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.


My practical traveler’s thank you to hosts 2

As a guest in people’s homes, it’s a given that I bring food or a gift for my hosts. But for the longer-term visits, I typically try to contribute to the home in some way as a special thank you. Sometimes my host/hostess knows. Other times they have no idea unless they notice the difference later on.

Sometimes it’s just cleaning floor molding and cabinet doors. Once I recaulked a bathroom. Once I repaired a large hole in the wall…

The tub with the new silicon sealant.

Normalcy of a bedside clock

[I write this while in LA, newly sub-leasing a small apartment. My plan is to stay in LA for a while, enjoying family and friends here for a while.]

Each night now as I go to sleep and look at this red clock beside my bed and I think: “I have a bedside clock.” It’s been a long time since I’ve had a bedside clock. One of these red glowing LED lights that shine the numbers that tell the time. It might seem silly but it’s a luxury I’ve long lived without and a bit of normalcy for me. I haven’t had much normalcy in quite a while — in 4 1/2 years.


Best dining option at Dead Sea hotel zone

The Taj Mahal restaurant is a very welcome change from the hotels that line the Ein Bokek area of the Dead Sea. It is outside! You have the Bedouin-inspired benefit of cover without walls so you can feel the air and see the Dead Sea. You can choose from a range of seating styles: tables with comfy cushioned seats, benches and metal-backed chairs, cushion seating at low tables, and thick-cushioned lounge chairs around low tables. The decor is unique, fun and a bit eclectic. And, the food is fantastic! As are the owners.


House sitting in Tzfat Israel 1

This week I had a new experience in Tzfat. A woman I have known for a while invited me to her home. Then she needed to go away but she also needed to be here for the refrigerator repairman. So I got to house-sit. I cleaned out the fridge and salvaged food.

Sound boring? Sound crazy?
Here’s the thing: that fridge is in a stone-walled kitchen!


Living the downsize: from 2 bedrooms to 65 liters

This time 4 years ago I lived a typical American life in a two-bedroom condo. It was home to my furniture, photos … two dressers full of clothes…. kitchen full of fine appliances…home office.

Now I’ve virtually been living out of a 65-liter backpack. If something fit into that backpack, I don’t take it with me.

Sometimes I miss my old stuff but If I still had it I would need to still have a place for it to — and I would not have had the freedom to be in whatever country I happened to be in at that moment.

The truth is, we really need very few physical items to be well-dressed, clean, well-groomed, and comfortable. And your perception or definition of “very few items” will even change as you live the downsize.


Deb's travels this segment.

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.)


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.


Computer Talk Radio logo

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 […]


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 […]