#24 ⛰🏖🇺🇸 Summer 2021

July and August were a smorgasbord of my favorite things in life

Hey there! And welcome to the new readers who subscribed recently 👋 It’s been a couple months since my last post so I wanted to reflect a bit in this one.

Going Viral (Next Post)

I’m working on a separate post to share my thoughts on some recent controversy that I started with a LinkedIn post + tweet that got a lot of engagement.

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Friends, Mountains, Beach and Family

July and August were a smorgasbord of my favorite things in life.

🇫🇷 France (July)

In July, Carole and I spent a couple weeks together in France, doing a road trip through the French Alps, enjoying the French Riviera, village-hopping in French Wine Country, and making our way back up to Carole’s hometown where we spent a long weekend with friends and family.

As you might imagine given you’re reading this newsletter, I rely heavily on language to express myself and get through life. Two weeks in a country where I don’t speak the language can be challenging but healthy for me to confront some of my own internal insecurities. The quality time with Carole, mixed with warm French summer vibes, beautiful landscape, and delicious food was exactly what we needed from the vacation.

We spent dozens of hours in the car over the course of the trip, with Carole driving the whole time (she didn’t trust me driving her mom’s stick shift car on European roads 😂). Aside from giving me a lot of time to nap, the long drives forced me to sit with my own thoughts and reflect. I didn’t have any big “aha” moments, but it was healthy for me to take a step back from my daily life and think about it almost like an outside observer.

One thing that kept coming up for me is gratitude. I’m starting to see thankfulness less as a feeling I get and more of a “mode of travel”. This makes sense in my head at least. I’m just lucky to be excited about my daily life while also being able to take a leisurely two weeks off to enjoy nature, wine, cheese and real summer.

⛰ Asheville (August)

For each of the last eight years, I’ve met up with some of my best friends from college for a weekend of hiking and catching up on life somewhere beautiful.

For the first three years, we did real camping in Joshua Tree NP, Pinnacles NP, and Big Sur SP. Thus, the trip became known as the “camping trip”.

Over the last handful of years, we’ve grown to appreciate more comfort for these weekends so it’s become more of an “Airbnb and hike” kind of weekend. We’ve been to the Georgia mountains, Rocky Mountain NP, Yosemite NP, and Sequoia NP. This year all five of us were able to make it to Asheville, North Carolina where we hiked in the Appalachian Mountains.

I’ll call out a few things: excellent food, a ton of unique breweries, and an endless number of trails. It’s a small hippie town in the NC mountains. If you’re intrigued, check it out!

🏖 Florida (August)

From Asheville I took a flight down to south Florida where I stayed with my mom and grandma for a week. My sister flew in from Israel with my brother in law, nieces, and brand new nephew who I hadn’t met yet. Carole also joined for a few days which made it even better.

I spent a lot of time with the kids, played games, went swimming, cooked and just enjoyed being with each other. Living on the opposite side of the planet from my sister and her family is really hard for me so I jump on every chance I get to see them. It’s unclear when I’ll be able to visit them in Israel next time (COVID travel restrictions are pretty intense for Israel at the moment, requiring a lengthy quarantine) so this was much needed after I had to cancel my trip to Israel last year due to COVID.


🇺🇸 Carole’s American Dream

A few days after returning to SF from Florida, Carole had her long-awaited naturalization interview. If you’re not familiar with it, a naturalization interview is a test where a candidate for citizenship is asked questions about the US system of government, US history, and key figures in our country’s past. It’s a check to ensure people know enough about the country before becoming citizens. For Carole, this was the final step at the end of an eight year immigration journey that started with a student visa for a program at Berkeley before we met.

I’ve been playing a small supporting role for Carole since we got married in 2016 and had a front row seat to the green card and citizenship process. It’s involved a daunting amount of paperwork, requiring perseverance, optimism, and lots of patience. I’ve been so impressed with Carole’s ability to work through the system and get to this stage.

A couple weeks ago, after rigorously studying the questions, Carole aced the test and is now officially a citizen of the U.S. 🇺🇸🎉🇺🇸🎉🇺🇸🎉

It’s so cool to be part of a real American dream of someone I love so much. Congrats, chouch! 🇺🇸🎉🇺🇸🎉🇺🇸🎉

🥳 Bottle Rock in Napa Valley

To celebrate Carole’s citizenship, her upcoming birthday, and what feels like the early signs of a post-COVID world, we spent this past Saturday with a group of friends in Napa for the Bottle Rock music festival. I discovered a band I didn’t know called Milky Chance and we got a full 90 minute performance from Miley Cyrus which was better than expected. It felt like all the artists were super happy to be able to perform after 1.5 years of COVID. The energy was great and the food was delicious.

Also, everyone at the event needed to show proof of vaccination so we should be ok ✅

🗽Upcoming Travel

We’re heading to NYC mid September to scout out a potential move (more on that in the coming weeks/months) and then heading to Detroit for our friends’ wedding in October.

Entertainment

I have some recs to share based on what I’ve been reading & watching!

📚 Books

📺 TV

  • I’ve been loving Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

  • Carole & I have gotten very into Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu

  • I binged Hit & Run, an Israeli-American production on Netflix in August, which was entertaining but nothing too brainy.

  • Mare of Easttown on HBO, starring Kate Winslet was super fucking good.

🎞 Movies

  • I love the new generation of Disney films and Raya and the Last Dragon didn’t disappoint.

  • A Quiet Place Part I was incredibly good so I was naturally drawn to the sequel, A Quiet Place Part II. It shared the same eery apocalyptic vibes with a healthy dose of scary jump moments. Definitely enjoyed it.

  • I’m a big Bob Odenkirk fan from his work in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul so when I heard he made an action movie it was only a question of when to watch it, not if. I have to admit, Nobody was a super fun movie. If you’re into John Wick, imagine that kind of movie but with Bob Odenkirk. Eagerly waiting for another bloody sequel.

  • I originally put Vivo on for my nephew in FL but he went to sleep in the first 10 minutes so I got drawn into the story instead. Lin Manual Miranda has a way of pulling me into his stories with music so I ended up watching the whole thing. Not the best movie but certainly entertaining.

Recent Purchases

  • Navaris Wood Monitor Stand Riser. This helped me clear up my desk a lot while maintaining a clean wood look.

  • Samsonite Centric 2 Hardside Luggage. I had never ordered a new luggage online but this has already proven to be a solid purchase.

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones. The last over-the ear headphones I bought lasted me ~5 years and broke recently so I replaced them and am loving the Sony headset. Especially useful during travel and when I want to focus (wearing right now).

  • INIU Portable Charter. I went camping earlier this year with some friends who brought a power bank and I decided it was time for me to stop running out of battery. This thing charges super fast and holds 3-4 full iPhone charges. Excellent buy for $20.


Going Viral

I’m working on a separate post to share my thoughts on some recent controversy that I started with a LinkedIn post + tweet that got a lot of engagement.

Subscribe to receive the next post with my thoughts on going viral directly to your inbox 👇

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