A [Birthday] Year in Review, Part 1/A New Year in the Old City

My most recent posts were some seriously back-logged trips down memory lane that recounted my birthday journey to Bali and Singapore in November 2013. Never you mind that it took me nearly 5 months to publish two posts about a 10 day journey...

(Thanks Dude.)

I'd like to blame my lack-of-blogging, back-logging on the notion that I just haven't left the Maldives much since last November, but that would be a fallacy. In fact, I take a vacation from island life every 3-4 months. A quarterly vacation from paradise sounds odd to some, but in actuality, it is the only way I've found to successfully stave off island fever and satiate those ever-so-itchy traveling feet of mine.

Why I haven't maintained consistency with my blogging is a totally unrelated issue that can be whittled down to a faulty internet connection and a broken external keyboard for my iPad. One borrowed wi-fi dongle and a brand new iMac Air later [I know, I'm a total Apple whore], I'm back on the blog-wagon! The only problem is that I'm literally one year and five countries behind on updates. Well, as they say, you've gotta start somewhere! So the following post will be my abbreviated attempt at catching you all up on my 32nd *cough* excuse me, 22nd year of life [or at least one section of it].

A NEW YEAR IN AN OLD CITY

The start of the 2014 brought many changes to my life. The most significant one was when I resigned from my position as the yoga and fitness instructor at the resort I was working at in the Northeast of the Maldives to accept a new position as the yoga and fitness instructor at a newer and shinier resort in the Southwest of the Maldives. Unfortunately, my previous company was not too happy about my resignation, so they canceled my visa and I was given an open-ended government imposed holiday [read: forced to leave the country until my new work visa was processed].

Fully aware that island governments function at a dawdling different speed than the rest of the world, I chose to wait out my visa in the comfort of my second home with close family and friends, Jerusalem. 



 

 



It was by happy coincidence that my father was in town the same week I arrived, so I spent much of my time touring the Old City with him.

(At one point we made it all the way back to the Roman Empire.)
 (That famous skyline.)
 (Ancient underground Kotel Tunnels.)
 (Western Wall.)


No matter how many times I've visited Jerusalem, I'm delightfully reminded of the many nuances that this city possesses. Like the seamless marriage of ancient and modern life,














Witnessing first hand the variety of cultures and traditions living together peacefully [despite what the media reports],






(A very special afternoon where an Arab Israeli invited my father and me into his shop to make bread together.)


Street performers and art on almost every corner,


 (Chi-town Represent!)


 (I like this sculpture even though my sister-in-law pointed out that it looks like a penis.)




Bidding GOOD RIDDANCE to my prison-diet canteen food, and saying HELLO NURSE to the delicious assortment of fresh Mediterranean cuisines found in and around my brother's central Jerusalem neighborhood,















And last but certainly not least, reveling in the unsurpassed pleasure of sharing my iPad spending time with my nieces and nephews.



 (She's got a monkey on her back.)




(Gosh, I love those munchkins!)

Five weeks flew by and before I knew it, my visa had been processed and I was on a flight back to the sun, sea and sand of the Maldives. Jerusalem was the perfect reprieve from island life and offered the best medicine to remedy my sun-beached soul- love, friendship, peace of mind and a full belly. 

Ok, one country down, four more to go. I'll spare you [and me] the effort of getting through an even longer post in one sitting and try to update this thing later. The goal is to finish up this year in review before my birthday in six days...you know, my 23rd birthday.

(Shut up, Dorothy.)

Catch you on the flip, dear readers!