Hello, I’m in South Carolina, as you may have guessed from my constant ecstatic updates. Actually, since I queue up blog posts two weeks in advance, by the time this is posted I’ll be in the air on my way home again, mourning the lack of beaches and palm trees and humidity.
I knew it was my favourite place in the world, and I remembered almost crying in the airport when I had to come home, but remembering a feeling isn’t the same as feeling it, and when I arrived I realised what I’d remembered was just a shadow of how I’d actually felt.
I love everything about this place.
No I don’t. I don’t love the food, which is too deep fried even for someone raised in Glasgow. I don’t love the number of guns people casually carry around, or the dudebros here who seem much more threatening than the dudebros in the UK. I don’t love the barely veiled racism, which is especially obvious at the moment because everyone hears my accent and starts talking about the royal wedding and why Meghan isn’t “princess material.”
What I do love is the location. The nature. The ocean.
The humidity – it’s the one place I’ve been where my bones don’t hurt. Plus it makes my hair all foofy and carefree-looking.
I love the accents, even if I don’t love some of the words they’re saying. The bright colours. The little red birds. The pelicans flying over the ocean: I’d forgotten how huge they are.
The dragonflies, which are the size of small birds. They have a whole load of pretty cool bugs here, actually.
I love doing philosophy on the beach.
I love drinking cocktails overlooking the ocean in the evenings, as pastel pinks and yellows bleed across the sky.
I love the view from the conference hotel over pools and beaches, but I also love that I’m not staying here, so when I finish work at the end of the day I’m not surrounded by colleagues and can switch off properly.
I love sailing along the Waccamaw River and watching the wildlife.
South Carolina, I know from experience that I’m going to miss you when I get back to the UK. I hope I’ll see you next year: as the locals say, “good lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”