As we are crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the last time this summer, I am sifting through the blur of places, people and experiences, trying to extract as many life lessons as I can. I am easily susceptible to the-grass-is-always-greener syndrome, and I therefore have to make a conscious effort to keep such an enriching and positive experience as a constructive source of inspiration.
As I look back over the time we have spent away, I am set on finding the positive moments and extracting from them something I can internalize and eternalize as a way of beating the humdrum post-holiday blues.
I am struck by something I wrote about earlier, how much more important the people at home become when they are no longer just around the corner. I have also been touched this vacation by the unlimited kindness of strangers. As Blanche DuBois so candidly put it, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”. The people that were kind enough to host us for two Shabbats, without ever having met us before, and the gentleman who carried my bags for me when the schlepping just got too much. These good deeds will stay with me as a proof of the existence of genuine thoughtfulness of random strangers.
A less concrete, but more emotional lesson I hope to try and implement concerns fears. I am often disturbed by irrational fears and the first few days in Buenos Aires were very scary for me. The thought of knowing no one and being so far from home left me feeling like a helpless child afraid of being alone. As time went on I tried to relax into the new environment, and even if my behaviour reflected my fears throughout the trip, I know I did begin to relax. So, I hope to in future be able to explore new places sans fear. To know that people will help me where ever I go, and that I am capable of dealing with any situation that may be thrown my way.
Finally, I of course can’t think of the holiday without thinking of my constant companion. A month in the continual company of my husband Eli could of course have been a disaster. I am happy to say that we made it through without any major fights. I can’t thank him enough for taking me halfway across the world and letting me experience places I have never seen before. I truly hope we will soon be able to pack our bags and once again take to the skies.
Sofie Copperman is a current JewliciousU intern and is studying for a BSc in Social Sciences at the University of London.