I find myself writing to you tonight from a space that is nostalgic to me, but totally new simultaneously. I'm in an internet cafe in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India's southernmost state, sitting on what feels like a piano bench and pounding on a largely dysfunctional keyboard (see there, I had to type that word three times), for which I will pay roughly $0.35 an hour. I'm on a budget, so I'm on the clock.
The story I'm about to spin is far more exciting than the true reason I'm back in India. I came this time to be silent. And to sit.
There was a lot riding on this trip, my friends. Japan has been my top destination for longer than I care to remember, and we had to cancel our tickets there in 2015 due to being, well, unable to walk or move. Fittingly, the trip got off to a fairly ridiculous start.
"Where is your girlfriend?"
"My girlfriend?" I asked, staring at the Japanese gentleman at the AirAsia ticket counter in the Bali airport.
"I'm traveling alone."
"Yes, I see that sir. But where is she?"
"What? At home. In Ubud."
While my site is mostly visited by friends and family, that post rippled surprisingly far—to the point that people in Tel Aviv would stop me on the street and ask if I was ok.
For the TL:DR crowd (and it is long, I admit), it goes like this: Tali and I spent 7 months backpacking through India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. We had plans to continue on to Cambodia, Vietnam, an...
It's one of the first questions people ask me when I tell them that I spent the past 6 years living in Israel. It's a question where the emphasis comes, every time, on the 'like,' and the word is loaded with about a half dozen other questions.
- Was it scary?
- Should I believe what I read in the news?
- Did you ever meet a terrorist?
- Did you ride a camel?
- Did you ever kill someone?
These unasked questions tend to go unanswered (but the correct answers are, by the way: No, Sometimes, No, Of Course, and...
A few days ago, I was sitting in the new teacher orientation at Green School, the environmental school where Tali is now teaching 7th grade. Though I'm not a new teacher, the school was kind enough to invite all the partners (read: stay-at-home husbands), and we all showed up dutifully. One of the school's blissfully down-to-earth guidance counselors was leading a session on Transitions, with a capitol T. As in, how do people handle the transitions that come with a new school, a new job, a new country, a new culture. It was a session she runs for...
It's 9:20am right now. I've been awake for nearly four hours already today (you're a bitch, jetlag), and I'm sitting in Seniman Coffee Studio in Ubud, Bali, drinking a double cappuccino with a bowl of tropical fruits. Boy, oh boy, has it been a long road to get here. For the many of you who have asked, over the months, how and why we left Tel Aviv—consider this your (probably longwinded) answer.
It was a road that began nearly three years ago. Walking in Laos amidst these giant karst mountains jutting into the sky, Tali and I wrote our 5 year pl...
It's been long time since I've committed any thoughts to this travel blog. I've been on several trips since I last wrote — to the States, to France, to Thailand, to Bermuda, to the Republic of Georgia and all around Israel — but as inspiring as those travels were, they couldn't jolt me to write. It's part laziness, part writer's block, and a small part simple self-doubt; after writing what amounted to a small book on our motorcycle accident in Laos last year, nothing seemed to whisper "Write about me" quite the same. But that was before Tali and...
During the two weeks that Tal’s parents came to visit us in India, I had lots of time to spend with her father, Zach. I love spending time with the guy — truly one of the best travelers I know — but our bro-out time was mostly the construct of the women. When they wanted to shop, we had time to roam. And during those 10-minute to 4-hour stretches, we’d often focus on photography, as Zach is an ace with a lens. So if you notice a distinct improvement about halfway through, well, now you know why. H...
Prayer flags over town. Tabo, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.
It took me a long while to look at the thousands of photographs we took while traveling. For the first few weeks after we returned to Israel following the accident in Laos, I truly didn’t want to think about both what my life was and what my life was not. It was difficult, frustrating, a bit heartbreaking. It was not life on the road. At least not anymore.
But slowly, Tal and I let ourselves return to ‘the trip.’ We began talking about our favorite memories. I returned to the travel...
For six months I wrote about how India pushed me to my limits. But in the end, it was the small, gentle nation of Laos that finally broke me.
Allow me to backtrack for a bit of context.
Tal and I landed in Bangkok thoroughly exhausted, our minds a heavy stew of sadness, relief, confusion, excitement. South East Asia, as we knew from our month in Thailand back in 2013, is not India. In India, you can hit the tourist trail and lay on gorgeous beaches with coconut shakes, or you can immerse yourself in maybe the weirdest, wildest, most insular cul...