journeywoman: baby-moons and bucket lists.
This has been a year full of journeys. We traveled to Israel in April, ticking off another destination on our journey log. Last year we spent a month backpacking across Eastern Europe, from the Ukraine to Bosnia, Hungary to Serbia. I will always, always love this part of the world. My heart has been left here, countless times.
In the spring we spent three glorious weeks on the road from Eilat to Jerusalem. We snorkeled in the Red Sea. Watched tropical fish swim in their cyan blue womb. Hiked through the ruins of Petra in the Jordanian desert. Cut my ankle in the Dead Sea on a salt rock, smiled at the mind numbing pain and continued floating. Slept in hostels in the desert, just the two of us alone in the windy, dark expanse of rock and sand. Thought of Jesus on the stormy Sea of Galilee.
The Dead Sea.
Drank enough Israeli wine to last me the rest of the year. Dipped my toes in the Jordan River, surprised by the obnoxious overgrowth of catfish and muskrats. Fingered barbed wire fences and felt the foggy chill of the Golan Heights. Felt the stillness in Caesarea amidst the wandering tourists. Managed to grab a stale loaf of challah and olives for dinner before the Sabbath in Tel Aviv.
Spent five wonderful days in Jerusalem, hiking boots hitting the slippery cobblestone everyday in search of adventure. Felt the pulsating energy and tension with skies of blue above and cool nights full of coffee and pastries. It was a fantastic trip to take before pregnancy, full of adventure and some heart pumping, palm sweating moments. After all, it is Israel, and we did see two bomb scares in Jerusalem (one was precautionary, one was real) and were surprised by a massive, ear ringing, ceiling crumbling, window cracking explosion of mines in Jericho. I saw my first mushroom cloud, just out the window of the cafe I was in. We were all in a dazed panic, especially because most of us (mum, dad, Jay, brother, aunt and uncle) were separated from each other. It was secretly very exciting, because no one was hurt. The army was simply destroying old mines left over from one of many wars.
One year we went to Auschwitz, the primarily Jewish extermination camp in Poland.
the mud of Auschwitz.
The next year, we went to Israel. I have officially checked off two big bucket list destinations before having children!
the dust of Israel.
Although Hawaii is not on my dream journey list, we also managed to head there twice in the last year and a bit. Just a few weeks ago, I was holding my baby bump while snorkeling with sea turtles and watching my ankles and feet swell in the heat.
When we got home from Hawaii, Jay and I looked at each other quietly, knowing it may be our last trip for awhile. But then he broke the silence and said, “I think we’ll always be traveling. It’s just a part of who we are.”
We’re on the grandest journey yet. Although it hasn’t taken us through different time zones, it has taken us through foreign landscapes. I plan on embracing motherhood. But I am still me. Sometimes on a very good day, when I feel like I did pre pregnancy, I’ll forget, if only for a moment, that I’m pregnant. Forget there is a belly jutting out, forget the months of illness, forget the gentle thud of baby feet and elbows. And I’ll remember who I was. And I’ll remember I have changed.