Trip of a Lifetime
Israel Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
I felt awfully privileged to have the chance to study in Israel.
I had already soaked in so much as an undergraduate - and to think, here I was on the wake of graduation and still looking forward to continuing my college experience by studying abroad in Israel ... after graduating! To flashback a little bit, during my graduating semester to prepare for Israel, I took a historical class, with the 20+ other students who would be my co-travelers to Israel that coming summer in 2000. We learned about the deep, rich history of Israel - war-filled, and even today, still full of unrest.
Graduation day came and went ... I was on a high! I didn't even have the chance to come down from it and I found myself boarding a Lufthansa plane to Tel Aviv.
Little did I know that I was in for the journey of all journeys.
First day... we spent acclimating ourselves to the weather, elevation, time zone. Tel Aviv. Wonderful. My favorite thing about Tel Aviv were the little packs of instant coffee in my hotel room.
Next days were a whirlwind... Caesarea. Mt. Carmel. Megiddo. Then off to Akko, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor. Meeting Elias Chacour in Ibillin. Then Bet Alfa, Bet She'an, Caesarea-Philippi, Tel Dan. Not to mention Bethsaida, Chorazim, Capernaum.
Staying at the Kibbutz Ein Gev off the coast of the Sea of Galilee had to have been the most memorable places to be. My roomies and I would put our beach chairs halfway in the water and watch the sunset every night behind the hills.
Masada. What a day. A classmate and I had both had knee surgeries (both meniscus tears) months earlier, so we were given the opportunity to take the lift up to the top instead of hiking it like the rest of my classmates. Don't think I was better off. I would have much rather hiked up myself - and experienced every sweaty step.
Then, the Old City. The Four Quarters (Arabic, Jewish, Christian and Muslim) where everyone lives tightly together.
Still onto Kiriat Yearim, Ashkelon, Lachish, Bet Shemesh - and Bethlehem. Bethlehem was ringing in the year 2000 like no other. Then Jericho, Wadi Qilt and Qumran.
And finally Shiloh, Shechem and Samaria.
Time flew by too quickly and before I knew it, my Israel experience had ended. Fortunately for me, I was forever changed.