I woke up to a strong stomach ache and headache. It was cold outside and I had to pack everything up. It was as if Israel felt the way I did. I didn’t want to leave yet I was sort of ready. It was bittersweet since everyone was back in the states and separate already but yet I felt so happy and joyful for the good memories. We heard the song “Timber” which was definitely one of groups favorite songs to sing. We heard it so much and didn’t get tired of it and still to this day, when I hear the song I want to sing along and its as if the whole group is right beside me singing too.
It started to briefly rain so my friend and I decided to watch a movie and just chill. Then it stopped and seemed to be dry outside. So I decided to go on the longest zip-line in israel which is 400m long and between two mountains. When we got to the place, the man laughed because he said I was too skinny. So then someone was going to go with me. But turns out that they just added weight to my harness and I was able to go by myself. I was so scared but was living with the YOLO and No Regrets attitude. It only took 30seconds and between the mountains were lots of trees, many had been destroyed because of the recent storm. Since I was scared when I was first pushed into the air, I closed my eyes but then I opened them starting to sing “Timber” to myself. And next thing I knew, it was done. Seriously. No REGRETS. I feel like I am so much better at embracing this philosophy when not in the states. Afterwards a quick jeep ride back to the start and I was with these guys who went before me. They were from New Jersey and knew about the city I was from. I told one of them that he has to go on Birthright when he’s old enough because its so fun!
Then back to my friends house and then we took a bus to the main bus station. Quickly ran to get change from an ATM and then said farewell to my friend and took the bus from Jerusalem Central Station to a bus outside the airport. I waited for the bus that would take me to the terminal in the airport that I was going. I was able to call and meet up with a friend who I had met back in the city where I am from. She had been taking a Sabbatical and she was so sweet like an aunt to me. It was great to catch up with her. Then checked my baggage in, dropped my Israeli phone off and got myself some snacks for the plane. I bought a few more last minute souvenirs. Facetimed my parents and then just sat and reflected on my trip.
While waiting in line to get on the airplane, a guy from my group who had also extended came up and we talked. It was comforting to know someone else on the flight. I guess it makes me feel more secure knowing that I know someone else when I’m on a long plane ride. Not that we sat next to each other or anything like that but still…. Then finally got on the plane and am on the aisle seat of the middle section of the plane. There was a young boy traveling by himself three seats away still in the middle section too. There was also a cute guy in front of me.
I tear up periodically because I can’t believe that I’m leaving the promised land. I’m leaving home. It took a while for the plane to take off but my only thought was, just like me, the plane doesn’t want to leave Israel. There is something incredibly special about Israel and I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to embrace and experience all of it. It changed my life for the better and refocused my energies and thoughts. I feel enlightened and encouraged and understanding that everything happens for a reason. I feel at peace in Israel. G-d will I will be able to lead a student group next winter and then make Aliyah after graduation. I then want to be shomer shabbas and truly taste the sweet joy of shabbas that I felt on this trip. This is something I’ve struggled with nearly my whole life. I know this is me planning and so I know that its what I want but I know that I want G-d has in store. That may be different than what I want. But, I know it’ll be for the best.