Israel (round two)

Nothing like some good international travel to gain some perspective, am I right?

The more places I go, the more I like to come back rather than go somewhere new, because every time I revisit somewhere, I find something I hadn’t seen before. This trip back to Israel was just like that. Being able to see the details of the country, rather than just being overwhelmed by all the new experiences, was really beautiful for me.

I was also just really tired upon landing in Israel, because the winter had been really tough for me on a personal level. I was really drained and disenchanted and kind of sad and pretty lonely for the season, so getting on a plane and getting off somewhere both foreign and familiar 10 hours later was exactly the thing my spirit needed.

This trip’s itinerary was slightly different than the last: we spent one night fewer in the Golan Heights and spent it instead at a hotel next to the Dead Sea.

It felt a little rushed as a turn-around, and my phone thought I was in Jordan, but I’m so glad we did that. Not only did I get to go back to my favorites at Assaf Winery, but the hotel in the Dead Sea was BEAUTIFUL.

We stayed at Ein Gedi right on the Dead Sea, and I highly recommend checking it out. It has a beautiful spa and views that bring peace to your life. It really makes you feel small, like the world as you know it is far away. It was gorgeous.

Hanging out at the site of Jesus’ baptism

My only gripe (that is also a near constant gripe for me) is that the trip was too short. I really needed more time than we had in each spot, and I would have liked 10 days far more than eight. If you’re doing a tour of the country like we did, I think 10 is the minimum if you don’t want to feel rushed.

But truly my takeaway again was this: the geopolitical drama surrounding Israel and this region in general is huge, and is often all we think about when we think about this land. But the land is so much more than just a conflict. It’s a beautiful people, and a beautiful place, with so much to teach you and so much to show you about what a magnificent world we live in.

The problems we’ve created for ourselves socially and politically are all happening on the surface of this beautiful Earth. Maybe if we reflected more on the beauty than on the problems, we’d have more of the former and less of the latter.

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