I just wanted to put up a really quick post about something that I am SO excited about.
In 2 weeks (actually, a little less) I'll be going to Israel.
The trip is organized (AND PAID FOR!) by an amazing organization called Taglit-Birthright Israel. It's funded by the government of Israel, local Jewish communities, and private donors. It pays for 10-day trips to Israel for people aged 18-26 who are either Jewish or have 1 Jewish parent and don't practice any other religion. I applied for it back in September and I am soo soooo excited that it's coming up so soon.
Obviously the real time to talk about this is when I get back and I have good pictures and stories to tell, but I guess I have a couple thoughts to share now, although it's mostly my excitement that I wanted to share because I have little idea of what to expect. I guess that some of the things that I think will be particular highlights are that we're doing a winery tour & wine tasting, I think we get to ride camels, have a bonfire in the desert and have Shabbat at the Western Wall, a bonfire in the desert, floating in the Dead Sea, and if I'm reading the itinerary correctly, we get to volunteer together as well.
I am really, really grateful for the opportunity - not only to go to Israel, but to go to Israel for free and as part of a group of other Canadians my age to experience this with.
I'm not entirely sure what kinds of hopes and expectations I have for the trip, or maybe I just can't articulate it. The night before I went to TEDxCalgary I decided that my goal would be to be open to whatever the day had for me, and I'd say that is my top goal. I think that when I had that as my goal at TED it helped me to be as open to what the day had in store for me as I possibly could have been, and while I don't feel like I followed through on the inspiration that I felt at TED, I would definitely still say that the day was a success and that my goal helped it be the success that I feel it was.
Another goal that I have is to try and learn lots of new things. I don't think that it's possible to go on this trip and not learn new things, but I just thought it should be said.
I'm a little worried that I expect it to change my life. I don't want to walk in there thinking that these 10 days will change everything and be disappointed. I think it will change my life but I don't want to expect it to. So I don't know what to make of that.
Anyways, I can't believe it's only 13 days away! I can't wait to experience all the things that are there for me and for my new friends (that's the other thing - I'm really looking forward to meeting other Canadian Jews my age and hopefully making new friends!) and I know that the memories will absolutely last the rest of my life and I'm really excited about it.
13 days, 13 days... Amazing. I am so lucky.