What is this term “Whimderlust” I refer to? Out of all the travel jargons, this is a first I’ve heard this too. My baby sister invented that word a few days ago for her blog, creating a fusion between traveling on a “Whim” & “Wanderlust”. Hey, who knows if it’ll end up on the Webster Dictionary. Afterall, “Bootylicious” did!
My sister Jocelyn aka Jossy Wossy, formerly known as PikachuJocelyn in her childhood days is turning 20 in October. She’s on her way to becoming a 3rd year in College at UCSD. Except this fall semester, she’s decided to study abroad at Tel Aviv University! I’m SO proud of her. And I’ve also murmured the words “I feel sorry for people who don’t understand why you’re going.” Well let me explain, besides that slight possibility we’re about to go into “World War 3” if US bombs Syria, which the news speculates “Iran bombing Israel”, (blah blah blah) I think we’re fine here. Yes I’m optimistic and I don’t watch the news anymore.
When many who haven’t been well traveled or worldly-informed think of Israel, they conjure images of Fox News at the Gaza strip/West Bank that has been a constant battlefield for land since, well, let’s just say things changed in Israel 60 years ago. I’m not getting into politics, but all I’m saying is that I traveled to Israel 3 years ago and I had the time of my life. Especially in Tel Aviv, which I compare to as a San Francisco hippie vibe meets the European free-spirit mentality on the beach. Imagine a city, a country who’s religion (Judaism) is founded upon continual education (despite what age you are), the importance of family value, emphasis on hard work and a day to day Life motto “La C’haiem” which translates “To Life“, how can such well-balanced values not translate to happy people? You know there’s certain places you travel to, certain neighborhoods you arrive in, certain rooms you step foot into, and you can feel a (+) or (-) energy? Tel Aviv and most of Israel is a place I found such positive energy in (and very Spiritual may I add) and I’m so proud of my sister in stepping outside her realm & embarking on this journey. Not only will she get an incredible semester of education at the best university in Israel, get a lesson from the Jews about how to do business (oh c’mon, that’s a good stereotype) but she will also have a blast with all the wonderful International students and local people she’ll meet. She’ll get use to Kosher food, Shabbat and fizzy bubbly. (Sorry I had to throw that in). Please watch Dont Mess With the Zohan if you haven’t already. Ha-lair-rious!
Jocelyn has decided to backpack Europe 3 weeks prior to the start of school, and so, Dad, Mom & I sent her off to LAX this evening to do so. She’s starting in London, then to Amsterdam, Prague, Munich for Oktoberfest (oh boy!), Italy and on to Tel Aviv. I will be meeting her the end of this month in Florence/Tuscany, Rome, a few days laying out in Mykonos until we’ve reached Olive skin color and on to Israel!
I will admit I got a bit nervous sending Jocelyn off. It’s always scary traveling alone and I went when I was a few years older than her. Dejavu had hit me when I realized that she wasn’t the nervous one but it was us who were nervous for her. Same as when I went to India. I had this pure innocence and bliss in me ready to get the hell out and jetset, while it was all those around me that were nervous. I envy that about her youth (she’s 9 years younger), and wish that I still have every bit of it. Sure I still love to travel annually and to as exotic places as I can find. But with age and life, I can’t help but get more anxiety before traveling, worrying about the bills needed to be paid, thinking of the missed business calls, and the corruption in the world you hear more about. I remind myself daily that the World has not gotten worse than when I had first left to travel less than a decade ago (or 50 years ago for that matter when Jack Kerouac and other Legendary travelers set out), but just like a child who is able to find joy & excitement in anything and everything, in time, sheds their innocence too.
And so today, I salute my sister Jocelyn’s courageousness for wanting to see the world on her own and wish to remind all you Travelers and myself that the outlook on Life, of the World, our Vision for the future & Youthfulness is up to us to retain. It’s a constant battle trying to fight against nature; the crappiest thing would be to become those old farts who are so tainted by life, they begin to die inside.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Follow Jocelyn’s blog at Whimderlusting.