You Know You Just Returned From A #Birthright Trip When…

1) You can understand the world around you.

You spent the past 10 days tuning out the random talk on the sidewalk. It was all gibberish anyway. It was kind of nice though. You were in your own little world and were able to focus on whatever you wanted to focus on, like awesome conversation with everyone else in your group. And then BAMMM. Sensory overload. Street signs, advertisements, music, people speaking on the street, everywhere you go something else calls for your attention. I guess there is a reason why they say ignorance is bliss.

2) The next big city isn't just a 30 minute drive away.

Israelis have absolutely no concept of space. To them, America is made up of NYC, Miami, Chicago, and LA all neatly clustered right near each other with Texas somewhere to the south. Who needs the other 45 states?

3) History just got a whole lot shorter.

The 100 year old home that is protected by your local historical society just doesn't seem that old anymore. Even the Boston tea party and the American revolution start to seem like recent history after seeing the Kotel (Western Wall) and the City of David that have been standing for thousands of years.

4) People actually wait in straight lines.

This always seemed simple. Easy as pie. You never knew how hard it could be for people to stand in a straight line until you arrived in Israel. They say it’s the land of milk and honey but the land of anxiety and impatience sounds just as likely to be the truth. Don’t fret though, the same person who jostled for that spot in line will just as fast invite you for a Shabbat meal — no questions asked.

5) You dream about the taste of Aroma iced coffee.

Starbucks just doesn't cut it. At least not anymore. Once you tasted proper Aroma iced coffee, your taste buds became far too spoiled to actually enjoy an over roasted Starbucks cappuccino.

6) You use a car to get everywhere.

Israelis take walking seriously. Dedicated brisk walking doesn't exist in Israel — they call that going to work. Between the excellent intercity bus system, rail lines, a trusty bicycle, and their legs what do they need a car for anyway!? That isn’t the case anymore. Welcome back to America — the land of Greyhound and overpriced airfare.

7) Street signs are only written in one language.

Hebrew, English, and Arabic on every street sign was a bit much. Let’s make life easier for everyone and just make English the standard global language. Right?

8) You don’t find Jews, Muslims, Christians, and every other nationality crossing the street together.

Over 70 different nationalities live, work, and play in Israel! Anytime you walked down the street you were bound to see at least 10 of them, if not more. It was a shock at first but after a day or two, you were walking right right along with them without thinking twice. Now you are back in the land of pretty blondes named Brittany. Enjoy!

9) The guy with the huge beard is probably just a hipster.

Hipster, Hasid, or both? You weren't able to tell them apart in Israel as easily as you can now that you are back in Brooklyn. Back in Israel, that bearded dude standing on the street corner rocking out with some insane guitar riffs might just have finished up with his morning prayers.

10) Your pocket change just became worthless again.

Does anyone actually hang onto their loose pennies, nickels, and dimes? Of course not! Israel is known for throwing a wrench into that habit! Those little 10 shekel coins that are nearly impossible to keep track of are suddenly worth something! It’s one less thing to think of now that you’re back in the states.

11) Your #Taglit family is suddenly spread across the country.

You never could have imagined how close you would become with what were 35 strangers when you first started your trip. In just 10 days though, you all became one big, happy family. Now that your trip is over and you all are spread out across the United States, it feels like a part of your heart is missing. Skype just doesn't cut it. Better start planning that Lake Tahoe reunion…

12) You have more choices for lunch.

Hummus with falafel, hummus with shawarma, hummus with chips, and hummus with hummus. Is that all the Israelis ever eat?! Luckily you’re back in America — the land of plentiful fast food.

13) The word “Sababa” means nothing to your friends.

It was the first word you learned in Israel. It’s a word that can be used in response to just about everything. It somehow fits for everything from extreme excitement, to incredible frustration, to everything in between. It all depends on your tone of voice. Back in the States, when you let the word slip your friends look at you like you are crazy.

Haven’t been to Israel on #Taglit yet?

Now is your chance! This summer, you can explore Israel with Mayanot’s perfect blend of adventure, inspiration, spirituality and personal discovery. And it’s FREE. Beat that! Registration is open for the Taglit-Birthright Israel summer ’15 season now! Don’t miss out!

Its your Israel. Be inspired. Get refreshed and create memories for a lifetime.

Visit www.MayanotIsrael.com to begin your journey today!

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