Those who know me know that I’m a planner. I may pretend to be spontaneous, but in all honesty, spontaneity makes me crazy. That is, until about a year ago when I realized that adventure or spontaneity in life is something to long for not dread. I don’t why it took me the better part of twenty years to figure this out; it just did.
What I do know is that these past two weeks only served to cement my new found realization. Arriving in Grand Cayman only three days after my mom moved to the island to start a new job, I flew to the little piece of paradise hoping to relax on the beach, swim in the turquoise water, and of course, spend some much-needed quality time with my mom. Since I had just finished a grueling finals week, I didn’t have the energy to plan out my week in the Caribbean, so I decided to wing it. Initially, I hoped that my mom had learned enough to know which breathtaking sites would be devastating to miss, but soon after landing, I realized that this was a wholly unrealistic expectation. My mom barely knew how to get to work let alone which sites were most important to see.
So, the adventure began. Together, we learned the ins and outs of Georgetown (Grand Cayman’s city center), Seven Mile Beach, and the West End. We swam with green sea turtles, ate fresh ahi tuna at a beach side restaurant, explored the Ritz hotel, and shopped at Camana Bay. We found the best coffee shops, bookstores, and WiFi hotspots… perfect places to enjoy each others company while getting our respective work done. After all, just because finals are over doesn’t mean I get to neglect my thesis or ignore my post-grad service applications. Although sometimes, I wish it did.
All in all, I had an incredible week in Grand Cayman. Certainly, the best part was seeing my mom, but I also loved Grand Cayman’s Turtle Farm and the delicious seaside cuisine. All good things eventually come to an end, though. So, on Christmas Eve, I flew home by way of Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
I landed in Los Angeles just in time to shower, change, and head to my grandma’s place for her Christmas party. It may seem ironic that a Jewish family chooses to get together on Christmas rather than Hanukkah, but for me, it’s all I know. Although I attended religious school for years, went to Jewish camp every summer, and was bat mitzvahed at age 13, my family always celebrated Christmas Eve with my grandpa on my mom’s side and Christmas Day with my grandma on my mom’s side. I can only speculate as to why my grandparents decided to celebrate Christmas over Hanukkah. Maybe they just like the holiday better or maybe it stems from the fact that as workaholics, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were the only days they ever willingly took off of work. One thing is for sure; there has never been any religious aspect to our Christmas celebrations. We simply get together, eat, and exchange presents. At my grandma’s Christmas party this year, she hired carolers, which I really enjoyed since listening to Holiday music is one of my favorite December activities. Even my mom, who unfortunately had to work on Christmas back in Grand Cayman, got to enjoy the carolers via Skype. Her nearly hour-long video chat with me and other members of our family brought her, my grandma, and both my aunt Debra and my aunt Shari to tears.
Adventure wise, Grand Cayman was essentially a warm up since just two days after getting back to Los Angeles, I took off yet again—this time for Boston. I was stoked when I arrived in the gorgeous—albeit cold—city because I had never been. I was also excited to see my dad who was meeting me in Boston to spend two days with me before I left for Israel and he left for Los Angeles. As I expected, Boston not only further cemented my realization that adventure is something to long for, it also turned out to be one of the most incredible cities I have ever visited. I could even see myself moving there one day. My dad and I packed in as much as possible to our two days in Boston. We went to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Boston Common, and the movies. We even walked the Freedom Trail, ran a few errands, and slurped delicious pho in Chinatown. Best of all, we had the chance to talk. For whatever reason, talking to my dad always makes me feel better even if he doesn’t tell me what decision I should make.
Sadly, Boston—another good thing—had to come to an end. However, although leaving Boston means leaving my dad, it also means that I get to go to Israel. And, so it begins. It’s time yet again to have an adventure… this time in Israel.