In 2008 when I was 15, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for a whole month with other Jewish teens in my community. It was an amazing experience and one I still tell stories about on a regular basis. I knew at the time that going on the trip meant I would lose my eligibility for Taglit-Birthright, a free trip to Israel. The rules had always been that you couldn’t go on Birthright if you had been on an organized trip with your peers at any time in your life. Last year, they changed that rule–now, those of us who had been on such trips but whose trips were for high school-aged students can apply to Birthright! I applied earlier this year and was offered my first choice trip: Israel by Foot with Israel Outdoors.
I was lucky enough to get to take the two weeks off work needed for the trip, which is July 13th to the 24th. Since July 13th is a Monday and I have to arrive in NYC the day before that to guarantee that I make my flight, I decided to arrive Saturday the 11th instead and enjoy a mini-vacation in NYC beforehand. So, over the next two weeks, I will be doing quite a bit of traveling. Matt is coming with me to New York and we have a jam-packed itinerary planned for Saturday and Sunday (neither of us has been there before), then I am off to Israel, where I will be traveling all over the country.
I’ll be taking plenty of photos over the course of these two weeks and the ones that I take on my phone will be posted on here. I’m not bringing my laptop, but I did rent a SIM card with unlimited data for $4 a day, so expect almost daily posts short on text and long on images. That is, as long as it’s true that the Verizon iPhone 5s is unlocked for international travel like all the websites I found said. I never did get around to calling to make sure.
I walked down to the ATM tonight in the new hiking boots I got for Israel to break them in, inasmuch as walking on concrete can do. That’s another thing I didn’t get around to. So, consider this my pre-trip photo! I felt like I was practicing dressing for Israel. 😛
I have a 4am wake-up tomorrow, so it is time to try to sleep while it is still light out. I just have a few more things to pack in the morning after I use them, and then I am off! I’m so excited.
I don’t know how often I will be posting to Instagram versus my blog, but you can follow me at rachelknitsa2 on Instagram if you so choose. 🙂