May 21st - June 2nd, 2014
I've been back from Israel from over a week, but my head is still reeling with dreamy memories of the middle east. Where else in the world can you see miles of empty deserts, lush farms, craggy mountains and cerulean seas all in the same day? Israel's dramatic landscapes make for an otherworldly experience, especially considering the spiritual ambiance in old cities like Tzvat and Jerusalem. I'm still in the process of recording all my experiences in a travel journal, noting all the ways that my outlook has changed since sleeping in the bedouin tents and swimming out to a rock in the middle of the mediterranean sea.
The Israeli culture is one I really resonated with. I loved strolling through the Souk (translation: market) on Friday afternoon and watching the locals bargain for fresh fruits and vegetables; it was such a lively, un-supermarket scene. On the topic of food, I was in heaven at any meal that included roasted zucchini, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and the most delicious hummus in the world. I also got to taste dates and figs from their native land, and let me tell you, it was a divine experience.
My biggest fashion find in Israel: Blundstones. If rugged hiking shoes and chelsea ankle boots had a baby, it would be these. When not in uniform, the Israeli soldiers on my trip paired them with camp socks and denim cutoffs for a woodsy take on military dressing. I was so inspired that I bought a pair for myself in an army store on Ben Yedhuda street, so I'll have a little piece of Israel with me when I'm trudging through the snow next winter.
As for now, I'm back on the city grind for my summer internships. But it's not all work and no play; I have a list of concerts to go to and friends to visit. And when pounding the pavement gets rough, I'll have endless golden memories of Eretz Yisrael to look back on.