By Ray Jarvis
Nearly five year ago I came to St. Augustine to visit a school, Flagler College, the school my cousin had traveled from Africa to attend, and a place I had been building up in my young mind. Now, with less than a month left in a place that has been a focal point in the last few years of my life, I find myself thinking back to the countless memories and life changing experiences that have come my way in this unique place.
Life just seems to be different in St.Aug. People take a little more time to enjoy each day. Most people I’ve met here work locally, they’re not commuting an hour or two each way to work, and this gives many people a chance to have some personal time away from work. Even college students, who might face a slowly opening bridge or a parking issue now
and again, rarely face a commute much longer than 15 minutes.
Maybe all this extra time everyone seems to find is a reason for the thousand or so surfers you might find in the water during a good swell. I’ve never been in one area where more people claim they surf. Half the people will put surfing before most else, not a bad thing, trust me, but I’ve even had bosses who’ve understood if I couldn’t come to work because the waves were good.
This bares a stark contrast to my hometown where I can name on two hands all the people I know that surf, locals anyway, and when there’s a good swell it’s usually you and a close friend or two. The work situation doesn’t work out as well as in Florida either. Some people back home don’t even believe you if you say you surf; sheltered by the bitter cold and their lack of exposure to surfing. We get plenty of waves, though, and good ones at that. But it’s funny how many people don’t have time to get out there or realize how good it gets.
I always get excited when I’m on my way back to St. Augustine and Florida’s endless beaches. When it comes down to it the warm water, pretty consistent waves (even if they’re small) and most of all the people make it all that more appealing.
I’ve learned a lot while I lived in St. Augustine, about work, about my degree and mostly just about how to take a little time out of each day to enjoy life.