This post is dedicated to my first week in Israel, because it’s been a beautiful learning curve. Please find below a somewhat comprehensive list:
1. Jet lag, the struggle is real.
After 16 hours flying, I wish I could say my first moments riding the taxi shuttle from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem were filled with gasps of wonder and amazement of the beautiful city but really, I was just trying to stay awake long enough to ask the shuttle to stop at the appropriate destination, while taking in the beauty between bits of dozing off.
Later I slept 16 hours, and then not again for another 48 long, jam-packed, adventure-filled, stress-inducing, really kind of crazy hours. And I’m still trying to catch up. SO, don’t underestimate the power of the human body to leave you in Miami when you’re really trying to be in Israel. Drink water, drink more water, try harder than your hardest to sleep… and if all this fails enjoy the ride of heightened emotions.
2. These days, communication is EASY, But…
chalk it all up to WIFI. When I arrived in Israel I thought getting in touch with home would be difficult, I was mentally prepared for that but I found that where there was WIFI, there was home, and it is accesible pretty much any medium-large city.
I’m using the viber app, i recommend it and if you know me, love me, can’t get enough of me? get it, we’ll chat. This won’t be true in all places but I venture to say where there’s a will there is definitely a WIFI way
That said, there is nothing wrong with a little effort to disconnect 😉
3. If you wanna be amazed, think about Globalization
In one walk through the Old City I spoke Italian, English, Spanish, saw a Canadian and Polish center, and eavesdropped on a conversation with french men. The next day I made friends with Australians, Russians and a German and started Hebrew classes among people from The Ivory Coast, Central Republic of Africa, and Korea. Incredible. I am consistently amazed by the amount of culture ( not just Israeli) I am surrounded by, and I’ve got to thank planes, trains, the internet, and the 21st century.
It got me to thinking about home, and Gainesville where the population is also incredibly diverse, look out for it. You can learn a lot from people if you want to listen. Again, I repeat: If you want to be amazed think about globalization.
4. The best way to explore is to adopt a sense of lost and found.
That is only my humble opinion of course but it’s been working wonders for my sense of adventure. One of my first days in Jerusalem my travel partners and I decided to go for a walk. Have you seen Disney’s UP? If you have, you may remember Dug and his infamous “SQUIRREL!” line…. Well, that was me. On the walk if something caught my eye we walked in that direction and just did this for hours, ending up at a fancy Israeli restaurant where we wined and dined. It was truly invigorating to just do.
This is where I bring up the Found part. There was a semi-sketched contingency plan and that was important. Although we didn’t know where we were going and didn’t speak the language, we did have a friend with a car to pick us up should we need that. It came in handy when with full bellies the adventure drew to a close and we were ready to be found.
someone please reality check me if I don’t remember these lessons when I get back in the states.
All my best,