Follow Your Dreams
In last week’s post I wrote about how one should “walk their talk” when it comes to travel writing. In the spirit of changing my reality and doing some traveling so that I’ll have authentic first-person material to write about, I did some serious thinking.
It would seem that there are four steps to carrying it out:
- Deciding on my general travel goals so that I’ll know what kind of places to visit.
- Deciding where specifically to go.
- Getting the resources.
- Doing it!
Let’s say that as well as satisfying my insatiable wanderlust and curiosity about the world, I’m also interested in exploring Jewish Living on the road. At first glance one might say I need to go to places with a distinctive Jewish idea – Jewish communities, Synagogues and Yeshivas, cemeteries where great Rabbis are buried, historical and Holocaust sites, Jewish stores and markets etc. That would mean going to the capital cities in Europe and America, some of Eastern Europe and places like that.
That isn’t really the focus of my blog, though. I’m trying to show how one can live a meaningful Jewish life anywhere on the globe. Literally. Of course a Jew might prefer to live in a Jewish community in Israel or abroad and it would be helpful for getting supplies and praying with a Minyan in Shul, but it isn’t an absolute requirement. G-d is everywhere and Jews are too (at least on Earth 🙂 ) . When you find yourself on the far side of the Pacific, you can still keep the Jewish Laws (taking in account some extenuating circumstances).
Therefor I can (and maybe should) travel to any and every location on earth just to prove my theory. In fact there are challenges to Jewish Living from the moment you arrive in the airport and during the flight up until you arrive back home. Your commitment to principles is tested every step of the way; where you go, what you do, what you eat and who you meet. It doesn’t make a difference where you go, you will find obstacles.
With that in mind, I can travel anywhere and have plenty to write about. I’ll bet I can write a post with a Jewish Travel insight about my experiences at the airport, on the bus or taxi or even while walking in the street and asking directions.
Which reminds me of a trip I took to New York City thirty years ago. I was touring the streets of Manhattan dressed like a Yeshiva Bochur with a white shirt and my Tzitzit hanging out of my pants, A police officer stopped me on the way. He was a huge guy and far too overweight (and maybe that’s why he was still a traffic cop and not a detective, with all due respect…).
He said to me in a very New Yorker accent; “How come you don’t have Payses?” “Payses?”, I asked a bit confused, “What’s that???” “The hair next to your ears”, he answered. “Ahhh…you mean Payis”, I replied, “where did you hear that from?” “I’m not Jewish myself”, he said, “but my mother is…” 🙄
There are a few special spots I’d like to get to at some point, besides for visiting all the well-trodden tourist sites and capital cities. Places like French Polynesia, parts of the Far East, Mount Kilimanjaro, the southern tip of South America and the Northern Lights. BTW there are huge challenges to deal with in the latter, as Halakhic times and the candle-lighting and Havdalah schedule become very vague in the far North.
They say “Follow your dreams”. I guess it’s time to start now, unless I want to continue writing ancient stories about NY cops from thirty years ago 🙂
Good Shabbos !