It is now Thursday afternoon…I board a plane on Friday morning, Israel time, and land Friday afternoon, US time, where my wonderful father, who I’ve missed so much, will be waiting for me….yes, that means this is the last post of my study abroad experience, which I’ve been looking forward to since I was maybe 10 yeas old (the study abroad, not the post!).
So my adventure in Israel has come to an end. Before I get in to the deep, introspective-ness, I have made a “Rachel’s Big Adventure By the Numbers.” Enjoy!
110 The number of days I have spent in Israel
31 Nights spend away from Haifa
4 Total countries visited
5 Additional countries seen, but not actually visited
5 Hostels slept in
3 Nights spent camping
57 Gallons of hummus eaten (approx)
84 Pounds of falafel eaten (approx)
687623 Busses ridden (approx)
16 Gifts obtained for friends and family
That’s Israel quantitatively…Israel qualitatively….no idea how I can wrap that up in words. In fact, I’ve been pondering this blog post for weeks. I’ve been mulling it over in my brain and trying to think of some grand, wise thing to say, some all-inclusive statement to summarize my time. But I can’t think of anything wise and and grand and all-inclusive…
But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it means that I don’t really think of this entire experience as something separate and defining. Maybe it has just become a part of the holistic experience that is me growing up, of me becoming me.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this semester, of that much, I am sure. I am a person who enjoys order and structure and thrive best in it. But I am also a person who is capable of independence, and don’t need someone constantly providing me with stimulus. I am a person who can fit in a group of people, but I also really enjoy my alone time and need it to decompress.
This was my first trip out of the United States, and it made me realize how much I love America. Not that I can’t get along in another place, I just don’t want to, at least not permanently. I also love my “homes” fiercely. The plural refers to my home at Elon and the place I will always call my home, southern Delaware. I’m excited to eat pretzel salad and sit in beach traffic and see more pickup trucks in an hour than some would see in a lifetime. I want to hear the subtle accents and hear gossip and watch the local news. At school, I miss having the wonderful connection that is Elon and the constant bustle of 5,000 highly involved students hurrying around campus.
I have loved my time here in Israel. I really have. It is a land with an energy that you absolutely can’t describe unless you’ve been here. I will look back at this time with nothing but fondness and I cannot express enough thanks for the incredible people I have met here and friends I have made. They have made these three months so much fun and so memorable. When I think back to this semester, I will first think of them, and I hope we can meet again in the near future.
My adventure in Israel may be ending, but the next adventure is just starting. I get one week at home in Delaware, which will include a one day jaunt down to North Carolina, before starting a 10 week stint as a features intern with the Cape Cod Times. That means a new place again, with new faces to meet and new things to learn. Then, the adventure of senior year begins, and the imminence of the real world. But for now, I’m just going to sit back and smile, completely content at how the past few months have gone, and how I will remember this time for the rest of my life.
Thank you for reading. It’s been a pleasure sharing this journey with you.