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Experience Israel and Change Your Life


When I decided to apply for a scholarship program to take a trip to Israel, I quickly became worried. There seemed to be several fears that my family and friends had. At some point, I, too, became nervous, and I asked myself why is there a fear of Israel. Despite being nervous, I was determined to push through and go on this trip of a lifetime. Now… I could not be more excited that I got to experience Israel.

Experience Israel as a minority, and learn of the views of minorities who live in the country. This is the top of an Aramaic church.

Experience Israel as a Minority

As an African American woman, I am a minority here in America. Christians, as surprising as it was for me, are minorities in the Holy Land of Israel. Jews, of course, are the majority, followed by the Muslim population. When I told others that I was surprised Christians are a minority, everyone was surprised that I did not realize that. Being a minority in my homeland, it did not bother me to be one here.

A lot of Israelis are darker in skin color, though not as tan as me. I never felt uncomfortable with my skin tone. Before coming, I worried that I would be judged for my darker appearance (I was one of the few black people in my group). This was my first time traveling out of the country, so I had a very narrow-minded view. (I’m ashamed of my thoughts and behavior. I don’t mention this to gloat, I mention to show that I’m not the only one who thinks these things.) Once I got there, I immediately felt guilty for my ignorant thoughts. I was treated no differently, and the people were very friendly. I felt at home here, and for me, that was very important.

Experience Israel as a Native

After being on a plane for over twelve hours and navigating through the airport, we got settled on our bus. Our tour guide began to talk to us and give us the history of Tel Aviv. After giving us the history, he told us “welcome home,” and from that time on, I felt right at home.

During my trip, I had the opportunity to listen to the views of Israelis. I, also, got to listen to the views and perspectives of Palestinians. Confused does not even begin to cover the feelings and emotions of listening and seeing everything for myself. I will not dive into the subject because there is no way for me to channel my thoughts and emotions into words. Also, this post is not to be a political one, it is simply to experience Israel.

In feeling at home, there are things that I had to learn quickly. Waiting in line is for amateurs. I learned to quickly jump in where I could. Furthermore, there is no such thing as staying together unless you literally become links, especially when in the Old City alleyways. When we walked down the Via Dolorosa, we had to lock arms to fit between others who were walking faster or trying to push their way through.

Lastly, though it may not seem like it from my previous statements, the people are really nice and friendly. Take my word for it. The people that I came across were so welcoming. I was especially surprised to be welcomed and included during Shabbat!

This is the chicken that changed my life. (Not really, but it was definitely good. Everything from this trip was excellent. I could get fat here.)

Experience Israel as a Vacation Spot

The views in Israel, especially around the Sea of Galilee are some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. The weather was not nearly as bad as I expected. (Maybe this is because Houston has some of the most unpredictable weather and terrible heat.) I will be going back this December, so I am curious to experience their winter weather as opposed to their summer weather. Either way, the beaches are perfection, and as I mentioned previously, the views are phenomenal.

When it comes to the food, it is some of the best that I have ever experienced. I’m a picky eater, and I do not always like trying new food. I don’t think I had a meal, in Israel, that I did not enjoy, from fast food burgers and fries to a hearty Shabbat meal. Visiting expanded my mind substantially. (Helpful Hint: Should you visit Nazareth Village, try their chicken. Oh my gosh! It is the most seasoned and flavorful chicken that I’ve ever had. No, it’s not fried.)

Whether you find yourself staying in Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv, there is a life that can be experienced. In Tel Aviv, we went to Jerusalem Beach, which was a block from our hotel. There was music that serenaded everyone in the near vicinity. There is abundant shopping… literally! Try to the Carmel Market, too. I found some great things and got wonderful deals.

In Jerusalem, the nightlife surprised me. We decided to head to their “mall” and was welcomed with music and dancing. Of course, we joined in and partied until close to midnight. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, even in walking Jerusalem at night.

Will you experience Israel?

 

The Holy Land knows how to party and vacate, too. Have you ever been to Israel? How was your experience? If you would like to know more about visiting Israel… Let me know in the comments below. Shares are appreciated, too. If you haven’t already, check out how to best plan your vacations while saving money here.

(If you have ever thought of booking a trip to Israel with a group, and would love a good guide, then I have the perfect guide for you. There are many that can be accessed in Israel, but Shai of Shai Nahon Ecological Tourism is definitely the best! I would recommend booking him for your trip. Your experience will be unmatched. I guarantee it!)

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44 Comments

  • Reply Monica

    What an amazing experience for you!! I have always wanted to travel to Israel, but I too have had a strange fear holding me back. So glad you shared this!!

    October 25, 2017 at 11:09 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! I struggled with how this would be received, but I think everyone should know that there is nothing to fear. No more can happen there then what can happen right outside of our own front doors. It’s an amazing experience!

      October 26, 2017 at 7:13 PM
  • Reply MudpieLullaby

    Hey Amber! I’m so glad that you got to go! One of these days I would dearly love to visit! I think it would really drive home the humanity of Christ if I were to see the places where He walked and rested, rather than them just being in a “far off land”. <3 Thanks for the overview! I LOVE middle eastern food, and I know I would love the food aspect!

    October 25, 2017 at 11:20 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It definitely does, and you will never read the Bible the same once you see the very sites. Some of them are even original to the time of Christ, and it is truly a blessed experience. The food was nothing short of amazing. If we didn’t spend most of our time walking, I probably would have easily gained 5 pounds.

      October 26, 2017 at 7:18 PM
  • Reply Jaynie

    What a wonderful experience you had! It’s amazing how welcoming people are from around the world.
    Enjoy your trip in December, I’m curious if your expectations will change now that you have been to Israel.

    October 25, 2017 at 11:59 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you! My expectations have been set based on my previous experience, but I don’t think they have grown or decreased in regards to my upcoming trip. I just appreciate being able to go back. I am curious to see what I notice this time that I didn’t notice last time. I wonder if it will be as emotional the next time as it was the last time. Either way, I cannot wait! 🙂

      October 27, 2017 at 7:02 PM
  • Reply Maryal

    This is such an awesome and informative post! Israel sounds absolutely amazing. I’ve always wanted to visit Israel, but have never gotten the chance to chat with someone that has been and really knows the ins and outs of what to do while there, so this is so helpful! Thanks so much for sharing and I’ll definitely be dropping another comment if I plan a trip!

    – Maryal
    http://www.LoveandSpecs.com

    October 25, 2017 at 12:14 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! It is absolutely amazing. I plan to make a post of all of the things that people should do there, like going to the Garden Tomb and walking the Via Dolorosa. Nothing compares to floating in the Dead Sea and overlooking the borders. There’s plenty to do.

      October 27, 2017 at 7:03 PM
  • Reply Jane | Typically Jane

    Israel has been on my bucket list for a long time. It looks so beautiful, and all the rich history. Your post is making me want to travel there even more!

    October 25, 2017 at 12:26 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      You should! There is something to appeal to all ages. I was really surprised with them blasting music that we hear here, in America, in the streets and dancing. Seeing some of the things that you hear about and read about really puts things into perspective. There’s nothing like this experience.

      October 27, 2017 at 7:05 PM
  • Reply Jassy

    I’ve been there often as a little girl. We have some friends living im Israel. Its such a nice place. Hope to get back there soon. Great Post!

    Lots of love Jassy
    https://fancy-diaries.com

    October 25, 2017 at 12:44 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It really is. I wouldn’t mind living there, but it would definitely be an adjustment with Shabbat. Thank you so much! 🙂

      October 27, 2017 at 7:05 PM
  • Reply jen

    Great post! I love the tips. I have never considered visiting but maybe I should. It sounds so interesting. Thanks!

    October 25, 2017 at 1:24 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you! There is so much more to Israel than what meets the eye. It is literally one of the most beautiful and interesting places that I have ever been. Even for people who aren’t religious, it is a wonderful place to visit.

      October 27, 2017 at 7:07 PM
  • Reply Lorna

    What a wonderful trip !!!

    October 25, 2017 at 2:20 PM
  • Reply Wendy

    I can understand your fear before going to Israel. I want to go, and the hostility in the region keeps me away. Reading about your positive experience helps assuage my fears some.

    October 25, 2017 at 3:19 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      I’m glad to be able to help in any way that I can. It is so easy for us to see what the media spins, but the media’s job is to spread news, whether true or false. Things we actually very calm there, and I had no sense of fear for my life or safety overall. It’s an amazing experience to have.

      October 27, 2017 at 8:00 PM
  • Reply Caroline

    Sounds like a great place to visit. The food looks great, I would love to visit someday.

    October 25, 2017 at 5:07 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      The food is nothing short of amazing. I’ve never eaten so much in my life as I did during the 10 days that I was there. Their desserts are heaven on earth.

      October 27, 2017 at 7:06 PM
  • Reply Jamie

    I love your assessment of Israel from all the different views. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I haven’t been yet but it’s on my bucket list!

    October 25, 2017 at 7:54 PM
  • Reply Gabriella

    Israel sounds amazing. I remember reading books on the complicated history of Israel. I think it’s great that you got perspective from both sides!

    October 25, 2017 at 8:18 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It is most definitely complicated, and even the modern Israel is complicated. I felt so torn seeing the conditions of those on both sides, hearing the perspectives of those on both sides, and being in between. Through all of that, it made for the best experience.

      October 27, 2017 at 8:01 PM
  • Reply Kamara

    Israel is definitely on my list of places I want to visit, it looks beautiful. That food looks fantastic, too!

    October 26, 2017 at 4:12 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It is most definitely beautiful! The food was nothing short of delicious. I didn’t have a meal that I didn’t love.

      October 27, 2017 at 8:01 PM
  • Reply Katherine Gamble

    I love this post! I almost felt like I was on the trip with you. I think i know where my next vacation destination will be.

    October 26, 2017 at 2:03 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Enjoy! It is definitely worth the trip, and their beaches are definitely beautiful. The views and scenery period was beautiful. One of the biggest surprises was how beautiful and modern Israel actually is.

      October 27, 2017 at 8:03 PM
  • Reply Roger

    I was there as a child but I barely remember it I would love to go back

    October 29, 2017 at 7:08 AM
  • Reply Falasha

    I was just saying how I need to go to Tel Aviv next year. Love this post!
    I am following you on Instagram. Did you want to do the IG Challenge?
    xoxo Falasha
    xoxo Falasha
    Bite My Fashion
    Instagram| Bloglovin’| Facebook

    October 29, 2017 at 2:39 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you! I will definitely be participating in the challenge. I’m so excited!

      October 30, 2017 at 6:34 PM
  • Reply Tanvi

    Sounds like a wonderful experience. Cannot wait to visit some day.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    October 30, 2017 at 6:59 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It definitely was. You’d love it, no matter what part you decide to visit. Thanks! 🙂

      October 30, 2017 at 6:34 PM
  • Reply candy

    Israel is one country I have thought about visiting but was always uncertain with all the political unrest. Sounds like you had a wonderful time with no problems.

    October 30, 2017 at 7:55 AM
  • Reply Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome

    Wow – it looks like you had an incredible experience! I have extended family in Israel, but haven’t visited yet. You’ve definitely pushed me one step closer to buying a ticket, though 🙂

    October 30, 2017 at 5:28 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      It was definitely an incredible experience. I try to advise everyone that I come across to try and go. It is an experience for everyone, even those who may just be going for vacation. There is so much to do, and so much scenery. Thanks! 🙂

      October 30, 2017 at 6:41 PM
  • Reply Helen Little

    I’ve never been to Israel, but since reading your post I’d definitely consider it! I didn’t realise it was so welcoming. The food and beaches sound amazing. So glad you had a great vacation!

    October 30, 2017 at 11:57 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you! It most definitely is amazing. There’s something for everyone here.

      October 31, 2017 at 6:25 PM
  • Reply Jessica Wagner

    Wow! I loved reading about your experiences! My goal in life is to travel more and I am so inspired by your adventures! Thanks for sharing it all! XO

    October 31, 2017 at 11:51 AM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! I believe that my calling in life is traveling and experiencing different places around the world. I hope to continue sharing experiences. If it’s your goal, then I am confident that you can make it happen. 🙂

      October 31, 2017 at 6:27 PM
  • Reply Erika Ravnsborg

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Israel. Especially when you swim in the dead sea. I want to try that.

    October 31, 2017 at 6:39 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Floating is the Dead Sea is literally a magical experience. I thought it would require some kind of effort on my part, but it’s literally as easy as laying on your back. Plus, my skin glowed for days after I did. It was wonderful!

      November 2, 2017 at 8:18 AM
  • Reply Courtney Byers

    This is such a great post! Your trip sounded so amazing and it makes me want to travel so badly. Israel has been somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and this really inspires me to take a trip here.

    October 31, 2017 at 10:04 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      Thank you so much! It was an amazing experience, and I feel like it is a place for everyone. People come from several parts of the world, with different backgrounds, to this magical place. This is a place that I recommend everyone save and plan for.

      November 2, 2017 at 8:16 AM
  • Reply Tiffany

    That’s sounds like such an awesome experience!! I’m curious how the winter will be now! Looking forward to your next post!

    October 31, 2017 at 11:30 PM
    • Reply Amber Lynn

      I am definitely looking forward to comparing the temperatures between June and December/January. I’m most looking forward to celebrating the New Year there. I will definitely write about the differing experiences. There is more content on the way. 🙂

      November 2, 2017 at 8:17 AM

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