We all have expectations. Expectations for ourselves of what we want to accomplish. Going into this year abroad I had expectations to have an amazing year, and I did, but not in the way I expected. I was going in with a false reality expecting every single aspect of my year abroad to be perfect. Spoiler alert- nothing in life is perfect.
When people tell you how amazing living abroad is they forget to mention everything in between. They leave out the adjustment period in the beginning- the part about being in a strange place with a bunch of people you don’t know. They forget to mention the part about learning a different currency, busing system, and language. Although, in the end having to learn all of those contributed to my year. After all, you have not truly spent a year in Israel until you have gotten stranded on a highway in the middle of the night, waiting for your next bus. As for the language, I adjusted so much to speaking Hebrew that I have to stop myself from saying Kamah Zeh Oleh (how much does this cost) now that I’m back in America. As for the currency? Well my wallet is still full of shekels…
Any one can think back on a life experience, and pin point things they wish they had done differently, and make a list of could haves. However, I choose to think of all that I did. From the four am hike, running my first 5km and 10km, visiting the Western Wall so many times I lost count, spending Shabbat with thousands of people in Hebron, and everything in between.
Looking back on the past year I can say without a doubt I’m happy I spent the past year in Israel. Not only did I learn so many new things, but I also learned so much about myself. One could say I could have learnt those things anywhere, but they would be wrong. There is nowhere else in the world like Israel. Walk the streets, and you will see that is a one of a kind place, a place where everyone is family, a place with an unparalleled amount of culture and history.