Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Hopscotch'n All the Way

I remember playing hopscotch as a kid, throw a pebble into a block, and hop on over to whatever number you were on. Starting off was easy but the further you got the harder it was- sometimes the pebble would land in the right block and other times it was to the one above, to the left or right or even the previous one. Then there was the dreaded wobbles, teetering on the border of where you should be and where you might like to be. I've enjoyed playing some global hopscotch: I know where I'd like to visit, but sometimes I overshoot and land up some where to the left or right or torn between my plan and where I'd really like to go.

I think that's what keeps things interesting, in fact I'd take a bit more overshooting if I could. As long as I get to the places I want to see, I'm not particularly fazed about the order or whether it makes geographical- or economical- sense. I've once flown from Tel Aviv to Sicily via Latvia and Rome.

Mt Etna, Sicily. Active volcano that we climbed
Nov 2010
Yes, things are better minus a map!

Couch surfers @Madam Tussaud's Dec 2010

Touching the highest point in Grazalema
If it were't for the clouds we'd
see Africa

The Turquoise Coast in Turkey
the diving was amazing

So how exactly have I been managing to throw my pebble to places such as France, Spain, Turkey, Israel and Italy all on one- long gone- pay check?

I will forever lament their names, Workaway and Couchsurfing will always be my perfect idea of travel.

Getting ready for Shabbat
What more could I possibly want than to live in a place for a few days/weeks/months and be completely immersed in the culture, the language and the people? Learning, experiencing and being has been one of the greatest privileges so far.

My Workaway experiences have been nothing short of fantastic while my latest Couchsurfing exploits have surprised me each time.
Living in Ch√Ęteau's, grouting 12m pools, swimming in natural springs, painting, visiting castles picking- beans, oranges, lemons and the odd nose- moving rocks and rubbish, climbing mountains, walking hills, cleaning hotel rooms, crashing in studio apartments with strangers, dodging heroine junkies, writing websites, going out all night, sleeping under the stars, trekking on a volcano, building sheds, jumping from cliffs, and hitch-hiking. And that's before I mention the wonderful people- hosts, travellers and locals who have each contributed to gems of information, treasured memories and uncontrollable laughter.

Summer 2011, let's see where my pebble lands.

Not quite a couch- our room in
Gent, Belgium
A reminder that while you were
 people were shooting up on your doorstep.

Picking olives in Sicily

Myth (not) Busted: Reading on the Dead Sea

We never got to test out our grouting

3 weeks of broad beans 

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