Deb’s Travels

This category brings you to my diary-type posts. It’s here for my friends and everyone else I have met since 2011 who have asked me to keep them up to day with my adventure. It’s here for anyone who wishes to follow my travels.


To catch you up on my travels since July…

I am behind on my posts. I’d stopped posting in order to redesign the site and finding the time, the right template, and doing the customizing, took far longer than I’d planned. I have been keeping a travel journal so I will be using that to fill you in here. But client’s work come first. Then comes not missing the amazing experiences that travel brings.

So for now… click this heading for a summary of where I have been. (And enjoy the photos along the top of my home page because they are all from these months.)

Deb's travels this segment.

Map July to July

I have been looking for a good mapping program so I could mark off all the places I go, see them and share them. Although I cringe at the thought of giving this info to Google to sell, I was even willing to use their personal maps feature, but I have failed to find it again after months of trying so it appears they have removed it. Travellers Point seems to be a worthwhile site and have a great map feature, so I signed up and am giving it a shot. Bear in mind that I make it a rule to never write about a place while I am there. Tzfat was the only exception to this. So this is not up to date. I also opted not to use the dates feature of this trip planner map. View Full Size Travel Map at Travellerspoint Time will tell if I […]


Learning about Fiji – in Israel

Today I shared Kava Kava, a traditional Fiji drink made from a root, with a great group of people from Fiji. I learned to clap my hands twice first, then drink it from their traditional bowl, then clap again.

No, I have not flown or otherwise been magically transported to Fiji. Fiji came to me – at the New Tiberias Hostel in Tiberias Israel.

This is what happens when you travel, stay in hostels, and say hello to other guests as you come across them.


Recording Computer Talk Radio at crazy hours as I travel

It is 4:19 a.m. on this now-Wednesday pre-dawn day. I just finished recording my weekly Computer Talk Radio segment because the engineer is in the US, 9 hours behind my time (here in Israel). Tuesday evening was always my time slot to record and it’s Tuesday evening in California now. The topic this week was my long-time method of doing taxes. I am a huge Excel-tracking + [not online] TurboTax fan and recommend [your computer-based] TurboTax for everyone — even if you hire someone to do your taxes. If you’re into “what-if” scenarios and are thinking about starting your own business or making some income changes, TurboTax is a great tool to see how those changes may play out. Anyway, the show is recorded. Our listeners will learn, and me… Now I can go to bed and sleep 7 hours straight rather than try to sleep at midnight but not get […]

Computer Talk Radio logo

Places to start following Deb’s Travels

If you’ve been following my travels, welcome back. If you’re new here and would like to follow all or any part of Deb’s Travels from the start, this page of links will help. For example, you can start reading from the start of my time in Guatemala, or any other country. =======>>>> Start reading from the start of 2011. Start reading from the start of Mexico. Start reading from the start of Belize. Start reading from the start of Guatemala. Start reading from the start of Honduras. Start reading from the start of El Salvador. Start reading from the start of Costa Rica. Start reading from the start of Panama. Start reading from my US 1 year break from international.


Vonage mobile app saves the day for travel & work

I just gave a good shoutout to Vonage for the Vonage Mobile app on Twitter … @Vonage Fab! #VonageMobileApp just maintained a 66 minute call to terrific #JustHost from mountains of N Israel to US as a storm headed in. and I’m doing the same here. — Deborah Shadovitz (@DebShadovitz) February 10, 2015 …and I’m doing the same here. Vonage Mobile app maintained a 66 minute call – during a storm! For months I have slowly been redesigning this website and was finally ready to take it live. Just as I wanted to talk to one of the great support guys at my blog’s host, JustHost, the impending storm headed into these Northern Israel mountains right on schedule. The Wi-Fi is always shaky where I am working under a hard working heater — and with a storm coming in, there was a good chance I’d lose the signal — thus losing my support call. The signal did […]


A bit of Old City, Tzfat 1

I love my little forays up the beautiful white Israeli stone steps to Rehove Jerusalem, the main street — to the fruit store where large avocados and prisimans are 30¢ each, and of course there is great falafel. So tonight I am sharing photos of my short walk home. It begins in light alley. Rehove Jerusalem, the Main Street, is at right at my back. Then I walk down two sets of white stone stairs. And down another short flight of steps that lay before me in this last photo. The lit patio at the end is Ascent of Tzfat. As you can see Ascent is in the Old City. Just at the edge. It is so beautiful.


In search of a Chanukah Latka — in Israel

December 22, 2014 (posted on facebook) Tonight is the 7th night of Chanukah and I have yet to even see a latke. :( Who’d have thought that in Israel, the land of olive oil, there’d be a dearth of luscious lip-licking latkas? In Poland I could buy them cold in the supermarket or even freshly cooked  hot on the street (at least in Zacaopne). But in Jerusalem on the first two days of Chanukah I couldn’t find them on the street, in the markets, or in the most famous shuk. (Donuts, the other traditional fried food of this fiesta, were all over the place, but for me, latkas are the only satisfying option.) Returning to Tzfat I didn’t see a latka for sale anywhere either. So I decided to think of it this way… I travel to learn the world’s traditions, so I’m going with the flow and living on memories of latkas in Tarnow and Zacaopne […]


Traveling from Ljubljana into Croatia

Slovenia into Croatia by train

I am writing this as I sit, alone, in a six-person compartment on the 3:10 train from the Ljubljana (Slovenia) railway station to the Rijeka (Croatia) train station. As I entered the first available train car, the back-most car, I was at first taken aback and disappointed by the car full of 6-seat compartments. The separate compartments can be nice, but I was disappointed because I’d hoped to meet people on the train. I’d met my Ljubljana friends on a train.

I don’t want to be leaving. Slovenia is a beautiful area, I enjoy Ljubljana, and more importantly, I love my friends. However, I must leave. Today is my 89th day in the Schengen Area and 90 days is the limit.

As I stepped off the train there was one other woman with me, I asked about a hostel and she told me there was one just down the road five minutes, but that was all I had from her. I will never know if I found that hostel.


Šiauliai Lithuania to Riga Latvia by mini-bus

As I headed to Lithuania, world-traveling friend Esther Snippe “Facebooked me” telling me that if I was going to be in Lithuania, I had to go to Riga (the capital of Latvia). Due to the Schengen Agreement, my time in Europe was limited to three months. In all of my years (3 + 1½) of traveling, I had never entered a country and only gone to one town. That just isn’t in line with how I travel.

But Riga and its many fine Art Nouveau buildings beaconed and the Schengen limitations make me crazy — so I made an exception and went to Riga.

Want to join me on my 2½-hour bus ride from Šiauliai (show-leh) Lithuania to Riga Latvia?


Cell phone & data SIM card in Lithuania

I arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania on a Thursday afternoon at 3pm. I’d needed to text my friend Pedro on Friday afternoon but was able to use the roaming feature on my Polish SIM card. (I’m pretty sure that data would have expired by the time I got back to Poland anyway.) When Pedro came with me to get a SIM the next afternoon, the nearest shop was closed. So I didn’t get a SIM unil my 3rd day in Vilnius.

However, it never occurred to me that a bus or train station was actually THE place to buy a SIM card and I had not learned that at this point in my travels. (It turns out that was the case, at least in the major cities, through the entire area.) Having known, I might have purchased my SIM and plan at the Vilnius Coach Station, which is right across from the train station.

For $1.35 I got:
150 phone minutes
1,000 text messages
100mb data

The cellular package I bought in Lithuania.

Traditional Lithuania food in Vilnius

For my first meal in Vilnius, Lithuania, I wanted something traditional. My Portuguese friend Pedro, having met me at the bus, was with me for the afternoon and evening. After we’d checked me into a great hostel, we kept an eye out for a good, but affordable place to eat.

The main street through the old city is really nice, but, as you’d expect, the restaurants are touristy and costly. I felt we did fairly well finding Forto Dvaras.


Warsaw to Vilnius on SimpleBus

8:15am
I am comfortably seated on SimpleBus, as our driver makes his way over a mostly (so far) 2-lane road through green countryside. At one point we were surrounded by trees and I imagined how Jews hid out there once. Now, as we near Lomza we are going through open farm fields sometimes separated by Clusters of trees sometimes there is a row or two of tall trees separating the farm and home from the road. I think I see corn growing.

2:31
I replied to Pedro and he texted:
“Ok ok…I am on my way to the station…see you there at the entrance.”
He asked if I found a CouchSurfing host. I hadn’t had any luck and asked if he knew hostels. He said there are at least four and he would help. It is so amazing to land somewhere and not go it alone. (First Michal in Warsaw, then Dorota in Krakow, and now Pedro in Vilnius. This was a very different trip for me!)

3:00
IWhen the bus pulled into the Vilnius Coach Station, Pedro was waiting for me. It was fabulous to be met by a friend. (Technically an acquaintance, but in travels like this, I consider such a nice guy a friend.)

I was in Vilnius, Lithuania — a place I’d never thought I’d get to in my life. What would I find here, in the city (or area) of my family’s past generations?