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Travel Does not have to be frightening

The first time I went to Israel I was so scared to fly so long. I was anxious about going to a foreign country. My family and friends warned that it would not be safe. I plotted and planned for almost a year. I read books, blogs, and websites about what to back and how to act. I bought luggage, clothes, shoes, snacks, medicine, double medicine, and a hundred other things. I looked at pictures and watched videos of the land. I am not prone to anxiety but nearly worked myself into a panic attack on the way to the airport.

The first leg of the flight was uneventful. We landed at our connecting airport with plenty of time to grab food and drink and relax a little. While passing through international security I met some people who used to live in my home town, a little mountain town of about 6000 people. We became fast friends. In fact I spend the weekend with my dear sister several times a year. This was the first of a million blessings.

I am not going to lie, the trip across the pond was not terribly fun. About 4 hours out, after the flights attendants fed us and turned the cabin lights off, an announcement chimed over head "is there a doctor on the flight." In a not so compassionate moment I did a quick calculation to see if we were more than half way - shucks, not even close. I feared we would have to turn around and go back to help our sick comrade. Thankfully a little oxygen cured the problem, at least for the trip.

I learned drinking a lot of fluids was not a great idea right before a fourteen hour flight. Thankfully they kept the bathrooms clean, and thankfully I had an aisle seat.

We landed and while I was afraid I would not know what to do, following the herd led us to the portal to customs. After standing in line for a period of time we easily and quickly passed through customs. We gathered our luggage and found our group anxiously awaiting our arrival.

There are a few stories to tell, but I think I will save them for when we meet in person.

I did learn a few things... Israel is a very industrialized nation. Come to find out they have chargers, shampoo, makeup, shoes, food, clothes... everything a person could ever want. Well not an American passport, but literally everything else. I really did not need about 7/8 of the things I packed. I learned that all people in Israel are financially influenced by tourism and thus passionately protect tourists. I learned that people all over the world are pretty amazing and helpful. I learned there was absolutely nothing to be fearful of. I learned that internal motivation can drive any person to participate in things that are important to them (as evidenced by the elderly man with the diabetes who needed to have his foot amputated - yet he hobbled all over the country on the swollen, dead limb). I learned that I love to travel and I love Israel more than any place on the planet.

After a very short 10 days, with tears streaming down my cheeks and sobs escaping from my chest, I vowed to my beloved Israel that I would be back, soon and often. As I write this my heart beats with excitement about returning to this land and it beats with, perhaps even more excited, about taking you with me to the place I have come to love more and more with each visit.

If you are wondering about ANYTHING, reach out to me. I will be more than happy to share with you and answer as many questions as I can. Most of all, enjoy shopping and prepping for your trip, but do not worry to much. Spend more time preparing your heart and mind for an experience that is sure to leave you changed.

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