“What About Blogging?!”

As you may have noticed, I have not been as on top of the blogging as I should be…so I apologize for that. But, I’ve been reflecting recently and I realized the reason I don’t blog very often is because I don’t do many things that are really blog worthy. Now that I’m here, I’ve gotten caught up in the routine of my life:
8:00-13:00: Ulpan
13:00: Return home
13:30-15:00: Study Hebrew
15:00-16:00: Calculus lesson for Johns Hopkins
16:00-18:00: Freelancing work
18:00-19:00: Workout
19:30-20:30: Dinner
20:30-23:00: Relax/Netflix etc.
23:00: Sleep

I do this like clockwork. Granted some of the times may get switched…some days I may actually do more studying than others (yes, there are days 100% full of Netflix…) But regardless, it’s pretty much the same makeup…and to be honest, it’s not the most exciting (shocker, I know Calculus sounds great and all).

When I lived in Taiwan, I had lazy days, but I was much more apt to get out and do something because I knew my time was limited. I had to fit in an entire country in one year. I wanted to experience it all. I’ve realized that I need to get that spark back in my life here in Israel. I don’t want to be complacent and boring…I want to see and experience everything. I gave up my entire life to move here because I felt like this was where I belonged in life…and I’m not going to waste any more time! So…I’m now being conscious about it.

I’ve written a list. It’s a mixture of a bucket list and my hopes and my goals. Some of it is serious while other parts are lighthearted. Some items will carry through long term and some are one time check off the list type of ideas. Some of it I have already completed and some (read most) is still to be done. It’s just a start and I want to continue to add more as time goes on (it’s actually item #67 to add something new to the list each week)…but this list in a way, keeps me accountable. It ensures that I am using this gift that G-d has given me, a home in the land of Israel, and not wasting one more minute of it. If I want to become truly Israeli, I must experience Israel. So without further ado, my list:

  1. Eat hummus in Jaffa
  2. Explore Neve Tsedek
  3. Eat sufganiyot at Hannukah
  4. Find the best local falafel
  5. Find the best local sabich
  6. Walk on the tayelet at sunset
  7. Play volleyball on the beach
  8. Learn matkot
  9. Run in the Tel Aviv Marathon
  10. Hike the entire Israel National Trail (6-8 weeks)
  11. Go camping on the beach
  12. Swim in the Jordon River
  13. Put a prayer in the Western Wall
  14. Order an ice coffee completely in Hebrew
  15. Try Malabi
  16. Barter with a stand owner at the shuk
  17. Learn how to make shakshuka
  18. Learn all the words to a mizrahit song
  19. Work for an Israeli company
  20. Complete Duolingo for Hebrew
  21. Spend a day exploring Rothschild Blvd.
  22. Walk from one side of Park Yarkon to the other
  23. Go in the Tel Aviv balloon
  24. Write down at least one thing per day that you are thankful for
  25. Eat at HaBasta (Shuk HaCarmel)
  26. Eat at HaHalutzim (Shuk Levintin)
  27. Watch a sunset from Hilton Hill
  28. Have a picnic in Park Yarkon
  29. Drink “The Gazoz” from Café Levinsky
  30. Fall in love with an Israeli man
  31. Have all my best friends visit Israel
  32. Visit a Kibbutz
  33. Do yoga on the beach
  34. Start a business venture
  35. Volunteer at a gan
  36. Run 5 races per year
  37. Try a new fruit
  38. Eat what’s in season
  39. Buy all fruits and veggies from the Shuk
  40. Buy art from an Israeli artist
  41. Find a synagogue that makes you feel at home
  42. Stay shomer Shabbat for a week
  43. Learn how to sup
  44. Go swimming in the Mediterranean at night
  45. Ask a stranger for directions in Hebrew
  46. Eat Baklava in Majdal Shams (Druze village near Golan Hieghts)
  47. Do one thing per day that helps you grow: and be conscious about it. Write it down.
  48. Reflect often. You can’t grow without looking back at what you were.
  49. Make a new tradition with a new friend
  50. Eat Shabbat dinner at an Israeli’s house
  51. Eat ice cream from Arte Gelateria
  52. Drink fresh made juice from the shuk
  53. Live in an apartment with a balcony. Grow plants and vegetables on said balcony.
  54. Eat a cream puff from Bakery TLV
  55. Become a dog walker
  56. Go to the concert of an Israeli musician
  57. Eat a gouda sandwich from Shuk HaNamal
  58. Taste 10 different kinds of Israeli olives
  59. Take a weekend and relax in Eilat
  60. Float in the Dead Sea and cover yourself in mud
  61. Hike at Masada
  62. Go to a hot spring in Gan HaShlosha National Park
  63. Go biking in Rosh HaNikra and see the grottoes
  64. See the Bahai Gardens in Haifa
  65. Visit Ein Gedi
  66. Cross off one thing on this list every single week
  67. Add one more thing to this list every single week
  68. Pray everyday because you are in the most holy and wonderful place on earth! You made it! Now go live every moment for all it’s worth!

So guys…my blog (and my life) are about to get a whole lot more interesting.
I always say that I’m a) too busy and have to get my work done first or b) I don’t even know what to see/where to go or c) I have no one to go with. My boyfriend lovingly reminded me that these are all just excuses with little to no validity and he was right…a) I’m not too busy, b) I can go see anything (and in fact, I do know what I want to see…hence the long list above), and c) I adore solo exploring (I just needed a reminder of that). So…excuses in the past, I’m ready to turn over a new leaf and get going. You can all track my progress on this list as I blog about the things I have done. So between the list (soon to be printed and hanging in my room) and my blog readers, I’m accountable for getting things done.

Ready, set, GO.
(Or as the Israelis say: Yalla!)

P.S. shoutout to my favorite Israeli blogger that I read religiously, VivaTelaviva aka Rachael Workman,  for giving me some ideas for a few of my (food related) list items! Namely numbers 25, 26, 29, 38, 46, 54 and 57 (: 

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