Discovering my Roots
Considering my nomadic lifestyle, I would travel to the far corners of the Earth to finally feel a sense of home somewhere. I do want to travel, don’t get me wrong, but I would love to find a place that I could see myself living in long-term. Something is always off, and I do consider the fact that it is probably me and my issues that leave me with separation anxiety from an imaginary community in my mind.
My heritage is all over the place; my mom grew up Jewish but raised me in a Catholic household. I have German, Russian, Italian, Syrian, Lebanese, and Irish in my blood. My family is spread out across the States, and I feel no connection to the area of Florida where I grew up.
I’m not trying to escape anything; I am genuinely searching for something. I just don’t know what that is yet.
I learned when I was 18 that I was potentially eligible to go on a Taglit Birthright trip to Israel. I don’t know if me describing the organization can do it justice, so here is the description from their website:
Because of my mom’s Jewish ancestry, I finally applied in February and was immediately wait-listed. Figuring that was the end for me, I went ahead and made other plans for summer, but then received an email about a month ago saying that I had been accepted for a last minute trip. If you are between the ages of 18-26 and are Jewish or have a Jewish parent, I cannot stress enough what a life-changing experience Birthright is and how much you should apply, over and over again if necessary, to receive this gift.
There are different trip organizers you can travel with. I went with Sachlav Israel on the House, which is a more secular trip, but there are more conservative trips, trips for outdoorsy people, community trips, trips for fashion majors, LGBTQ friendly trips, Shakespeare themed trips for literature majors, and many, many more.
With the gift of Birthright you receive:
- Free flights to and from Israel
- A tour guide, two counselors, and an armed guard/medic
- All transportation
- All expenses paid: meals, hotels, entrance into exhibits, museums, parks, etc.
- The chance to travel with Israeli soldiers
- Opportunities to extend your trip in the Middle East for super cheap
- Connections for future visits to Israel
Birthright put us up at some faaaaancy hotels
In the next week, I am going to be posting about Israel itself, what it was like to travel there, what I learned about the country and myself, and everything in between. Get ready!