Israel? Really? Why?!
Welcome to the Shin Tours Blog! If you’re reading this then look forward to a serious of articles that will add How? to our title. How we do what we do to ensure that you will have a truly inspirational trip here in Israel. Our first set of blogs will be about how to plan your barmitzvah or batmitzvah trip in Israel. But first, a little bit about me, and why Israel, really!
Hi! My name is Adam! I’m originally from England, and I’m very English! I like English culture, music, television and humour (note the correct spelling, with a ‘u’ in it!). I like the manners, the way people drive, their reserved nature that means people are not always in your face, I like the climate, mostly grey and a bit miserable, you can rely on it to be that way, it makes the choice of what to wear in the morning easier. So, it begs the question, what am I doing here, in Israel?! The simple answer? Passion!
I first came to Israel on a family holiday at the age of 9 but then not again until I was in my early 20’s, when I came to work here for two years. And I fell in love. But I went back home, which was not yet Israel then! I was working in the Jewish community in England and my work brought me to Israel, a lot, but still, I stayed in England. For 11, long, years.
During that time, I thought every day, why don’t I move to Israel? To me, Israel was like an old girlfriend who I never got over and in the back of my mind I wondered why we ever split up. Although I wasn’t with her anymore, I saw her often, and it was always very special when we were together. Even when things were very bad for her, she was always welcoming and happy that I had come to visit. We would hang out in all the old places where we first fell in love, and although we were both older and bruised by our experiences, we always seemed to be able to recreate that old sparkle that came from just being together. I loved just being able to look at her, she was beautiful. I loved to hear her voices, she has many and all of them are enchanting even though many of them I didn’t understand. I loved to smell her, she has many different perfumes and all of them filled me with wonderful sensations. I loved the taste of her, the spicy flavour of her kisses. And I loved her touch. The heaving of her breast and the long slender beauty of her legs, and of course the mystery that lies in her heart. Many times, we considered making the ultimate commitment to each other, but circumstances threw us apart. For years I thought about going back to her, but I knew after the initial euphoria of being together we would fight, and maybe ruin our relationship forever.
So, for years, I stayed in a relationship with someone I had known all my life. I didn’t love her, but it was comfortable because I had known her so long and we understood each other so well. To find true love I knew I would need to take the risk and go back to the Israel I fell in love with so long ago. My heart was there already.
Well, it’s been more than ten years, we gave it a go, and actually, we’re doing ok. The dream has died a little and day to day reality has kicked in, but that’s like every relationship. I can’t say it isn’t without tension and frustration. There are some things she does I just don’t understand, and I want to be critical, but it often just turns into criticism, so I stop, and remember that I chose this, no one forced me in to this commitment. She’s as complex as ever, yet I love her unconditionally because I know instinctively that this is where I want to be, even with all its challenges. The lure of thousands of years of history was too great for me to not want to be part of its present.
I found people who had been here a few years and some who had been here for generations. I found people who live here because of a divine sense of commitment from many different religious and cultural background and others for whom religion plays no part in their lives at all. Some escaped from where they were because staying was no longer an option, others came for the weather. I’ve met people who want to be heard loudly and leave their mark on the national conscience and others who feel that moving here was a huge, life changing statement and now they just want to get on with it and live life quietly. I met some people who came for love, sometimes for the land, sometimes for religion, sometime for an individual. All these people make up the mosaic of modern Israel. It fascinates me to interact with them and hear the multitude of stories and opinions.
Living here, raising my children here, everyday watching visitors from many different faiths, backgrounds, cultures and countries, has a profound impact on me. Why do they all come to visit this little place I now call home? Since moving here with my wife and family, it has been my pleasure and privilege to welcome travellers from overseas to this remarkable country just so that I can answer that question.
So why travel to Israel?
Far more than just ‘ticking boxes’ of places to see, traveling literally does broaden one’s horizons. One can spend money on possessions, a fancy car or the latest gadget, but the things that will stay with you for life are the experiences that you have and create. Traveling enables experiences of people, places and cultures that mould and shape your life in a way that the latest iPhone can never do.
For some, travel is a way of life, for most it’s an all too brief opportunity to step out of the regular routine of life and into a different life altogether, even if it’s just for a little while. To be involved in this industry and help to create the travel experiences of those who choose to come to Israel, is indeed a privilege and a passion. Israel presents as so many possibilities that to be a person who is empowered with shaping the experience of Israel for others is an exciting and challenging responsibility.
In this industry we meet people from all sorts of different backgrounds, religions, cultures and agendas. They have different expectations and demands, different concepts of what travel is and different budgets, and mostly, different reasons for traveling to Israel. All of them need to feel that we value them for coming to Israel, all of them need to feel like VIP’s. The diverse people who choose to come to Israel are the main reason I chose to work in our exciting and dynamic travel industry.
What is so fascinating about Israel?
The people. The stories, the ancient sites, the state-of-the-art miracles, the holy cities, the modern cities, the desert landscapes, the mountains, the sea, the beach, the hikes and trails are all fascinating. But the people, their stories, their journeys, the cultures they absorbed, the food they eat, the languages they speak, the traditions they keep are what makes this country truly fascinating.
Of course, there are the big questions that play themselves out on the endless pages of social media, and news outlets, but they are sometimes just too big to deal with every day. They make us forget that the beauty of Israel is in the small things. Like ordering a cup of coffee at a Tel Aviv café in the same language that Jacob blessed the children of Israel.
My whole experience of Israel up until this very point has made me passionate about creating dynamic experiences for anyone who wants to come and visit this land which is why I chose to be part of a company and a team than can guarantee that at the end of your time here you will have had experiences of people, places and cultures that will remain with you for years to come.
Next time, on, Israel? Really? Why? And How! We’ll be talking about Barmitvah and Batmitzvah trips! Sounds like a great idea, right? But how do you actually put it together?!
Until next week!