A Shared Love of Travel

Author: • October 8, 2017 • Personal Essays

We talked of our mutual love of traveling. That I can’t remember the precise destinations we spoke of indicates how little traveling has come to mean to me since. I’m sure you must remember. The weight of memories, I find, is always distributed unequally with one person taking away this or that while the other takes away something altogether different. Each, no doubt, takes what they had come to get. Of that I am certain. In any case, we spoke of airplanes and trains and bookings, of foreign cultures and our wish to see the fjords—or the Himalayas.

You drove me home, back up the Carmel Mountain with the dark sea serving as our backdrop, and I remember you saying later how scared you were when I said, “Sure, let’s meet again. Maybe. Why not.” I tried to play it cool, in my red Teva sandals and my ill fitted mini skirt. How low of me. How funny.

So we were these two Israeli kids back then. One fresh out of the army, doing what he was supposed to be doing: only dreaming of travels as a side dish to engineering; the other seemingly dreaming of travels. I thought that was what I was dreaming of. My dreams were actually wilder and more out of control than I realized. And for that I would be very sorry, for a very long time.

The first time we were in bed together, you stared at me the whole night. “Why did you stare at me like that?” I would later ask. “I wanted to let you know how I felt.” I didn’t know how to climb down gradually from such heights: the come down was rough. The acrobatics involved in a good dopamine and oxytocin rush… perhaps European kids are better equipped for it. I only knew I had never flown that high. This is what was unclear to me as yet about adventures: they involve real pain.

We traveled to Bulgaria first, driving around in an old Lada that couldn’t shift into fifth. I couldn’t drive manually back then and got extremely frustrated having to sit in the passenger’s seat. My role was to read the signs in Cyrillic. We drove into a gypsy village with metal shacks and leaking buckets of water by mistake. I laughed wildly as we drove into a makeshift car rally that the gypsies were having; you got angry and scared. You yelled, I cried.

About the Author

Cecile's Writer: Natalie BergmanAuthor: Natalie Bergman

Country of residence: The Czech Republic

Nationalities: American, Israeli and British

Mother tongues: English and Hebrew

Natalie Bergman was born in the US but grew up in Israel, which she left at the age of sixteen. Born into a European Jewish family that had suffered the consequences of WWII, she has always been interested in the topics of immigration, foreignness and identity. After living in Scotland for a while, Natalie settled down in the Czech Republic; the place her grandparents were born in but had to leave. “A Shared Love of Travel” is her first story to be published.

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