ISRAEL: Birthright

Birthright Israel was the best time of my entire life so far. I am still processing everything. It almost feels like a dream.

It’s taken me quite some time to put this together, but I’m happy to finally share this experience with you all! I’m not going to go into detail because we did so much – it’s hard to dive into even one just day without writing out an entire novel.

Some highlights of my trip:

  1. The Dead Sea: I literally got lifted off the salty rocky bottom and floated into heaven (dramatic but really). It is so amazing and nowhere else in the world is like it! It’s calming and surreal.
  2. Red Sea Hike: This hike overlooks the Red Sea and I gotta tell ya it might’ve been the most gorgeous view of the whole trip. I was hungover so pretty rewarding once I was done and I didn’t you know puke. It also made me realize I just need to hike when I’m hungover…deep stuff.
  3. Tel Aviv: My favorite city in Israel by far. It is an international hub and if I were to live in Israel, it would be here. The buildings are different colors and all unique-looking. The street design reminded me a lot of Europe. Also, beautiful street art and markets were around every corner. The nightlife is pretty fun too – didn’t get to experience this as much as I wanted to.
  4. The Western Wall: One word – goosebumps. It was a very spiritual and humbling experience touching a 2,000 year old wall (gross?).
  5. The Red Sea: Sun, drinks and relaxation – I mean, my dreamland. You can see Jordan and Egypt from the beach too….sweet. The water is so blue and the views so beautiful I felt like Instagramming every 5 minutes.
  6. The Holocaust Museum: I have read about and studied the Holocaust for years, but this museum brought it all to a much more real and hard-hitting light. We all shared a lot of tears that day.

The friends and memories I made are irreplaceable. My daily diet consisted of hummus, shawarma and falafel. Our group of 50 people (including wonderful Israeli soldiers) all spent 24 hours together every day going through crazy and insane and wonderful moments. Drinking, crying, laughing, talking, eating, dying…the bond is hard to describe in words because I have never bonded with others like this before.

When I stepped out of the plane in NYC, I felt like “reality” wasn’t even real anymore. I came out a different person, a more prideful Jew (laughed out loud saying this, but it’s true).

Traveling also brings out a part of me that I never knew I had – I forgot what it felt like. I was awakened out of my 9-5 life and I’m ready to keep chasing that feeling.

This year has started out crazy already but I’m excited for what’s to come and to share my future journeys with you all (Australia up next!). I somehow was able to narrow my pictures down to 130 after taking over 1,500. Enjoy Israel through my eyes!

 

 

 

 

Till next time,

xo Olive

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