The Trip: Part Two

Israel

I love Israel. It is as simple that. Sean has heard all about Israel through my quiet but constant advertising campaign about the wonders of Israel. So, if there was one place that was always on the list for this world adventure, it was Israel. To summarize, here is why:

1) It is the land where I was born. (On a related note, see point 2).

2) Going back allows me to see and experience a little bit of the life my parents had in Israel when I was little. For instance, getting to spend time with Itai and his family (and Itai’s lovely girlfriend Ravid), the boy that was born the exact same day as me, in the same hospital. Or walking around Weizmann Institute, to the little pond where I crawled next to. It is very touching to come back there as an adult, traveling the world.

3) I had an amazing study abroad experience and met so many lovely and amazing people there. Personal shout-outs to Therese, Julie and Stas.

4) It gives me a great opportunity to practice my Hebrew, which currently hovers somewhere between horrendously crappy and abysmal. Therefore, the more practice, the merrier. When the parking garage ticket machine wasn’t accepting credit cards on the way out, I was able to jump into action, with at least three Hebrew words mixed in with my English:-P

5) The food. I think there are some places you travel to and the food there is something nice that you eat while on your way to different things. Then, I think there are places where the food dominates not only your time there, but provides a tremendous amount of flavor to how you see the country (pun intended). Israel is definitely the latter.

I could list all the different Israeli dishes and foods I love but suffice it to say, I immediately stock up on different kinds of yogurts when I am there. From “Israeli Breakfasts” to shakshuka, and everything in-between, we enjoyed lots of delicious food.

“Israeli Breakfast”
Gelato in Caesarea

6) Historically, environmentally, and culturally rich. We only scratched the surface during this trip of the many different places we could have seen, but we did hit some fantastic highlights: Masada, (an ancient fortress built over 2,000 years ago), Caesarea National Park (city and harbor also built over 2,000 years ago on the sea) and Bahai Gardens (a holy place for the Bahai religion, with beautiful gardens cascading down the side of Mt. Carmel). We also took some time to float in the Dead Sea.

Bahai Gardens
Sean in the Dead Sea for the first time!

7) Tel Aviv. A bustling city located right next to the beach, with an amazing promenade to walk along. During our time in Tel Aviv, we loved lounging on the beach. We lived right in the center, near Dizengoff mall, and were able to walk almost everywhere in the city, from the beach to the Azrieli Center and Sarona Market to the Tel Aviv Art Museum and Ibn Gvirol street to HaBima Theater.

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv
Habima Square in Tel Aviv

The reasons to visit Israel are numerous, but I have taken the time to list seven of them. Whether you are interested in relaxing on the beach, yummy food, historical and culture excursions, or just a place where the people and cities are lively, Israel is a must-see.