journeywoman: baby-moons and bucket lists.

December 30, 2011, Michaela Evanow, 6 Comments

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.

montengro mountain hike 

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.

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The Dead Sea.

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timnah israel

Timnah desert.

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Petra.

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.

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the mud of Auschwitz.

The next year, we went to Israel. I have officially checked off two big bucket list destinations before having children!

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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.

6 Comments

  • Reply heavenfaced: when a mama thinks about death – Michaela Evanow March 18, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    […] Traveling used to be a massive part of me. I thrive off of those memories; the spices, recipes, fabrics and music collected along the way. I have matryoshkas from the heart of old Ukraine. Brass bells and bowls and stacks of fabric and silk scarves from India. There’s the hand knit folk slippers from Sarajevo, and the enamelware from Croatia (before it was cool.) I know these things don’t define me or even enrich my life. But they are dusty, tangible memories of lands traveled. My feet walked into catacombs and crumbling ruins and bustling markets and historical sites with heavy stories. […]

  • Reply Silke May 28, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Dear Michaela, I’m glad I found your blog while searching the web for a georgous picture of Jerusalem at sunset. Since years now I couldn’t convince one of my friends to share my idea of travelling to Israel. As a monument for this still unfulfilled wish I would like to show Jerusalem in my living-room, still believing my visit will become reality in the future – some day. Your picture is really fabulous. It’s catching a one of a kind warm and deep atmosphere which seems to be significant for your blog. So I would be really happy hearing from you. Would you be so kind to share this picture with me? I would love to make a poster or canvas print of it based on a high resolution jpeg-file. Thanks a lot in advance and best regards from Germany, Silke

  • Reply dearest mum: woman of strength, beauty and wisdom. « May 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    […] a real gem. She is full of life and has more energy and adventure in her system than I do! Take our trip to Israel in the spring of 2011. She was going non stop, wanting to see everything—again, since […]

  • Reply Jack Nash January 4, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Wow Mickey well done… What a year indeed!!
    Love you guys…Dad.

  • Reply Mrs Loquacious December 30, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Once you get that bug, it never really leaves you. It *does* become part of who you are, and though your family may be expanding, I don’t see that as reason for you to have to change that part of yourself. It just might make your travels a little *different* (foregoing the hostels for hotels with cribs, for instance, or going somewhere bomb-free instead of wrought with political unrest) but don’t let it tame your passions to explore this beautiful world that God has made!

    We’re already thinking about a low-season jaunt to Hawaii again, or maybe another exotic hot destination (I’m wanting to see the Bahamas, or Bora Bora). We are so excited to include baby in our new journeys so that she too might experience more than just our little corner of the Earth. 🙂

    • Reply Michaela. January 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      I can’t wait to hear where you and the Loquacious family decide to head to!

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