11 Apr 2018

It has been a lifelong goal of mine to be carried around in a golden palanquin – Cleopatra-style – by four rugged, well-muscled, shirtless (naturally) men. There’d be an additional two – one to keep me cool by waving palm fronds at me, and the other to feed me peeled grapes and tell me how beautifully luminous I am…or luminously beautiful. I’m not picky.

While I am profoundly disappointed that this has yet to become a reality, I have not quite given up on the dream. Instead, I’m taking actionable steps towards getting what I want, meaning I am strategically selecting destinations for my trips to put myself in the optimal position to realize my vision, hence – Tel Aviv. If the rumours about physically blessed Israeli men are true, I have a high chance that my transportation will be covered while I’m there.

But that’s not that only reason I chose the second most populated city in Israel for my next adventure. I also really like hummus.

As if I needed more reasons than the aforementioned, here are 6 other legit reasons I chose Tel Aviv as my next adventure abroad:

Being ethnic, I’m not considered challenged in the pigment department, but I feel pasty AF after a long winter.The sickly hue of my skin is the equivalent of a wilted plant that hasn’t seen the sun in an eternity. So me, my skin, and I, are pumped for a vitamin D infusion to take advantage of the abundance of sun-drenched beaches scattered along the Mediterranean coastline in Tel Aviv.

+ Dolphinarium Beach: Whether valid or not, I am strongly opposed to dolphins and anything dolphin-related ( Tiny Fey knows why). But as this beach is also known as Drum Beach and hosts music festivals on Fridays, I’ll make an exception.

+ Hilton Beach: I'm not general much of a beach-lover since I get bored after 20 minutes of lying down (unless I'm sleeping off a hangover) so the abundance of water sport activities available at Hilton Beach is ideal for my restlessness. Take advantage of the windsurfing and kayaking lessons offered by the Sea Centre Club then refuel on beach food at a nearby restaurant.

If you don’t know that I live to eat (and not the other way around) then you haven’t been paying attention. I will NOT go anywhere there isn’t good food (see: all-inclusive resorts). Israeli incorporates food traditionally eaten in the Middle East and the Mediterranean – the best of two tasty worlds.

+ Carmel Market: Wandering local markets is the best way to get a feel for the food scene in any city so I’m looking forward to overwhelming the senses and taste testing local delicacies at Carmel Market on the way to the beach.

+ Bellboy: You guys know how I feel about the first meal of the day so obviously I made it a priority for Tel Aviv. When I heard “boozy brunch” and “pumpkin pancakes with lavender and bacon” I put Bellboy at the top of the list.

+ Café 65: Am I the only person who always thought green eggs and ham sounded delicious? Another brunch-time goal, I plan on hitting up Café 65 for a twist on a local favourite, green shakshuka – plump eggs poached in vegetable sauce.

+ The Basics: Israel has a great street food culture so I’m looking forward to indulging in local favourites like chickpea goodness at Hummus Habayit, shakshuka at Shakshukia, and pita’s brimming with fried eggplant, falafel, salad, and drenched in tahini sauce from Ovadia’s Sabich.

As a former art school graduate, it may come as a surprise that I’m not a fan of perusing art galleries UNLESS there is specific exhibit featuring an artist or movement that I like, such as the development of the Bauhaus style. Tel Aviv, also known as the ‘White City,’ is home to one of the most impressive collections of Bauhaus architecture in the world due to massive waves of immigration from Europe, earning the status as a World Cultural Heritage Site as dubbed by UNESCO.

+ Soskin House: Commissioned in 1933, this private mansion’s almost nautical design is all impressive flowing curves, small windows, and shaded balconies in white or cream to keep the interior cool while retaining it’s modern elegance.

+ Thermometer House: A stark contrast to the smoothly curved lines of the other Bauhaus buildings, this structure was named for it’s diagonal, slatted windows that create harsh vertical lines running down the entire length.

Since my regular dance partner-in-crime heartlessly abandoned me for Paris, the opportunities to dance until the wee hours of the morning (outside of salsa) are few and far between. I am BEYOND excited to be reunited with the Sam to my Frodo in the Holy Land and the stellar and lively nightlife of Tel Aviv.

+ Kuli Alma: I doubt I’ll be sober enough to appreciate the vibrant murals that bedeck the walls or the rotating exhibits featured at this art-focused bar, but I will most definitely enjoy shimmying myself into a puddle of sweat on the dance floor.

+ Diego San: If my tastebuds become weary of strictly Israeli food, I can head over the this trendy Korean-Mexican bar and gobble down Asian fusion tacos on their massive outdoor patio, framed by rows of hanging lights.

+ Speakeasy: Anywhere there is a rooftop that offers me an expansive view of the city I find myself in is a MUST. And if I can consume alcoholic beverages while lounging on sleek couches at the same time I am enjoying said view? Even better (and essential, really).

When I travel, it’s like my desk-bound body is making up for all the time I spend sitting and so I’m always on-the-move, cramming in as many cities as time permits within a country. Being the second largest city in Israel, Tel Aviv is the ideal home base for endless day trips and as they’re all fairly close (no more than a one to two hour drive away) that means no precious days of vacation are wasted on tedious travel times.

+ Masada: This ancient fortress in the Judean Desert located on the top of an isolated rock plateau, accessible by hiking a winding path or cable car up to the fortifications. It is where a band of Jewish rebels, the Sicarii, overcame the Roman garrison and where Herod the Great built palaces for himself.

+ Haifa: Third largest city in Israel and a major seaport on the Mediterranean coastline, Haifa hosts the Terraces of the Bahá'í Faith, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa. Not only are the gardens famed for their beauty but the religion itself espouses unity and the essential worth of all religion which is very appealing to me to learn more about.

+ Caesarea: Infamous for having one of the best beaches in Israel is quite a feat that Caesarea Aqueduct Beach has achieved. Beyond that, the town also has a national park with a massive Roman amphitheater and historic port. I can’t wait to inspect the ruins and remains of long-gone frescos and mosaics.

Next to food on my list of priorities when I travel is collecting as many unusual and unique experiences that you can only do in that specific place. Tel Aviv was so appealing to me because Israel has experiences that suit every personality from tours that focus on the spiritual and cultural to adrenaline-pumping activities in the desert.

+ Floating in the Dead Sea: Back in biblical times, this was King Herod’s spa of choice because of the health benefits of the mud! The high-salinity body of water means you don’t have to worry if you can’t swim because you will be floating with the greatest of ease.

+ Buggy Riding in Makhtesh Ramon: I’m always down for unusual methods of transportation and seeking glorious views so this activity satisfies both. Makhtesh Ramon looks like a meteor crater and what better way to explore it than zipping around in a duped up ATV?!

+ Bedouin Camp in the Negev Desert: I hated camping as a kid (because kids are mean) so I’m making up for it in adulthood. Since glamping in the Saharan Desert I’ve been drawn to desert-based adventures so hunkering down with at a Bedouin Camp off the beaten path in the Negev Desert, listening to stories about the Holy Land over a hot cup of tea fit the bill!

ETC is the overflow of thoughts in the mind of Teri Yeung. It’s a place full of stories of travel adventures, imparted lessons learned from life’s achievements and failures, behind-the-scenes of projects and experiments, and anything else that inspires excitement and joy.

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