With the way I’m freaking out, you would think that I’ve never packed a day in my life. I left this life detail out, but I’m leaving for Israel tomorrow!
For those of you that do not know, there’s a little (amazing, awesome, life changing) program called “birthright.”
Taglit-Birthright Israel provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. Taglit-Birthright Israel operates on a belief that it is every Jewish person’s birthright to visit Israel. To date, over 300,000 young adults from 52 countries have traveled to Israel for the first time on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. – Mayanot- (click)
Well, folks, I will be 27 in a (insert witty simile that means I will be 27 quickly) so I thought it was about time to experience Israel. Hello! This is an experience of a lifetime- a free trip because I’m Jewish- h-e-double hockey sticks-yaaass. Now I leave tomorrow, but, in Talia-fashion… I procrastinated… everything.
My negligence has left me without an international phone (that’s what happens when you mentally block out any kind of travel) and a buttload *technical terms only, please* to pack. And by buttload, I mean baby mountain *technical terms only.* And some missing clothing options- I have to cover my shoulders for shabbat (for non-jews, look it up, for jews like me, you can look it up too… google.com)
The reality is, packing is the least of my worries, but I’m sure it’s easier to focus on travel rather than other truths. Truths like:
- I have lupus. I was honest when they asked about my medical history- as a result I needed doctors approval before leaving. It’s all so obvious, of course I should need doctors approval, but it makes you feel like a pariah. Or a small child not able to make your own decisions.
- I have lupus. When I had my first real flare I was traveling abroad in Greece. As a result, I have some real fears associated with international travel and lupus. Sun is a trigger and I’m the kind of traveler that thoroughly enjoys a sunny place. Israel may range from 90-100 each day with a strong sun… oy vey.
- It’s Israel- smack-dab in the Middle East, a nation surrounded by other nations that don’t like it that much *technically speaking* I’ve received quite a few “wow, Israel… be safe- don’t leave your group.” My response is usually, “don’t worry, I have my eulogy written out as a draft on my blog if anything happens.” People don’t like that response… but that’s what I’m going to say if you are going to suggest I might die!
- I have lupus.
My friends, I’m off- and I’m certain I will see you soon and maybe even post something while I’m abroad. Mom, I promise to wear a lot of sunblock, hats, and stay well hydrated and rested. John, you know I only have the hots for Irish-Italian Catholics, so don’t worry. Friends, I will bring back evil eye bracelets, sea salts, and other exotic things that you could probably find in a mall but it’s so much cooler because I got it from Israel- I know you just want to see me struggle to carry my luggage.