Operation Summer Vacation

I, like many people, can not imagine summer, my favorite season, without a summer vacation.  I don’t think I’ve gone one summer without going at least somewhere, even if that somewhere was nearby.  Of course finances come into play and without necessary means, vacationary options are limited.

In all my years on this planet I have never considered going to Israel, even though it is my "homeland" and as a Jewish person, I have the opportunity to go for free-ish (courtesy of Taglit Birthright).  Europe, Australia, Mexico, Thailand…I wanted to go anywhere but Israel.  It is unclear why it never crossed my mind, however it dawned on me when considering travel plans for this summer, and the lack thereof.  Why not have someone else pay for my vacation and go to Israel?  Genius.   Aside from the trip only costing me a few sheckels, I figured what better way to continue my spiritual and personal growth and really solidify my connection to the religion I was born into and now gladly claim.

So began the application process.  No, I do not automatically get to go just because I am Jewish.  There are several things to fill out online, followed by a phone interview and then the verdict.  You’re either selected, wait-listed, or rejected – I mean encouraged to try again next time, of course.  There’s also that age bracket of 18-26 years old that you must fall between.  I happened to get selected for my trip.  It may have been due to my age or a series of emails letting them know I was already packed and needed to know my flight details.   Pushy, almost Israeli-like.  Hey, when in Rome…

And then off I went – by way of July 4th weekend in NYC with a brief stint in the Jersey Shore.  Point Pleasant people, not Seaside, and yes I did fist pump.  Even in Israel.  Israel127airport

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