My last blog post! I am happy to be back in the U.S., but definitely sad that this trip is over. It was such an amazing, unique experience and I am so lucky to have been able to spend almost a month in Israel.
A summary of my trip: I stayed in a dorm at Tel Aviv University. After getting off my flight at the beginning of May, I took a train to Tel Aviv and spent the first 2 days exploring the Tel Aviv-Yaffo area. After that, I alternated days traveling to other areas of Israel and working on my project. These places included Netanya, Masada, Haifa, Akko, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea. I was able to spend time at the beach, visit various parks and nature reserves, eat lots of great food, and visit many places of worship.
Growth: Some of the growth I saw in myself during my time in Israel stems from having to step out of my comfort zone constantly, as I was a solo traveler. I learned not to be afraid to ask for help and to depend on my gut as much as possible. I learned to really appreciate solo traveling, as when things went wrong or right, it was my fault either way. Keeping up with emails was really important while abroad, especially with the seven hour time difference. I also had a zoom meeting I needed to attend in eastern time, so keeping track of things in East Coast and Israeli time was important.
My biggest takeaway from the program was how what you put into an outside the classroom experience is exactly what you will get out. You have to be dependent on yourself to schedule meetings, schedule transportation, and schedule in time to explore what you want. This message is applicable to any type of work and is a message I need to remind myself of whenever classes/the semester get stressful.