Since I’ve lived in Thailand, I haven’t traveled much for pleasure. Yes, I’ve experienced Sri Lanka and safaris, Myanmar and the deep jungle and Cambodia and an elephant rescue for work, but the pleasure thing has been somewhat absent in my life (minus jaunts to Koh Samui and Bali).
I wake up early on my second day in Israel.
Artplus hasn’t even started its breakfast buffet yet. So, I do something I haven’t done in years. I grab my headphones, pop them in my ears, put on music, arm myself with my camera and go on an exploration as the sun rises.
There is something incredibly romantic about waking up when the city begins to turn off its lights and greet the sun.
It’s me and Tel Aviv as I stroll down Ben Yehuda and head to the beach.
As I wander along the brick path with the Mediterranean at my side, my heart starts to thump again. The doubt I’ve had about the direction of my life rolls out with the tide.
Being solo in Tel Aviv and having the morning to myself takes me back to my long-term travel, when I was anonymous.
I could be anyone in the world, and damnit, I was ME, and so very content with that.
As the sun creeps into the blue sky, I am re-energized, awoken.
The little nuances of the city, the flyers littering a sidewalk, an old man sitting and staring out into the world from a bench, a dog running alongside his owner for a morning workout … it all opens my eyes to something I have missed for so long: traveling.
I walk and snap photos of the little things that catch my eye.
Pause. Breathe deeply. Smile. Pause. Walk. Snap photos. Breathe deeply. Smile.
And so it goes until the hunger pangs and need for coffee (the best coffee I have had in ages) trumps.
But, as I walk back to my hotel, one thing is for certain: that travel addict that had kept quiet for so long has emerged and is now banging down the doors.
Hello and thank you, Tel Aviv.