Growing up as a Muslim in America, I vaguely fantasized about at some point seeing the ocean. But it gave the impression to be a pipe dream after I couldn’t even discover a pool to go swimming in. I looked for women-only swimming pools or days when services or parks would open for girls solely. It both didn’t exist or felt so uncomfortable.
The logistical points appear insurmountable.
When beach-tripping, I need to maintain myself fully coated, however in a approach that may really let me swim. So many locations don’t allow you to go within the water with an enormous free shirt on — you’re required to have precise “swimwear”. Once, I attempted saying it was swimwear — the most recent vogue I acquired from New York. It didn’t work, I nonetheless needed to get out.
But it’s not simply that primary want that will get in the way in which. It’s about not wanting different individuals to see you, and never desirous to see different individuals half-naked. It’s how you can change and go to the toilet when public bogs make your pores and skin crawl. It’s needing to hope with none personal place to do it. It’s conserving your rattling hair efficiently tucked again with out the waves continuously tugging all of it out. How!
By really going to the seaside and forcing myself to suppose up options, I’ve found methods to fight all of this for a straightforward, fulfilling day on the seaside. Let’s dive in (hah)!
Solution #1: Swimwear That Works
I’ve realized that there’s really a purpose for the swimwear-only rule on the seaside. I’ve gone swimming in free clothes after I may sneak it in, and it seems it’s actually arduous to drift in something however tight-fitting spandex. You can get away with it if you happen to’re planning on utilizing a flotation machine, however the clothes actually does get in the way in which.
The answer: a full-body swimsuit. The one I’ve discovered is offered on Amazon by Micosuza, and it’s nice as a result of it has pads to cowl your chest, a good hood that comes down over your brow, and zippers up all the way in which to your nostril. It’s a godsend for making an attempt to remain coated up. The solely challenge is that whereas it covers your pores and skin, I nonetheless really feel fairly uncovered as a result of it clearly reveals your form.
The answer to that: get alongside, skinny wrap or gown to stroll round in. You can take it off and depart it on the seaside once you get within the water as a result of no person can see your physique within the water anyway. It makes swimming a lot simpler, but additionally, because it’s precise swimwear, it dries off insanely shortly. Often, I don’t even want to vary on the finish of the day — I can simply throw on an extended shirt over it and go on again residence.
Solution #2: Securing the Hair
Needing to maintain my hair coated can truthfully get so inconvenient, I usually ponder shaving all of it off. Especially since my hair is skinny and slippery, it continuously escapes any pins and buns and will get throughout my face. At the seaside particularly, with waves jostling you round far more than you’d anticipate, it solely takes about 5 minutes till your rigorously strapped down ensemble comes ripping out.
The actual answer, although, is a swim cap. Only on my final journey to the seaside a number of weeks in the past did I discover this magnificence. The Speedo silicone long-hair cap labored wonders — as a substitute of making an attempt to shove my hair again, repeatedly, each 3 minutes, I solely ever needed to modify the flaps over my ears a number of instances. Getting a barely bigger dimension additionally helped as a result of then it’s not so tight and headache-inducing.
The swim cap makes the most important distinction as a result of it really stays on — anything will fly off and provide you with hell the whole time. As an added bonus, your hair will keep largely dry, stopping a complete host of different complications and struggles with logistics.
Solution #3: Avoiding the Crowds on the Beach
With the right outfit secured, going to the seaside even when it’s crowded is definitely doable. You simply should cringe away from wanting on the bare individuals. But I nonetheless favor going when it’s empty as a result of it simply feels extra snug that approach — extra modest.
Definitely, go on a weekday morning. The earlier you get there, the higher. My most popular time is to be on the seaside by 8am on the newest — it provides you a extremely good time to get preferential parking and arrange camp wherever you want, carve out your individual area. But additionally, far fewer individuals shall be going presently. So you’ll be able to take pleasure in tons extra empty area round you, and by the point the seaside begins filling up within the afternoon, you’ve had your fill and may toddle on residence by 3 — escaping the visitors once more.
Solution #4: The Logistics of Changing on the Beach
Changing is the worst half. I hate public bogs and I hate altering garments in a rest room. I flail round, I lose stability. To do it in a gross public facility… no thanks. So I’ve typically discovered it’s finest to keep away from having to vary in any respect. Get your gear on earlier than you allow residence, and throw on an enormous shirt and scarf on prime, perhaps cargo pants too. Get to the seaside, take all of it off, and dive in! When you need to go residence, take slightly little bit of time to take a seat on the seaside and chill out, and let the solar dry you off (with the total physique swimsuit, it shouldn’t take greater than half an hour to really feel comparatively dry). Then simply pull every thing again on prime and go straight again residence.
However, consolation goes up a ton if you happen to can change on the seaside, as a result of it means you’ll be able to repair your moist, tangled hair, and get comfortable for any exercise you need to do earlier than heading again residence, like procuring or going out to eat. You can repair your hair within the lavatory, however I favor to keep away from even that. When that is the case, a seaside umbrella with aspect flaps is a miracle. Simply clip a bedsheet over the open area, duck inside to your makeshift tent, and do your factor.
I wouldn’t suggest an precise tent, until it has openings to let air by way of, as a result of it’s hell to attempt to arrange and the wind typically knocks it down anyway. The seaside wind is robust! An precise seaside umbrella is way simpler. There are additionally altering tents you may get on-line — type of like outsized pop up hampers that provide you with whole privateness and ease of establishing. I haven’t tried it myself but, however truthfully, the umbrella is sweet anyway as a result of it provides you an awesome place to take a seat and chill out on the seaside, out of the solar and prying eyes.
Solution #5: Privacy for Praying on the Beach
I hate having to hope in public. It’s not like it’s in Muslim nations, the place there are mosques in every single place and also you don’t really feel bizarre or unsafe praying in a personal nook of a mall or park. But you’ll be able to’t skip prayer regardless of how arduous it’s.
The finest approach I’ve discovered is to make use of the seaside umbrella. It’s giant and personal sufficient you can sling your bedsheet throughout and pray in whole privateness. Also, if you happen to reside far-off from the seaside (which is probably going) you are able to do the travelling/mixture prayer. Combine dhuhr and asr, and solely pray two rakahs every to make issues tremendous easy. You nonetheless have to hope three rakahs for maghrib, however that’s high quality — you are able to do two for Isha if you happen to’re staying on the seaside that lengthy.
Solution #6: Become One with the Sand
Changing will be additional tough once you’re making an attempt to get all of the sand off first earlier than pulling on recent garments. At some level, you’ll have to just accept the sand — to do in any other case is to battle a dropping battle. Just let it dry and alter anyway. That helps it fall proper off, often by the point you get residence.
And there you will have it — at the same time as a conservative Muslim, it’s actually attainable to go to the seaside efficiently.