Omg. How does a month go by without even noticing? I guess this long vacation was exactly what I needed... I had a few rough months this winter, both physically and mentally before I went off for a month, and I wanted to share with you some of the experiences and thoughts I had.
The whole thing started since one of my besties, Shani, left Israel to travel in Central America for the good part of a year. We never actually travelled together so I decided I'm making it happen this time- after 6 years of friendship.
Before meeting Shani in Honduras, I flew to New York city and stayed there for a couple of nights with my other bestie, Lior, who just happened to be there for work at the time. I also tried getting over the jet-lag. Spoiler: I didn't.
In those two short days I was there, I was busy hanging out (and eating out) with Lior, Noam (another good friend who happened to be in the city) and Rob- my best friend from the one year I spent in Singapore when I was 15.
I didn't have time to do any sight seeing or shopping, but you know what? I'm totally fine with simply eating with my best friends.
After those two days, I flew to Honduras via Fort Lauderdale, a surprisingly long journey culminating in me landing in San Pedro at 1am, where Shani waited for me after not seeing each other for three months.
What can I say?
Words cannot describe the sheer joy, fun and happiness I experienced when reuniting with my best friend of 6 years after 3 months apart. I am SO appreciative of the time we spent together in Utila, a beautiful island in Honduras. It was very foreign to me, first time in Central America / the Carribean, but being with her made it feel like I was always carrying a little piece of home with me (please don't puke).
For two whole weeks, my connection to the outside world completely depended on wifi. I didn't have my laptop with me, I didn't really carry my phone with me, and basically had very very little screen time. It was great.
I realised that the less time I spend on screens, the more time I spend interacting with people on the island- how shocking! I also understood just what a sweet bubble of tolerance, feminism and equality my kind of Tel Aviv is.
I'll probably write about it in a separate post, but part of Utila's charm (beaches, sunset, cheap prices, beautiful, fun) faded substantially by the time I left the island. The culture there is very different from the Westernized culture in Israel, and cat-calling, whistling, noisy (and disgusting) air kissing sounds when a woman walks past- are the norm. I felt sexually harassed there 100% of the time. No joke.
But, putting this aside, I really feel thankful for those two weeks of quality time. We both lead very busy lives- she just finished her double doctorate (a medical and a science one), I run a business. We never had 2 weeks together of doing NOTHING. It was great. Beach all day, drink and party all night. Love it.
Naturally, I really didn't want to leave Utila nor Shani, and I couldn't possibly imagine how my next stop, Miami, will top this. Last time I was in Miami was two years ago (I've been there more times that I can count), it wasn't very good, and this time I came with zero expectations.
As they say in Hebrew, lower your expectations and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
And surprised I was!
The whole time I was running around visiting friends who live in the area, friends who were visiting the city the same time as I was, and basically I was busy partying and spending quality time with people I love. Not a bad way to spend a vacation in Miami.
So, Miami ended being a far better experience than I could have imagined. I extended my trip by another day, and really, really, did NOT want to go to my next and final stop- New York. I just didn't know how am I gonna have fun in the concrete jungle after being at the beach for the past 3 weeks.
Again, I came with zero expectations and thankfully was beyond pleasantly surprised. My friends who hosted me there are burners (Burning Man people) and they took me to an awesome party by one of the BM camps.
They both are very creative, and after they come back home from work, they often work on their creative projects (sewing, 3D printing, LED clothes). It was really impressive and inspiring to see. Ever since I started my business, I neglected other hobbies, and I feel like my world revolves around dancing, fitness and cooking. They used to be my hobbies, now they're just part of my job.
The actual Star-Wars themed party was incredible. I did my best to stay off screen and not take pictures. I've never seen this level of production for any party in Israel. It took place in a strip club that doesn't work on weekends, so it had a beautiful pole and stage. The decorations were outstanding, the costumes were amazing, and it was great.
I spent the rest of my time there catching up with friends so I didn't do any sight seeing or shopping- again- but that just means I have to go there again (btw this is my 3rd time there so don't feel bad for me).
I came back home well rested and rejuvenated.
I feel like every part of this trip happened exactly when and how I needed it to happen- the first two nights in NYC were for me to get used to being on vacation mode. The 2 weeks in the sun with Shani were pure resting and recharging. Miami was a wonderful bridge between beach culture and back to city life, and NYC showed me a part of that city I think I love.
This time off really gave me a fresh perspective on what I want to do next in life. It's too early to share, but big, big changes are coming and I can't wait to share them all with you in good time :)
Happy to be back, love you!