Me : a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. When I say middle of nowhere I’m not exaggerating, I literally mean Amish country. And when I say small I mean by the time I was a senior I unfortunately knew everyone, erasing any sort of anonymity from Saturday nights and undoubtedly leading to anxiety ridden walks through campus. I wondered who I’d run into and have to talk to looking like I just rolled out of bed. But I survived and ended up graduating with a double major in English Literature and American Studies.
I was born in New York, but raised in New Jersey, leading me to claim I was from New York to anyone I met outside of the tri state area. I have a large blended family that left me one of six kids. There’s my brother Ben, two step siblings, and two half brothers. And I have an unhealthy obsession with my English bulldog Bubba.
This blog: after graduating from college I thought I only had two choices for my future: move back in with my parents for an unspecified amount of time or get a 9-5 job in the city. Although I love spending time with my family, living at home after having the freedom of college puts a damper on one’s social life. And let’s be honest 9-5 nowadays means a grueling 8am commute followed most likely by a 6 or 7pm departure from the office. I spent a lot of time in the city after graduation and I would see kids who looked my age, dressed head to toe in business casual (a fashion style I personally loathe and think shouldn’t exist). They all looked so tired and so miserable. I realized I needed to travel, to have some adventures, to really live before I spent the rest of my life working. That’s why when I got my acceptance letter to Israel Teaching Fellows, I knew I had to take the opportunity to teach English abroad in Israel for ten months.
My brother participated in the program two years before me and ended up staying an extra year in Israel to complete his master’s degree. His love of the country and the fun experiences he had there definitely solidified my desire to go. So ever since I emailed the program back securing my spot in the city of my choice I never had any doubts about my decision. Instead of being miserable working at a job I’m not even sure I’d like, in a city I find a bit overrated (sorry New York), I’ll be doing something meaningful for the next year while at the same time having (for lack of better words) a kick ass time.
Oh, and for those of you that don’t know, the title of my blog does not revolve around chai tea. Yes I admit Chai tea lattes are my go to drink at Starbucks in the winter, but the chai in the title refers to the Hebrew word חי. Obviously I thought using the word chai in the title would be a pertinent reference to the country I was going to live in. But the word itself means alive or living. So if you want to get technical my blog is called “Living the Alive Life,” which may sound a bit redundant. But vocabulary expertise aside it focuses on the new life and new adventures I will have in Israel. It means that instead of settling for that 9-5 job that makes me cringe, I will be exploring and traveling while I still have the chance, really living it up while I’m young.
Now it’s less than three weeks until I go and I’m currently stressed about how many shoes I’ll be able to pack. I do know one thing for sure, I’m having hummus as soon as a I land. More to come as the adventure begins!