I always had a certain love for the sea. Growing up surrounded by dark forests and hills, the ocean was something special to me. Something, that I could only see in person once in a very long while.

Three years ago, I moved away from home, to a different country, to attend university in a coastal town. Living only a fifteen-minute walk away from the shore, I often found myself walking along the beach during the early morning hours – early enough to witness the most beautiful and unpredictable sunrises and admire the world transitioning from dull darkness to vibrant colours. Even though I always walk the same way, changing up the directions every other day, I never get bored – no sunrise is like any other.

Especially this year, these walks along the beach, hearing the waves crash and the seagulls squawking, has given me more comfort than anything else. All negative thoughts disappear when I am there – I can lose myself in the moment and feel pure happiness. Seeing the sun rising above the water, seeing the reflections in small puddles in the sand – it gives me hope and energy, motivation and inspiration for the day. It might be nothing to others but for me it is enough to make me smile and laugh to myself, probably looking like an idiot to the outside world.

And so, I often found myself wandering there, losing track of time; that it’s the small things in life that make it worthwhile.

– Annika Kaeppele