The past month has been, how shall we say, a whirlwind.
I moved from Jerusalem, a city of endless conflict balanced with endless beauty, to Tel Aviv, a city where the endless things are far more numerous: bars, beautiful people, hip restaurants, gay guys with funny haircuts, the word ‘Sperm’ spray painted on walls, the amount to which I find myself saying “It’s really that expensive for a beer?” and the list goes on. The most important ‘endless’ thing in Tel Aviv to me is the opportunity. Wow. That may have been the single cheesiest line I’ve written in awhile… but go with me here. This city has so many hidden gems — people to meet, places to go, clubs to dance, parks to sit. It’s an incredible mix of Western metropolitan city and African/Middle Eastern ‘I feel like I’m in a different planet’ syndrome. And I totally love it.
But, unfortunately, stress levels have been high in the past month as well. Tucked in between my numerous incredible trips of late (4 days of hiking in the Golan next week; a mud-soaked trek near the Kinneret that’ll get it’s own post someday soon), I’ve been seriously contemplating what comes next. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to return home yet — home, of course, being the States, and more specifically, the state of Pennsylvania. I’d love to make it to live in New York City one day, and I sincerely believe I will… but while I’m out here in the wild, I think I might want to stay. And so, the question is: to make aliyah or not? To skip Israel altogether and head for Thailand for a year — a longtime pipe dream that, being already this far, doesn’t seem so crazy anymore? The options seem, again, endless, and yet I’m not one to just forge ahead without plotting my next step carefully. It’s a tough spot to be in, and one I’ve been in so, so many times before. And probably will be so, so many times again.
The Israeli mindset, quite frankly, doesn’t help. People here live day to day — both often in the financial sense, but also in (much more positive) passion for life sense. Today is the day to enjoy the sunshine. Today we try a new restaurant, a new drink a new experience. And that mindset makes serious future-planning quite tough. Because, well, I really want to hit the beach. Today, not later.
I’ll keep you (whoever that means, I suppose) updated with how things unfold. Just know, for all who care, I’m doing well. Life, and Tel Aviv, are being quite kind.
In closing, here’s a picture of me with two really, really big challot.
Photos by the legendary Zach Kassutto