Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Quiet Place

This week ushered in the beginning of the end of my senior year. Scary to think that I have one semester left after this. Midterms have piled up and stress levels are of course, higher than usual. But this weekend I found myself missing my quiet places. Alone time. I was craving a dusk walk through the orange groves on Kibbutz Na'an. or a stroll along the Nile. Oddly enough, I felt unsafe walking around Gainesville at dusk by myself. Though abroad, walking by myself was not exactly a concern. Maybe it is the 'carpe diem' mentality I choose to live by whilst abroad, but enjoying the simplicity of life, alone time and nature is what I miss most. I miss choosing to walk along the shore because it's beautiful and it's sunset.
Even in quaint little Gainesville, I constantly check my over my shoulder when running down the back trails of Gainesville by myself, or am hyper-vigilant of cars driving by. Shootings from cars, kidnappings and rape are scary realities here that are so much less of an issue, and so much less prevalent in the Middle East. I found it rather ironic that I was scared to take a walk by myself when I craved some me time around sunset on Saturday. I couldn't even ride my bike and be alone on campus because I don't have a bike light, and that is illegal in Gainesville after dusk.
Sauntering through the vineyards and the orange groves on my Kibbutz, laying on the vast green field staring up into the moon, bright, because of a lack of city lights and thinking about the silly intricacies of life is something I need to reinvent here. Why is it that life is easier to put into perspective when you are outside of your cultural comfort zone? Why is it easier to appreciate what we have when it is least tangible to us? I may not have my blooming orchard or my moonlit Nile but I have my friends and family, which in the end, count way more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Through Their Eyes Sarah Kaiser Cross (Part 2)

Part 2 of the Video

Through Their Eyes

In lieu of words this week, the video I am posting is from when I gave a speech at the UF International Center on general study abroad advice, my experiences, etc. (October 2010) Along with me was another great guy from Brazil who gave his perspective as an international student studying in the States. Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Beer

Never have I posted on any kind of alcoholic beverage, but last night I indulged in a beautiful blend of caramel pumpkin malt infused with spices of the fall- Shipyard Pumpkinhead Beer. I don't even like beer. In fact, I am a little bit allergic to it. It was that good.

Fall is here along with all of its scents of Cinnamon and nutmeg. Even walking past the bushels of cinnamon pine-cones and gourds of pumpkins in the Publix, I get excited for fall! The weather is starting to change slowly and the leaves begin to droop from the trees here.When you walk outside during the fall, remember to take in the beauty of fall, the changing of the colors and the aromatic flavors highlighted this season. Pumpkin and squash scones, pies, rice mixes and creative recipes are an amazing creative outlet to enjoy the beauty of fall!

Monday, October 11, 2010


It is one of my favorite words. Passion.
There is so much it encompasses, so much it can create.
I am passionate about too many things-
I am passionate about traveling, languages, challenges, romance, music, running, cooking, yoga.

When I searched the ultimate source for all things English (The Oxford English Dictionary- equivalent to the Bible of the English language) I found something interesting.

Find word: passion
1 passion * found in: god
2 passion, n. *
3 passion, v. *

Passion is found in God? Is God definable enough to even be able to link an association between God and passion? In my humble opinion, though daring to disagree with the OED may put me at odds with the greater English world, passion is inherently personal, emanating from the self. God has nothing to do with my passion. Though I suppose I see how people have passion for God or religion. But, I digress.

Currently back in Gainesville, I am trying to find beauty and appreciation in the simple. Contentment is not enough for me. Actively seeking a challenge, and looking for the unique in the every day I am discovering a deeper understanding of happiness. For example, I went to the Harn Museum of Art this weekend and looked at the collections. I forgot how much art provokes emotion and existential thinking.

The point of this musing is this:
Find the things you are passionate about. Try everything once. Be passionate about something, even if it is just one thing. And embrace it.

And check this out.

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