Emily Gilgoff — Connecting Jewish Young Adults
10 Things I Learned in 10 Days: Bike & Hike Israel Edition
1. “Moderate” hike/bike trip does not mean the same thing in Israel as it does in Cincinnati.
Me: “If I fall off the mountain tomorrow, could I die?”
Israeli: “You could fall off your chair tonight and die.”
Me: “Hmmm … there’s one way to look at it.”
2. Trust your tour guide.
Even if it looks intimidating, do it anyway. It’s worth it at the top. And once you’ve taken a few pictures, put the camera down and take it all in.
3. Pack Smart. Layer.
Don’t be fooled. Israel is hot during the day, but take it from me, if you don’t prepare well you will freeze at night. Or just steal a blanket from Sarah…
4. Eat everything.
The food is outrageous. Didn’t think it was possible, but even on a bike and hike trip I managed to gain weight…and it ain’t muscle. Worth it. #BetterThanSkyline #Don’tHateMe.
5. Check out the old stuff.
Yes, Tel Aviv is amazing, but don’t forget to visit the ancient ruins and historical sites around the country. Caesarea was my personal favorite. This land is just a tad bit older than the U.S ;)…so enjoy.
6. The best beaches are in Netanya.
I may be partial (shout out to our sister city!) but there the water is the bluest, and the sand is the whitest.
7. Buy Local.
If you’re looking for an authentic Middle Eastern experience, you must find one of these hidden Bedouin restaurant stops. Yummmmmmmm.
8. Israelis love to spoil their guests.
They will cook you delicious meals, insist that you don’t help clean the dishes, and buy you amazing gifts. We couldn’t have asked for better hosts.
P.S.: Please let us return the favor sometime, Netanyans!
9. You will always return home with new mishpucha.
It doesn’t matter how many times you visit Israel, you will inevitably create new relationships that you won’t believe you ever lived without. Mishpucha (family), the best Israel souvenir you can’t buy at the shuk.
“Achim, achim, achim, achim, achim (brothers)! Mishpucha, mishpucha, mishpucha !mishpicha mishpucha!”
10. Stop working and start traveling!
There is never a good time to take a short break from work. But once you do, you’ll wonder how you ever considered staying home.