I admire you. You’ve moved me, inspired me, scared me. My experience in Israel was incredible, but wouldn’t have felt as “real” had I not met you; you made it so much more profound, meaningful, and emotional. You’ve exposed me to an unsettling reality of people my own age (and younger) overseas – you’ve been forced to grow up faster than the majority of us due to the constant threat of violence Israel faces. I can’t imagine mandatory enlistment, much less having to do so at such a young age. Thank you for your service, and for helping to create the strong connection I feel both toward you and Israel; your friendship elevated the entire adventure and I won’t ever forget you guys. You’ve filled me with a sense of belonging that I have yet to experience in any of my travels thus far.
Many people were concerned about me heading to the Middle East; they warned me that perhaps I was taking my wanderlust too far. The problem here lies in the fact that many people in the United States are ignorant as to what’s going on in Israel. Sure, the country may not be located in the most geographically stable area, however, I felt safe in Israel. I felt safe when alarms were going off on my last night, and I felt instantly connected to the beautiful people. Negative news goes viral, positive news does not. What the networks have failed to mention here is the unequivocal genuineness and goodness of the Israeli people. There is an immense sense of unity, commitment, and understanding in Israel that is truly contagious.
Getting to know you was the highlight of my trip. Thank you for touching me so deeply and you will forever be in my heart.
!!!אוהבת אתכם ומתגעגעת כל כך