Yearly Archives: 2015


Giving up heavy shoes

I’ve traveled so many years, for years at a time, that you’d think I knew the best packing. I think I do — but we all make mistakes…

These shoes were not a good travel item.

While a nice sandal, the Columbia gave me no ankle support, so they were not a good choice. They were also very heavy. Heavy in my backpack — and heavy to lift on my foot with every step so walking in them made me tired.


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.


My Safe Skies Cable Lock finally failed

Nothing will change that I loved my Safe Skies Cable Lock — but sadly, I now have to report that this lock has failed me. It reached its limit, so I have a use warning for you now.

The lock still looks almost brand new, even after using this lock daily for about 1 year and 5 months and even more when you add intermittent low use, for about 9 months after that heavy use.

However, one day months ago, during the low use time, while sliding the lock open, it failed me and it is no longer usable.


Natural help for burns — raw egg membrane! 2

We all know the feeling: the pain of the burn, then the blister. Then the pain as the blister pops and the new raw skin is exposed before it’s ready. And the possible pain and infection if the new skin becomes irritated, opens or becomes infected.

What if you didn’t have to go through that pain again?

And the solution is simply a discarded part of a raw egg!


Thoughts on travel hacking 2

…disappointed that she was in China and her friend didn’t want to experience it …couldn’t care less. Then I realized! She wasn’t with “travelers. She was with “travel hackers.”

It’s one thing to take advantage of a great New Card offer and get $50,000 bonus miles — giving you a free flight from say, the USA to Europe. It’s not easy to save for a vacation and we all need vacations. And a new card now and then is legitimate. But go on that vacation and enjoy the place you’d selected! Travel overland while you’re there and see the place. Take a train or bus and talk to the locals! Experience the place! Savor the locale, the people, the foods, the languages, the experiences.


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.


Discovered Kohlrabi — and love it!

On Wednesday May 13, 2015 at 3 p.m., I wrote a note to myself on my iPhone.
One word: Kohlrabi.

A day or two earlier, I was sitting in the Ascent library, my friend Mo’s office in Tzfat, working with him. He had this thing that looked like a white waxy Turnip. It fit in the palm of his hand. I’d watched as he peeled it with a knife.

This was new to me.

A perfect traveler’s food.


Buying Peanut Butter in Israel

This is for all the Americans backpackers and other Americans who are traveling to Israel and love our Peanut Butter.

As you shop for Peanut Butter in Israel, you’ll find plastic jars with screw tops like we’re used to in the USA — but you’ll also find a solid plastic contain with either a green or red lid.

It’s not the same as the stuff in the screw-top containers. See how liquidy it is.


Music and bonfire dinner in Qatzrin (Katzrin) Israel

Upon arrival at the comfortable Golan Garden Hostel in Qatzrin (Katzrin) , Israel, I was invited to the Bonfire Music Jam and Donation Dinner. After a fast tour of this nice, comfortable hostel, some great conversations and a bit of work time, it was time to head to the bonfire. I was hungry and ready, as were we all. This clearing and fire ring were an easy 15 minute walk from the Golan Garden Hostel. I asked what town we were seeing in the distance. The lights in foreground are Rosh Pina and those at the top of the mountain are Tzfat. After living in Tzfat for so long and looking out at the lights of other towns, I was now enjoying the lights of Tzfat in my view. It was a beautiful warm evening. Perfect weather, stars high above us. People from a variety of countries. The fire was even interesting. There was a […]


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.)


Easy & vegan chocolate cake – a travelers treat 1

Has the craving for a great chocolate cake hit you while you were traveling? Has it hit you in a country where there simply isn’t a great chocolate cake to be found in the stores? Has it hit you where you simply don’t want to spend the money on a top level bakery cake? Has it hit you but you don’t want to go out and buy milk and butter and eggs? Here’s the chocolate cake solution! It’s a perfect cake for travelers because none of the ingredients need refrigeration.  This Chocolate cake is called Crazy Cake. Many people learned this cake from grandmothers. (I learned it from my great friend Carolyn who learned it from her grandmother.) It seems to have been popular in the American 1929 depression because it uses no milk, butter, or eggs. You can also make it in just the pan that you bake it in so you […]


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 […]


A thought about packing light and carrying medications

The other day my friend Rachel called me. She was staying at Ascent as was my backpack (while I traveled more of Israel) and she wanted to know if I had any cold medicine. “Yes, I do!” I replied excitedly. “It’s yours, actually. It’s the same package that you bought me the week we met and you wanted to help me get over being sick. It’s in the original box. You should be able to find it in…” You may wonder why I was so excited that she was asking if I had this. There are several reasons why: 1) I love that I had something to help a friend. 2) I love that something she bought for me turned out to be able to help her or to help her help someone else. 3) There will be two fewer items in my backpack. No matter how light or how small something […]


iPhone sound lost — until Bheestie Bag returned it!

A strange thing happened to my iPhone about a month ago. As I’d use my iPhone for anything other than calls — to play Bookworm, listen to Hebrew lessons, etc, the sound would cut out. This became more and more frequent until one day I had no sound for any of my apps. I also lost the alert sounds that would tell me I had a text message or email. I couldn’t even know someone was phoning me or had texted me using any text app.

Thankfully, although games, language apps, the Music app were all mute, I still had perfect sound for phone calls and even more oddly, I had sound for calls via the Vonage app. However, I had to keep the phone close to my body or in my sight to know I was receiving a call or text.


Advice in moving to a new town

Recently, a young man posted a query on LinkedIn, seeking advice on relocating for a job — his first job out of college/university.

This part of his query called to me for two reasons. First, because as a traveler I am always walking into new locations and situations. Also because I’d also relocated with less than 24 hour notice, in order to take my own first job in broadcasting.

Curious about my advice? I’ve posted it here.


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.


Great Pizza in Tzfat, Israel 1

If you’re craving pizza while in Israel, you will do very well to have that pizza at Pizza Simta in Tzfat! Crispy crust generously sprinkled with sesame seeds surrounding nice-tasting sauce and cheese, freshly made right in front of you, then served bubbling hot!

My pizza standard was formed by growing up with NY and then NYC pizza. It was furthered by pizza in Naples, Italy. If I had pizza in other states or countries, I was unimpressed to remember it either way. For me to say I love a pizza is a pretty big thing.