Out of a travel schedule that included two sailing cruises in the Caribbean, two trips to Europe, one long weekend in Mexico, and time exploring cool new regions in the U.S. (Hocking Hills, I’m looking at you!), I’ll always remember 2010 as the year when I first went to the Middle East – and fell in love with Israel.
It really shouldn’t have been such a surprise. After all, I love history and studying world religions, even if I don’t practice any. Israel is a perfect vacation choice for people who are interested in both.
But I wasn’t expecting to be as moved by the stories of my youth and the echoes of recognition that I had when I walked through Holy Land sites such as Jerusalem and Galilee. Turns out I picked up more Biblical history during those years of Sunday School than I thought – and seeing those sites in person stirred my emotions.
I was also struck by the diversity of Israeli tourism. I loved that it only took a few hours to drive from the bustling Bauhaus buildings of modern Tel Aviv to the ancient cliffs of Masada. One day I was dipping my toes in the Sea of Galilee, the next I was floating in the excessively salty water of the Dead Sea. If you crave variety, Israel’s a perfect vacation spot.
I can’t wait to go back and explore more. And next time, I’ll rent my own car and set my own itinerary (my trip came courtesy of the Israel Board of Tourism). Traveling there felt that safe to me.
If you want to read more about my 10 day trip – which included the search for the perfect hummus – check out these posts on Israel.
Did you fall in love with a destination in 2010 that surprised you? Tell me about it in the comments!