Goodbye and Toda Dear Tel Aviv

in Life, Culture & Sports

I was only 24 when I met her, and it had been love at first sight. It took only a decade to know that I needed to get as far away as possible.

She had swooped me up inside her bubble, catching me in her fervent frequency, inspiring me with her limitless energy, also tumbling me around her unsteady tides and knocking me down a million times. At first, we were simply excited to be alive, so easily influenced by the thrill of the ride. We had big goals and bigger to-do lists. Crazy dreams and real hope,  just me and her ready to conquer the globe. She carried me away, floating me on her waves of opportunity everyday.

I knew she would ensure I reached the shore, even if there were moments, I felt like I might drown.

Screenshot from Tel Aviv Presents: A Love Letter to Tel Aviv

How much could change in one decade? Her escapades were endless, her culture palpable, her music flooded the edges of every street, her art embedded in every pour of concrete. A thousand first dates and a million sunsets. Tech talks and song circles. Chance meetings that were not chance, walks along the beach, a sandy, sunrise dance. Kisses on corners of the Kerem, brunches and benches, love found on the playground. Strolling home with hummus haze, air conditioning drops, and sweaty days. Finding yourself when all was lost, petting owners and their dogs. Stepping on the open stage, feeling raw, living uncaged. Hippie hearts, entrepreneurial starts, failing and flying, always the chance to restart. The chutzpah of every landlord, Shabbat dinners and carbs galore, scooting in gangs, freewheeling right, riding waves of adventure from day to night.

I arrived in her center and I never wanted to leave. Anything was possible in Tel Aviv.

Until, the bubble burst. The city shrunk, the crowds became too much, the rent too high, the noise a crutch. She hadn’t changed at all, still wild and free. I realized it wasn’t her; it was all me. I craved silence and stillness after constant stirs, so I could find my own center instead of living in hers.

I planned for departure. Until coronavirus landed. And the lockdown came. And the streets got quiet, and the city tamed, and the crowds dispersed, and just a bit of her magic, lost. One snap and the silence and stillness arrived. The curtains were closing, a telltale sign.

And today, it is not only me who feels the need to leave, the mass exodus has begun in hopes of feeling more free. Because our dear Tel Aviv is simply not how she used to be. It took one moment of pause amidst the global pandemic to start the simmer of desire – to return to our nature, to spring a little higher. Goodbye dear Tel Aviv, and thank you for a golden decade. To the next chapter, where I’ll finally be able to financially save!

Dear Tel Aviv: A Love Letter by Zo Flamenbaum

We asked Zo Flamenbaum from School of Shine to write a love letter to Tel Aviv. Here's what she came up with. Simply wow. ?

Gepostet von Tel Aviv Presents am Freitag, 20. März 2020


Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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