Dr. Nancy Snow is associate professor of public diplomacy and communications at Syracuse University where she teaches at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Dr. Snow has been visiting the Outer Banks with her family for over twenty years. It is by far her favorite beach vacation area, and this comes from an 8-year resident of Southern California. Reach her at www.nancysnow.com.
Outer Banks Revealed: When did you first visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina and what makes you keep coming back?
Dr. Snow: I first visited the Outer Banks in the late 1980s. My brother announced to the family that he bought a beach place in Kill Devil Hills just down the street from the Wright Brothers National Memorial I knew nothing about the Banks then. When I arrived it was exactly the place I was looking for: a place where one need not make apologies for being a lounge lizard, couch potato or kite flyer. The Outer Banks is a mind space as much as physical location. I love it because it is the essence of rejuvenation. There’s so much talk about recharging one’s batteries through rest and relaxation, but we often don’t walk the talk. In the OBX, you can’t help but walk that talk of R&R, or just lie on you hammock and daydream about when you were 12-years-old and didn’t have a care in the world.
Outer Banks Revealed: What make the Outer Banks different from other beach vacation spots you’ve visited?
Dr. Snow: There are plenty of people who come and go but also year-round folks to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Plus, it’s in North Carolina and there is a lot of Southern hospitality. Where else can the family sit around and watch Wallace and Gromit videos or play Kadima on the beach. It’s about catching up with each other as opposed to running to catch the bus. You can sit on the beach and just listen to the wind, the same wind that drew the brothers Wright here in the early 20th century. If you listen closely and use your imagination, you can relive history on land and beneath the sea.
Outer Banks Revealed: What is your favorite Outer Banks town? Why?
Dr. Snow: It has to be Kill Devil Hills because it represents family and when we all got together when my brother and his three daughters were very young. The girls grew up before our eyes at Kill Devil Hills. We played miniature golf and took in the water slide, but most of the time we hung out at the beach with just beach, people, and waves for as far as the eyes could see.
Outer Banks Revealed: What is your favorite thing to do on the Outer Banks? Why?
Dr. Snow: My favorite activity is walking on the beach and playing a beach activity, like Kadima. I would also add sitting on the deck at sunset. The sunsets are some of the best I’ve seen in my life, and I lived in Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County) for 8 years.
Outer Banks Revealed: If you met someone who never visited the Outer Banks, what are the top five things you would tell them they had to do? Why?
Outer Banks Revealed: What is the one thing that is at the top of your list of things you still want to do?
Dr. Snow: Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum