Wednesday, August 24, 2011


As those of you currently residing in the New York area are aware, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Virginia yesterday, tremors of which were felt locally. I myself was sitting in my kitchen when I noticed the chandelier in the next room begin to sway from side to side and I thought I was suffering from a dizzy spell. If the quake had occurred a day earlier, it would have affected my life much more dramatically, as I was in Virginia with my family exploring Civil War battlefields at the time (yes, nerd families are the best) during our drive back from Florida exactly 24 hours earlier.

This summer was quite interesting. We took a family road trip through the east coast, from Long Island to the south of Florida, stopping here and there to get a taste of local life. I saw more of the United States than I ever expected and spent a lovely Shabbat in Savannah, Georgia during which I tasted the spiciest cholent I ever tried. (Surprisingly, there were no grits in this southern brand of cholent.)

The week I spent as a nomad with my family was freeing, even though the close quarters threatened to drive us all bonkers after a while. Roaming the earth from place to place, exploring different customs seems like a fascinating life. As someone with the attention span of a squirrel on speed, a new environment every few months would be enough fuel to keep me operating at full speed for a long time. This isn’t the most practical of existences, I am aware, so perhaps I’ll resort to traveling the world only during my vacations.

All I know is that I need to get out of the “island of Jewish dysfunction” that is New York. Earthquakes are known to symbolize wake up calls. It is rather fitting that this little quake happened the day after I came home from living a wanderers’ life for a week. A miniature natural disaster reminded me that sometimes, one is not born in the place they truly belong; they must pick themselves up to find it.

The question is, where the heck would I go?

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