are even in the dark! They stand out and lots of them stand HIGH. Their driveways can fit 10 cars and they have new and sturdy walkways (and even gazebos) to the beach. Exclusive. Expensive. Ballin’!

And then there are the old school coottages. That beautiful deep wood darker than brown but not quite black. The kind of wood that always looks wet, even when it’s dry. The AC units up on blocks of wood, rusted and outdated. The outdated signs for their beach house name and the paint peeling shutters…if they even have shutters on all the windows. They’re weathered but they’re classic. They’re what some people would consider to be trashy but they’re so unbelievably perfect to me.

There are some “in between” status homes too but one fact remains. They are all together on this road. They are all part of what makes this road beautiful and diverse. Beach road isn’t less beautiful, to me, just because I’m parked next to a trailer park or shabby home. I don’t feel “better” about being on the beach when I’m closer to the more expensive and newer homes. Just being there…is home. Just driving on that road. Life is the same, and we have to remember this. We are no better than one another because of looks or status. OH THE MONEY THING— my life is no less valuable and I am no less worthy of love, friendship and social interaction just because my condo is rented and well, it’s a piece!

If you met me today and came to my home…you would realize we don’t care about things. We collect shells, we collect memories. We collect pictures and moments. Yes, we have a lot of toys (seriously I promise I did NOT buy all of these) but we are so RICH RICH RICH in love!!! I know that house seems like the next step. I know that $1000 kitchen table is really pretty and you’ll “get good use out of it” and if you can afford it, do it, but if you can’t…it’s okay. Your family dinners will still taste the same. Your babies..they can still grow up happy. We are struggling right now with people telling us we “need a bigger place” for our kids and that’s sad to us…there are people living in places smaller than ours doing incredible things and flourishing. Life isn’t what everyone else says you need..it’s what you know in your heart you need. If you need the big house and you know that, then get it!

We can still live on the same road. Some of our very best friends are people that have these amazing homes and lives and spend more on those things than Mike and I make in an entire year! BUT- that doesn’t separate us and make our “road together” less beautiful. We have different lives, are in different seasons but we are making it work together. Remember when you are meeting new people or new people are entering your community to welcome them. You never know what they can do for you or how big of a positive influence they can bet for you and I can promise you it had nothing to do with the materialistic things. The next time you drive on beach road and you realize you love it– look around at all it’s made up of. It’s really an incredible thing!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. This couldn’t have been said better! I completely agree. At the end of the day, rather, at the end of your life, you aren’t going to look back and say “Man! I am so glad I bought that table!”. You will instead be grateful for the memories you made with the people you love!! 🙂

  2. Susan Mercer says:

    Amanda, I am really enjoying your blogs. My heart is very tied to the OBX too, and I love the Beach Road. Like you, I drive it whenever possible. I also love the diversity of the beach cottages. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – keep them coming!

  3. Sarah says:

    I swear, I was just looking at your Facebook page a year [maybe longer] ago and then I get back on there today and see that you now live in my favorite place on the PLANET. But this post stands out to me because it’s exactly how I feel. I visit the Outer Banks yearly and I don’t feel like a tourist when I’m there. I call it Beach Road. I know all the places by heart, how to get there, when to go, when not to go, what places to avoid, etc. Tourists will stop and ask ME questions, and I actually have an answer each time. That almost makes me a local, rather than simply an annual visitor.

    I’m in love with the fact that you picked up and moved there. I would KILL to do the same if my photography business continues to grow the way it does. The boyfriend would probably stop me, of course, but you know. A gal can dream.

    Anywho, thanks for being such an inspiration. And keep up your positive way of thinking. We stay in a crappy little beach house there every year and I wouldn’t have it any other way. OBX, regardless of where [and how], is home.

    <3 Sarah

    1. Aww I LOVE your outlook on this amazing place!! It was a huge leap of faith, my husband is so incredible because he commutes 1 1/2 hours to work ONE way 5 days a week, 3 hours on the road daily! We knew it was going to make our life better to be here and it’s been so so incredible, I hope you get to make it here someday as your HOME but in the mean time enjoy those visits because yes– those “crappy” cottages are actually heavenly, I agree!!!! 🙂

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