My two-week bucket list bender is almost at it’s closing point and I’m exhausted!

When I set off to cross lines and check boxes off of my growing Israeli agenda I had a full tank of energy; it’s now almost on empty. People who can go go go without breaks, naps, or days with the shades closed and 27 Dresses in the DVD player are beyond anyone I can imagine. That is not me, never has been, never will be.

I need breaks.

Time to myself.

Moments to decompress.

And nights full of sleep.

All of those things are finally happening and the greatest part is that during the moments of silence I thought I needed, and right after, have been some of my favorite days/nights. It was the lines that were not on the list, expectations I didn’t have, and conversations that weren’t planned that are making this time in my life pretty epic.

I’m not going to downplay the big things you read about me planning on doing and say they were all a bust, they definitely weren’t, but my expectations for tickets I buy and nights planned in advanced are always way off the charts.

Kanye West was the biggest disappointment of all; he didn’t care about us, rapped 30-second snippets of his greatest songs, and lost my vote for the 2020 election. Bon Jovi killed it in all ways Yeezus didn’t. The camping trip setup on the beach was the coolest thing I had ever seen (big couches on carpets with tables, a kitchen with a pizza oven, stovetop, and bar, multiple tents with blow up mattress, the sea right in front of us, the stars and moon so bright above us and the lights of Haifa in plain sight).

The only biggie on the list I wrote about two weeks ago that exceeded all expectations was visiting my family in Efrat (a settlement in the West Bank). It was political, religious, relaxing, weight gaining, really fun and surprisingly thought provoking. Tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank have started to heat up again in the past couple of weeks and the safety of the people I met there, their land, and the people they’re in arguments with is a big concern, although they would confidently say not to worry.

I’m learning a lot of things here. Some are topics I should have remembered from high school and others are the life lessons I keep spitting at all of you in this blog. These last two weeks I’ve been reminded of the crazy high expectations I set for myself and the things I want to accomplish.

Yesterday I spent the morning and mid-afternoon in Herzliya. The night before I got a text to be at my friend’s apartment at 8 in the morning for breakfast before we got on the bus to a city described to me as the Hampton’s of Israel. I was feed a sweet challah bread and Nutella sandwhich at 8 on the dot and stepped off the bus a bit later onto the most gorgeous beach next to the clearest water I’ve ever seen. We spent the day trolling through the Ritz Carlton, not blending in with the wealthy European guests at all, lounging on the soft sand in the shade and weaving through the mall finding more Nutella spread on crepes and frozen yogurt, with chocolate chunks as sprinkles we’re brining back to America, before heading back home. Exhausted and sandy walking back into Florentin I was ready to shower and sleep and just be for the rest of the day. I laid, started The Holiday, couldn’t sleep, threw on some clothes, stopped at a corner store to grab a bottle of wine and some potatoes and went over to my friends place to cook, drink, talk, cry a little, laugh a lot and remember why I signed up for this program in the first place.

Yesterday was set with no expectations.




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