I have it pretty good. I live a life where I am required to go to different beaches and collect sand. How many other people in the world can say that? For the most part, collecting sand is really fun and I really enjoy what makes up the sand. It can be a real adventure depending on the circumstances. I've had my moments where I have had to scale down cliffs (did I mention that I am scared of heights?) to gather beach sand. I've also had other times where I collected frozen sand in -0 degree weather and thought my fingers would fall off my hands. There is also the I'm going to slip on seaweed rock climbing trips just to get to certain areas of the beach. You just know by looking around that the beach sand waiting for you there is going to be pretty spectacular with lots of crushed shells and rock sediments in it. I also get to hop on a plane and travel to places that I wouldn't normally go to or even think about going. I love collecting sand.
One question that I get asked alot is if it's legal to collect sand. The answer to this question is yes and no. There are places like Hawaii where you can't take sand at all. It's illegal and I remember reading somewhere that you will have bad juju for the rest of your days if you smuggle sand. National Parks are another place where you just aren't allowed to collect sand. The whole entire area is protected and as silly as it sounds that includes rocks, twigs, and sand. State parks and public beaches are legal places to collect sand, but then the question turns into how much sand. You can't park a pickup truck on the beach and shovel sand in. That is considered sand mining and that's illegal. No human being needs that much sand. I use a stick and a ziploc bag to collect sand. I always take a small amount which is plenty for me. I'm also mindful when I collect sand. I steer clear of wildlife and nests so I don't disturb anyone.
Another concern that is often expressed is if everyone collected a little bit of sand there would be no beaches. That's partially true, but the beaches are going to go away anyway. If you read the paper or watch the news you probably already know that some beaches are disappearing due to sea level rising. I read somewhere that one third of the worlds beaches will be gone by 2100. Climate change really sucks! I have come to the conclusion that my sand collection is a way of cataloging the earth. I think one day that my beach photos and sand collection is going to end up in a museum as an artifact. It will be a way of showing people what the world was like before climate change. It's such a bizarre concept to think about now, but it's really not that far away.