Beaches are one of the most popular getaway destinations in nearly every country around the world. Many individuals will attest to the relaxing feeling that comes with sitting by an ocean or lake with their feet in the sand; but, what is it about being so close to large bodies of water that evokes such feelings?

Water, in general, has been the essence of life since human beings first began exploring our planet. We’ve used oceans, rivers, and all types of waterways as a means of travel and discovery. Even to this day, we are attracted to these great blue spaces and the sense of peace and calm we feel around them; something Wallace J. Nichols refers to as our “blue mind.”

In his words, this is a person’s chance to get away from the monotony and hecticness of everyday life, taking in this brief moment of solitude. It’s something that human beings seem to be inherently drawn to. Consider how often doctors of the Victorian era actually prescribed sea air as a cure for pulmonary issues and mental health problems. While that may seem far fetched today, there are, in fact, many benefits that come with living or simply spending time by the water. The sound of moving water is often something people fall asleep to as well, which can actually aid in having a deeper sleep and boosted memories.

The real estate industry understands the value of properties by the water more than most, stating that many people are willing to spend a lot more on a hotel room facing the ocean versus the parking lot. Even in landlocked metropolitan cities where waterways are scarce, residents tend to flock towards the nearest rivers and lakes, and are willing to spend more to do so. According to Nichols, “You’re paying for a feeling … it’s hard for them to say anything other than they really like it, need it, and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.”

From a physiological standpoint, humans are, quite literally, walking bodies of water. Our bodies are comprised of 60% water. It is almost an innate attraction that everyone is born with. Considering every one of our lives begins in the womb in a suspended state, the feeling of physically entering the water can inspire calmness and relaxation. It allows us to essentially give up gravity.

Taking all of this into consideration, planning your next vacation destination on the coast, or simply near a river or lake, could be a highly enjoyable getaway. Take advantage of your time off and allow the Earth’s natural relaxers to enhance your vacation.