May 11, 2013

Where I've Been Over the Last Two Months

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

Yeah, I know, it's Saturday night not Friday morning but my schedule got a little messed up because of all of my continent hopping and jetlag, so I hope you can all forgive my lateness. 

But now onto the actual content of this post. 

On January 21st I left the great City of New York. Yeah, that's right, I'm a native Manhattanite. I love this place with all my heart, but my body is filled top to bottom with serious wanderlust. So after I finished my undergrad degree in December, I packed up my stuff and went to London for 2 months. I even did a weekend in Paris. You may already know this because of my two London posts (1 & 2) and my Paris post. But when I left London, I didn't go home. I went to Israel for another 2 months.

Garden behind my brother's apartment building. Roses. Casual.
Let's go to the beach-each, let's go get away.
And neither of these pictures say ONE FREAKING WORD about my brother/sister-in-law/niece/nephew or any of my friends who live there now.

Needless to say, it's a GREAT vacation spot. It's also a great tourist location except I've been so many times (both on programs and otherwise) that I've pretty much seen all the major attractions and didn't bother with any of that this trip.

But this post isn't about why Israel's great. It's more about my stay in Israel. So let's get to that.

I haven't posted about my stay in Israel previous to RIGHT NOW because this is a book blog and, while Israel is A LOT of things to me, it's not a bookish place. It's probably just about everything else, but not a bookish place.

So I bet you're wondering WHAT I did while there, given the absolute lack of bookish things.

Basically? I spent the last two months hanging out in a country I know really well, hanging out with friends and babysitting. I got most of my books from my library in NYC in ebook form, which didn't make me super happy. I also went to a book store or two while I was away to see what English books made it to the shelves and which books have been translated. I think I was surprised to see how much the stores seem to love Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series (MULTIPLE copies in English and Hebrew).

The covers are the same so I don't think you guys need the translation
But this whole lack of books thing I've been dealing with doesn't make Israel NOT a great place. The friends and family I saw while abroad definitely made up for the lack of books. All of the time I usually spend in bookstores and reading was spent staying up way too late with people I can talk to about anything, baking with my niece and chasing my nephew around.

All of that being say, even though I ALREADY really miss everyone I left back in Israel, I'm really happy to be home. And not just because I can now go back to buying ALL OF THE BOOKS again (which I pretty much already have - PEACE OUT LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS). I also really missed NYC a lot. I missed my bed, my books, my home... all of it. So despite the fact that all of my friends and family who live in Israel kept saying "just stay" - I didn't. Clearly. 

What I did do was buy a couple of books in Hebrew. 

That's If I Stay on the right and The Fault in Our Stars on the left.
I don't know if I'm ever actually going to move there (I know it seems INSANE to just pick up and move countries, but, well, Judaism can be insane at times - and so can my friends and family) but I do know it's important to me to feel COMFORTABLE there if I do move - or at least when I visit. I'm hoping bettering my Hebrew by reading two of my favorite books can help with that. They're maybe not the easiest reads and I'm REALLY not sure how they're going to translate, but with a book in one hand and a dictionary in the other, I'll eventually work my way through both of these. Eventually.

So that's my last two months in a nutshell. A lot of lazing, a little work and a ton of warm weather. But now I'm back in New York and I'm ready to start REAL LIFE. When I was a kid growing up in New York I always dreamed of being a GROWN UP in the City. Now I'm gonna do it. If you follow me on Twitter I'm sure you'll get to read aaaaaalllllllll about it.

Do you travel a lot? Maybe you also have friends and family who live far away? I know it's hard for me, but I try to cope. But even though I love all the people far away, I still can't help but be pleased once I make it home! Do you guys have these issues? Let me know I'm not alone in the comments below!


  1. First things first: GABY, I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HOME. I am also honored that you chose to hang out with me on your first night back! Blogging buddies are the best <3

    About traveling - I wish I could do it more often. I have dreams of going on adventures to all these amazing places (count London, Paris and Israel among them TO BE SURE), but a lack of funds/time has prevented me from going on most of them so far. Hopefully, that will change in the near future.

    About family/friends far away - My family (immediate and extended) ALL live in the Philippines. My friends, for the most part, are also in the Philippines. One of my best friends is Australia. I always get sad and homesick when I see photos of everyone together, plus it kind of sucks for me to miss out on special occasions and moments. But I'm grateful that Skype and Facetime and Facebook and other such things exist, because at least I get some clue as to what's going on in their lives!


      Also, YES TECHNOLOGY IS THE BEST. What would we do without it?

    2. I notice now that TWO THINGS ARE THE BEST. But the position of the best can be spread around, I think. ^_^

  2. I wish wish wish I had been smart enough to do something like this. Smart enough to actually save money and also to just be able to get up and leave after I graduated. I think this is really going to be a moment you look back on and be so super glad that you did it. It sounds amazing, and I love all the book goodies you shared. I'm going to go back to my jealous corner now. ;)

    1. Meeeeeeps!!! Don't be jealous! There's SO MUCH TO DO IN NYC. Museums abound, book events galore, pretty things to see... we can figure out ADVENTURES here to make everyone everywhere else jealous! PS: THERE IS ALWAYS TIME FOR TRAVEL! ^_^

  3. I do not do traveling that much, sadly, but I study in Scotland whereas my family is in Finland. I know it is not a huge distance or anything, but I still get to see them far too little as I would like to. My mother just visited me a couple of weeks ago, and the next time I see her will most likely be during Christmas. I have not seen my brother since last Christmas. Thank god for Skype and my Finnish roommate/best friend - otherwise I would probably go insane.

    1. saaaaaaaaaaadssss!!!! I'm sorry you're so far from home! That is rough! But yeah. Technology really does make the whole "being away from home" thing A LOT BETTER, doesn't it?

  4. Echoing Estelle, I wish more than ANYTHING in this life that I'd done something like this. There are so many place I still want to go, and I'm working on it. I'm really glad you went to Israel and had that time there, and did London, Gaby! Happy to have you home though, and I'll definitely follow all your adventures. :)

    Once Upon a Prologue

    1. GO PLACES. YES. DO THAT. I can't wait to hear about all the places YOU go because I'm sure you'll get there my dear!

  5. I'm still all kinds of sad that you're not in the same timezone as me anymore but I'm happy for you that you're finally home and that you now get to buy all the books and do all the fun things! And yes. That. <3


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