What comes to your mind when you think of Panama City Beach (PCB)? Is it southern accents and calming seas? Or does your mind wander to crazy stories about college kids getting drunk on a beach?
Arriving to PCB a few weeks before the mayhem was strange, mostly because of how calm the entire town is. During this low season, many retired folk and frequent visitors, northerners escaping the cold, manage to find tranquility overlooking the empty beach to a never ending blue sea.
When I was back in Italy working, I found the importance of rest during long term travel. You should always take a few days to decompress and relax when taking on extensive trips like this.
For me, this includes waking up late, reading a book, catching up on my favorite tv shows (The Bachelor!). This can truly help in the long run, your body won’t constantly be on the move this can help prevent sickness and over exhaustion.
My family and I stayed in a condo with an amazing view, where everyday I awoke grateful for the sunshine and a turquoise ocean. I spent most afternoons laying on the beach, watching waves crash against a flour textured sand as I chatted with many of the other guest staying in the building.
Occasionally we went out to eat brunch in Flower Power, a cute breakfast restaurant with a great staff and delicious food (I would definitely recommend the waffles and home-fries!)
I also got all my dresses altered in a place called Beach Alterations, where a really sweet lady fixed my dress and chatted with me about the current Bachelor season.
Panama City Beach was not what I was expecting, in the way that it felt southern for a state that I’ve considered not to feel southern at all. But everywhere I went, I caught southern charm and southern accents amongst local chatter and I loved it.
I learned on this trip that this version of Florida felt so different than where I had lived for so many years. The fact that is was different made it better and there couldn’t have been a better place to truly relax than right there in PCB.
I also learned how important rest and relaxation is on long term travel. It’s good to give yourself a break in order to get excited about adventurous activities in the future.