Our trip ended yesterday. It was probably one of the saddest things of my whole life to leave the amazing people that I was fortunate enough to travel with and the amazing country that I got a front row seat to seeing for ten amazing days. While I'm happy to see my family again and it's nice to have a hot shower and be able to sleep in (even though I couldn't sleep past 4 am), I'm really upset that it's over.
However, one thing that I'm hoping for is that this is nothing near the end. I'm really, sincerely, hoping that this experience was the beginning of a community of remarkable human beings who can keep in touch and really be friends from all across the great land that we call home.
I guess I'll just share a couple of thoughts now - hopefully more to come later. Actually, I'm certain there will be more to come later.
I guess the first thing is that, looking at the pictures that I'm trying to post to facebook is that there is absolutely no way that the pictures I took do any degree of justice to what I saw, felt and experienced. If I could, I would share it with the whole world because it really has changed my life, as promised by Alana (one of the Canadian staff members) on the first day.
I think the idea is to give participants a taste of as many pieces of Israel as humanly possible in ten days, which I could not imagine could be done better. We saw an outrageous amount of different places and learned so much about Israel, it was really hard to keep up.
In any case, I'm hopeful that we will all be able to take this experience and make it into something that matters in the world - that we might be able to pay it forward in one way or another. For my part, I think the first step might just be figuring out how I can do that. I guess that's kind of obvious though. I think that I need to really commit to it this time - I've had a few experiences in the past that have inspired me to do better - like TEDxCalgary and the It's Up 2 Us thing - but I guess it has never really stuck. And this time, I feel like the change in me and the inspiration that I feel is largely due to the people with whom I experienced this amazing trip. And I do not want to let them down. Or myself, I guess.
Anyways, more to come for sure, but just to say that it was so amazing. I haven't really had time to think it through yet, hopefully I'll have some interesting things to say - but for now here is a picture of the sunrise we woke up early to see in the Negev Desert. Oh so beautiful.