It's been over 5 months now since I returned to London after my most memorable trip of them all, my trip to Israel. To live, breathe and see everything Israel had to offer, not as a tourist but as a local, was truly a life-changing and breathtaking experience. One never to forget and one to cherish in my heart forever...so where did this leave me? I returned home to my friends and family, happy to see their faces and yet as I return to my everyday life, I am left with this empty feeling in my stomach. Something is missing. How can three weeks have SUCH an impact on me? I go on lovely holidays and have been lucky enough to see my fair share of the world at such a tender age. Yet when visiting Israel, I finally started to re-identify with my Jewish identity, I felt like I was finally living, and I started this journey to finding myself which I have left undoubtedly, unfinished...until now.
Living such a cosmopolitan lifestyle you sometimes stretch too far from reality, which I admit I am definitely guilty of, at times. There is nothing wrong with lapping up in the lavishness of London's elite and being a fashion enthusiast and all, I can't help my love for designer clothes and expensive things, but life isn't all about that and whilst you can want for all these things, because I certainly don't have too many, there is more to be said about life than material things and whilst I know that, I now appreciate it. It is a priceless feeling, feeling humbled. I can't describe how wonderful it is because it makes you feel whole, and I need to explore it further...
Hiking through the desert and sleeping in the Ritzpe Ramon crater under the millions of stars had to be one of my biggest highlights. I remember, we were singing a silly song, a great song at that, and my friend, he just smiled at me as he clearly knew what was about to be uncovered. As I reached the peak of the steep rock face we had been climbing, we reached the clearing...and just like that it took my breath away. I don't think I have ever had my breath taken away like that, to be stunned by the beauty of our natural world. "HELLOOOOO" my voice bounces off the charred rock, echoing far, far into the distance, the world was singing back to me. So the thing is, the rock I am standing on, yeah well it has stood since before the bible was written, where cave men built their caves, the beginning of life as we know it happened right here, and there I was, just a tiny speck in this magnificently vast landscape, this is where history is written and I felt connected to the land. It isn't flooded with tourists, in fact we could see and hear no one, it was just the two of us against the world, but we weren't against it, we were part of it!
This feeling, it is something that you feel inside of you and you just can't buy it, I just can't explain it, so I hope one day you too will feel it. Travelling definitely broadens the mind, opens your eyes and OH my, my WANDERLUST is now out of control. The wonderful thing about travelling and exploring, is that in a sense, it is also a journey of self-exploration, everyone sees the world from a different perspective, your own perspective. You see it through your eyes only and how you it changes you? Well...that is something you have to explore yourself, and this is not achieved by looking at photos in glossy magazine's and pinterest y'all. You gotta do it. YOLO. So here is my message to you. Pack a bag, leave your material things at home, forget the Merc, hike, sleep under the stars, and meet people, lots, all different kinds of people, don't be shallow, be open-minded, appreciate all that happens to you and all that you see, smile, laugh, fall in love, immerse yourself in the cultures of the world and embrace life, because you only get one and these experiences are the foundations of who you become and what becomes of you.
So off I go, my choice to make Aliyah 'to return home' came naturally to me, for all of you that know me, will understand fully all the reasons why this is a choice my future (and current) self will love me for, I know if I don't do it, I will live to regret it. My story is a long one, many pieces of the puzzle lead me to make this decision, finding those pieces was not something that happened all at once, it's an accumulation of life experiences, age, my love for Israel and wanting to re-identify with my Jewish Identity. I won't leave my whole life behind, I will work hard to bridge the gaps between geography and people.
So when I travelled alone to Israel, I knew I would be fine (this is a story I am yet to tell you my darling dolls...) years of travelling alone made me enjoy it, taught me to embrace my Independence. As I took my seat upon boarding the Easy Jet plane to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, I giggled to myself and smiled, everyone was chatting and laughing, some even debating. It was all a 'do you know so and so or this person', 'where are you from', and to be honest due to the Jewish population being small and tight, you often find out that you do have at least one mutual connection. It was just so positively great, how could you not love it Jewish or not, it was purely positive and heart-warming. People standing in the aisles, conversations flowing, sometimes singing, people joining in here, people joining in there, kind of sounds like chaos right? A beautiful chaos! Everyone was smiling and laughing and I was fully immersed in conversation over this and that for the full journey, meeting all sorts of different people. The 4 hours turned into what felt like 1. In fact I even had coffee with a family on the plane at the other end after retrieving our luggage, after nattering away, it only seemed sense to continue! In all my years of travelling alone, as an observant child, travelling all over, I had never been exposed to such a sense of community between complete and utter strangers, it is beautiful! You certainly don't get that on the London Underground!
Israel as a whole is one big community, one that thrives off a shared feeling of acceptance and love for everyone who comes together in Israel, Jews from all over the world come together as one, given all that is in the world, it is an overwhelming feeling. Walking off the plane and being proud to be Jewish and to wear my Star of David necklace with pride, not fear, was and is a wonderful feeling, one you can't quite grasp in London or anywhere else in the world for that matter. I last left Israel in March, as I stared out the window from my window seat on the plane, tears were streaming down my face, my journey hadn't finished and will be continued...
"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you so that you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."