01. leaving chicago
My flight was pretty late in the evening (9.45pm), which I haven’t experienced yet, so I was hoping it would go smoothly which for the most part it did…
except when I actually got to the airport.
There’s always this anxiety to begin with because I don’t like going through security, and the tickets that I buy are usually cheap third party tickets that don’t offer refunds so there’s a chance that something could go wrong. Nothing was wrong with the tickets during my trip but on this particular day the trouble was actually getting them.
Turkish Airlines didn’t have a self-checkin, so I had to wait in the baggage check-in line to get my ticket which was EXTREMELY long and terrible. I got there and was like holy shit, this is the worst. I got to O’hare at 7pm, and didn’t have my ticket until just before 8pm, and mind you check-in closes an hour before departure so I was standing in line biting my nails.
Luckily security was a breeze and before I knew it I was leaving the country. Cya!
It was a 9 hour flight from Chicago to Turkey, 5 hour layover, and then 4 hours to Jordan from there. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time in Turkey to go explore so I just waited around at the airport. They have a smoking section which at least gave me something to do.
On the flight to Jordan from Turkey I sat next to this old man who didn’t speak English but he kept trying to talk to me here and there. He was really sweet and when we got food he was having a hard time opening up his cutlery package so I opened it for him. I had gotten tea with my food (the theme of this trip) and I think as a gesture of thanks, he drank his coffee very quickly and then poured the last sip into mine. So now I had coffee tea. Cool.
I got to Jordan at 11.45pm at night, got some money exchanged and then waited for Mike – my buddy whom I traveled with during this trip – and our AirBnB host to pick me up from the airport.
I haven’t seen Mike since he left back in February, so it was weird to be sharing the same space as him.
We drove through Amman, got to our AirBnB, ate some food, smoked cigs, then went to bed. We had an early rise (6am) to grab a bus to Petra, where we would be staying the next few days.
One really weird thing about Amman that struck me was their lack of security. The front door to the AirBnB apartment was wide open and apparently that’s pretty common in Jordan.
I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before due to the excitement of the trip and the realization that it was here. I’d been planning months and months for it.
At one point, the Muslim call to prayer went off so it was cool to hear that. When I was in Dubai, I heard it but only from a distance.
We got up early, packed up all our stuff and then our AirBnB host graciously drove us to the bus stop for Amman.
Tickets were easy enough to get, and before we knew it we were on a four hour bus ride to Petra.
Mike and I caught up a bit during this time, sharing our experiences leading up to the trip, with Mike having come from London&Dublin where he spent a few weeks with his family.
The views from the bus had me mostly unimpressed. It was just bland desert land, not really hilly or anything. I was in for quite a surprise.
Our bus made a pit-stop at this really awesome shop so we could use the washroom and y’know maybe buy something.
There was this box that I fell in love with and it had a price of 3 Jordanian Dinar (or so I thought). A big 3 and two small 0′s is 3, right? No.
Foolishly, I asked the shopkeeper if I could get it for 2 Dinar. “No, it’s three HUNDRED dinar,” which is about $420 USD. My day was ruined and so was the rest of the trip over this box. Kidding. But I did hope I would find it somewhere else the rest of the trip. Someone was able to tell me that it’s an Iranian box so maybe if I visit Iran in the future I’ll be able to get it cheaper.
One thing that interested me on our bus ride was the periodical security checkpoints where the bus driver had to pull over to be briefly interrogated by Jordanian police.
After the four hour trip was coming to a close, we started entering Wadi Musa which gave me my first glimpse into where we would be staying the next two nights.
There was litter everywhere. It seemed like people would just throw shit out of their homes and let it collect on the ground. Total bummer. I wish they had a better system for getting rid of garbage.
Please note the couch that has been tossed onto the edge of the cliff.
…And then we had our introductory view of where we were staying.
Simply incredible. The mountains farthest in the distance (or at least the ones that aren’t really far) are Petra.
The bus pulled into the Petra visitor center, but we weren’t going there just yet. Mike had a huge traveling bag so we wanted to drop our stuff off at our AirBnB which was quite frankly incredible.
This is the common area, where after we put our stuff away were invited for Bedouin tea with our host Moussa and his cousin Mohammad.
This was the view out our bedroom window:
Casual. No big deal.
After tea, Moussa said Mohammad would walk us to the edge of Petra where we could then spend the day exploring. On our walk over, we saw chickens, homeless donkeys, cats, and dogs.
Within minutes of reaching the edge of Petra, I was blown away. Incredible landscape, totally natural beauty.
The middle mountain in the background was where we were to end the trip for the day – where The Treasury resides, the iconic monument of Petra which, by the way, Petra is one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Essentially, 2000 years ago the Nebataeans started carving into rock formations. It started in Little Petra (which we’ll see later) where the rock was much harder, but they learned Big Petra was much easier to carve into because the rock was softer.
Stumbling upon our first rock carvings and Bedouin camps.
Kind of looks like Gerudo Fortress in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, no?
We hiked and hiked. So many impressive rock carvings, and beautiful landscape.
As we got around to these areas, there were little tent shops where people invited us for tea and tried to get us to buy things. This was probably the biggest P.I.T.A. of Petra – people wanting us to buy shit. Some of it is really cool and I eventually bought something, but it’s hard to know what’s authentic and what isn’t.
There were some guards outside a bigger rock-cut area and they started questioning Mike and me about our piercings. They said nose rings are for women to look feminine and beautiful, why did we have then? AHH! I said so we can look beautiful too. This wouldn’t be the last time people inquired about our piercings during this trip either.
One of the same guards was really curious about my nicotine vape, too. He said to give it to him. I said no. He said I can buy a new one when I got the states. No way! I need my nicotine now lol.
We got away from there and continued on our journey.
After a long day of breathtaking views, we made it to The Treasury.
We walked to the visitor center where we got a taxi and went back to Moussa’s for the evening. We had mentioned we wanted some food and he said if we would like, his sister would make us dinner for 6 Dinar each which is essentially $8 USD. Not bad at all, so we decided to go for it. I’m so glad we did because we had a feast of kings… I’m pretty sure we saw the chicken that made this meal on our way in though so that was kind of unsettling.
We were able to catch the sunset from the roof of Moussa’s place.
Later that evening, Moussa’s friends came by – one of them to explain a bit about the Bedouin ways to us.
He taught us about a Palestinian teacher who came to Wadi Musa and taught the Bedouin people… I’m unable to find the video he showed us but it seemed like he was the dude that came and really westernized the Bedouins.
He also told us the significance of coffee in Bedouin life. Essentially if a man wants to ask a woman’s father for marriage or for any kind of Big Thing, he offers him coffee. If the man drinks it, he agrees, if he doesn’t… then that’s that. He can be swayed, but if he never drinks it, then the deal is not done.
We also learned that Shukran means “thank you,” and La means “no,” which would come in handy when those pesty Bedouins would be persistent about getting us to buy things at their shops. Kidding. But in all honesty, they are VERY persistent. Let me also mention that the Bedouin people are incredibly hospitable. At Moussa’s, whenever our tea went empty, he or Mohammad refilled. They went above and beyond to make us feel taken care of.
We talked for a long while, people kept coming in and out of the home.
It was really funny at one point because Freaky Friday was on TV, so Mike and I, two queer guys from Chicago are watching this chick flick with all these Jordanian men and they just have no idea.
Moussa’s brother showed me his phone which totally blew my mind.
What do you MEAN that’s your phone? Gagged.
It was a really cool night to just hang out with these Bedouin people and feel like part of their network for a moment in time.
03. petra (cont’d)
We started our morning pretty early and grabbed a ride with Mohammad&co. to Little Petra. The goal was to make our way from Little Petra to the Monastery… but we ended up going from Little Petra to the Monastery and then back to the Treasury. LONG day of hiking. It was completely incredible. What was even more incredible was that Mohammad was taking us around the whole day and we got to go a backwards way which not many tourists are able to do.
Once again, Little Petra was where the Nebataeans had initially started carving rock – it was much harder here than in Big Petra.
Mohammad took us hiking up this really steep mountain to get “the best view in the world”.
The view actually was the best, too.
Sorry it’s such crappy quality. Had to squash it for Tumblr.
On our way back Mohammad had trapped us because his friend had a shop right by and we felt pressured to buy something. So we bought some old coins that had apparently been found in the mountains. Who knows if they’re real, but hey, maybe they are.
I think the coin is Greek and not from the Nebataean period.
Well, all I can really say is that we walked and walked and walked. I have no idea how much we hiked this day but it was from 9am until I think 5pm or something.
Our guide Mohammad.
First real accomplishment of the day: reaching the Monastery.
On our way back from the Monastery, we stopped by the shop of Mohammad’s sister. She and her husband were making food and they invited us for tea and actually ended up feeding us which was very cool. The food was SO good. You take pita bread and fold it in half, picking up whatever you’re dipping it in prior to folding it.
Of course I had to buy something from her and luckily she took card. WHAT? How do they even have card readers in the middle of a mountain?
I got a scarf, a mug, and a bowl.
I don’t know if the mug and bowl are actually Bedouin-made because I saw similar ones when we were in Israel, but I actually got them cheaper than what they were selling in Israel so whateverrrr! If anyone knows where they are made, please let me know!
One thing that I really loved during the hike was when Mohammad answered a question saying “the Bedouin free, go where we want.” And he did.
On our way back from the Monastery, we stopped by another family member’s home, I believe it was Moussa’s sister? She made us tea while it rained and we smoked cigarettes. She said to Mike and me “come work with me. I’ll give you one cave, two chickens, three goats, one camel, and two donkeys.” I loved that.
We proceeded to climb up a mountain that would provide a lovely view of the Treasury from the top.
Pretty brutal hike, and we took a short cut too. In Petra, short cuts mean steep climbs.
This is the hut at the top of the view:
We met two French men while up here and they climbed down with us.
When I say climb down…
First of all, it was a “shortcut,” secondly it was more like trying to avoid certain death.
This picture doesn’t do it justice. I should have taken a picture from the top of it. My adrenaline was pumping, I thought I might die. I felt like crying after one particularly brutal drop from one rock down to another.
But then we did it. We climbed/slipped/jumped down a mountainside. Mohammad done good.
We went back to Moussa’s place where we had his sister make us food again. This time it was only 3 Dinar for Mike and me combined. He must have grown to like us with the price change because it was about the same amount of food.
And then, just like that, it was time to go to bed and we would be leaving Petra in the morning.
I will just say now, Petra was easily the highlight of the trip for me. Gorgeous terrain, interesting history, hospitable (albeit peristent) people.
04. christmas eve in aqaba
Per the trend of our trip, we woke up pretty early to leave for Aqaba. It was sad to say goodbye to Moussa, but I’m grateful for the experience with him and his family/friends.
Our ride to Aqaba was about two hours and very bumpy. They don’t really utilize seatbelts in Jordan, either, so it’s a fun time. Our driver was really fast too, zig-zagging up and down mountains, so it felt like a rollercoaster ride. Still, Mike managed to fall asleep during the drive.
Our drive hustled us too because we agreed on 30 Dinar, but then he pulled up to a gas station and wanted us to pay for the gas. We ended up giving him 10 Dinar extra for a tip.
The plan for the day was to go snorkeling in the Red Sea, and that we did. I’d never been snorkeling before so I was really excited. This was the one thing that I really wanted to do in Aqaba because my friend Syd had said it was some of the best visibility she had ever had in her life and she’s done a lot of diving.
We made some friends too!
From left to right: Kelly, Mina, Charm, and Mike. Kelly is from New York, doing an internship at the dive place we booked through. Mina and Charm are both living in Dubai – very cool! They were super nice too and took some picture of us, and even got some footage of us diving.
Snorkeling for me was a pretty intense experience. Since I had never done it before, it took a LONG while for me to adjust. I kept getting water in the mask and in the mouthpiece, and felt like I was drowning. Very scary. When I finally started to get the hang of it, I put my face underwater and looked down. Some coral at the bottom but it seemed far away. Then I looked up. And I was surrounded 360 by fish. It was a really, really cool moment in my life…until I started feeling like I was drowning again.
We went back to the boat so I could get my bearings together and then went out again. This time I did better, and we went a lot closer to the corals. Saw some poisonous sea urchin, and plenty of really cool fish. There was also one that was really long and thin. I wish I knew the names, or had been able to take pictures. I’ll show video of Mike and me snorkeling, with Mike obviously being the brave one and diving down.
I’m a good actor apparently because I still managed to wave even while I felt like I was drowning.
We spent the rest of our Christmas Eve in the hotel room for the most part. My stomach was hurting and I was feeling sick, but we managed to walk around a little bit in the evening and getting some food. The falafel is so good here!!
We also saw a Jordanian Santa Claus – perfect for Christmas.
05. christmas in jerusalem
The plan for the day was to cross out of Jordan and into Israel and pick up our rental car.
I had heard that border control into Israel was rough, and man was it! They are not joking around. It was mostly okay, though.
It was mostly just going through security and then getting asked some questions.
I was asked:
How long I was in Jordan for
How long I will be in Israel
What kind of community service I do
What I’m going to be doing in Israel**
Who I’m staying with in Israel
Why I went to Jordan
What is my religion
What do I think about the political situation in Israel right now*
For ticket confirmation out of the country
For a receipt of the AirBnB we were staying at
And more. I was being grilled.
*this one stumped me. I told her that I’m not informed enough to speak on it, because I’m not.
**Mike mentioned going to Bethlehem while I was saying where we were going. Woman goes “oh, so you’ll be entering Palestine while here.” AHH!!! I said, “No, he means Nazareth, we’re not going to Palestine.” We had initially planned to go to Bethlehem but decided against it.
Then we were through!
It was a COMPLETE change, crossing from Jordan to Israel. Suddenly everybody was white and affluent.
We got our money converted from Jordanian Dinar into Israeli Shekels and went to go pick up our car.
Luckily the rental company didn’t take very long at all and they were talkative and kind. They said Mike looked like George Michael and Taylor Lautner from Twilight (which he’s gotten ever since that movie came out).
Then we were in the car, heading to our first stop of the day: The Dead Sea!
From the Dead Sea, we went to Jerusalem where we were staying for the night.
The parking meter was a total pain in the ass and we realized that it was much nicer when we were being driven around. It’s always nice to have the freedom to drive in your own car, though.
This meter did NOT want to take our money.
When we got to the AirBnB for the night, our host, Rahel, was great and walked us through everything. Her place was so neat and organized.
Hannukah was going on so she had some of the candles lit and she explained to me what the decorations on the doorways meant. It’s called a mezuzah and it typically has a parchment inside with “Shema Yisrael” written inside which means “hear, Israel.”
We showered, gave our families a Christmas call, and then went to walk around town and grab some food.
Then we went to bed so we could get an early start exploring the Old City of Jerusalem the next day.
06. old city of jerusalem
It was really cool to go to the Old City of Jerusalem and spend the day walking around.
In some ways, it’s exactly what I expected but in other ways not so much. I had no idea people actually lived within the walls, but that just added to the majestic feel. SO MUCH SHOPPING here! They have every souvenir you could want to buy. They even had a gym. I should have taken a picture because it was the funniest thing. A gym pumping hard electronic music surrounded by cobblestone.
We went to the Western Wall, aka Weeping Wall, which is the holiest place for people of the Jewish faith to pray. Really cool to witness all these people praying here.
Behind it lies Temple Mount which is the holiest place for Jewish people.
We did a tour of the western walls as well, because there are tunnels underground that walk along it.
This is kind of a. trippy picture but it’s actually looking downwards. They’re doing a lot of archaeological digging here. The bottom is the valley, I’m looking over a barricade.
Old pieces of rock cut to be used for the wall but not used.
After the tour, we stumbled upon the Prison of Christ.
I’m spiritual, not really religious but it was cool to see this stuff, especially since I grew up Catholic.
Some stations of the cross:
From here, we drove to Nazareth where we would be staying the night. Jesus grew up in Nazareth!
The drive there was fine until we actually got to the old city of Nazareth.
In Nazareth they don’t really operate on addresses – more so word of mouth (i.e., go down the street with the shop and turn right) and we didn’t realize this. So when we plugged in 6139 Nazareth St. into the GPS, it hadn’t occurred to us that this number was essentially moot. Basically, we’re following the directions and as we get to Nazareth we enter a subdivision where the roads get smaller and smaller, steeper and steeper (I’m talking REALLY narrow and REALLY steep; let’s just make that clear).
We wind up at a dead end where I had to do a 3-point turn that turned into a 40-point turn.During this stressful expedition, an older gentleman in a nightie stood by ominously watching us. I was afraid he was pissed that we were on his property. And of course I was having a really hard time getting out of their alleyway. He didn’t speak English and when his wife came out, it became apparent that neither did she. Shortly thereafter another man came out of the apartment who spoke English and he hopped in the car to help us out. The original man and woman asked me inside. So I went in and was offered tea.
By the time Mike came in, members of the family were trickling in and we were offered delicious sweets, tomatoes & cucumber snacks, some olive oil/cheese dip pita appetizer, and then a pasta entree made by the man who helped move the car, all the while us protesting [lightly] because they had already been generous enough. They were so welcoming and it was such a completely unexpected, surreal experience. We stayed for a couple of hours talking and eating and after exchanging information we headed off to our hostel (which we still weren’t able to find until we went through two more sets of people to ask).I think sometimes we forget, in our busy lives, that everyone is just human. And just because we’re busy and we have all this shit to do, that doesn’t mean we should ignore our neighbors or be unkind to them. This family selflessly helped us, went above and beyond, and made us feel like one of their own.
07. sea of galilee and haifa
In the morning, breakfast was SERVED.
Our hostel had a meal included and it was such a great way to start the day.
Fun note: we were the first ones from Chicago to stay here.
Here’s a small idea of Nazarene roads. This is two lanes.
We started the day off by going to the Basilica of the Annunciation, which is where Mary was told she was preg’. I couldn’t get a picture of the spot because no cameras were allowed and even though people were taking pics, I wanted to respect the rule.
But here’s the church that it’s in:
A delicate flower for my mom.
Next to the church was the church of St. Joseph where mass was going on. That was cool to witness. Again, no pic of it.
From here we got the fuck out of Nazareth which I needed to do because the roads were giving me anxiety. I just couldn’t deal anymore!
So on to Tiberias, where the Sea of Galilee resides.
This is where Jesus supposedly walked on water.
The town itself was pretty boring.. or maybe it wasn’t but we just didn’t feel like walking around it so we started our drive back to Haifa, stopping back in Nazareth (damn it!) because I forgot to get sand to bring back for my mom. I was going to get it from Sea of Galilee but they only had rocks, not sand.
We got to Haifa and walked around a bit.
It’s interesting because at the beginning of the trip it felt like we were thrust back into time 2000 years ago, and had since been hurdling forward to the present.
From Petra (2000 years ago) to Jerusalem to Haifa (which totally had an 80′s vibe) and eventually to end in Tel-Aviv which was 90′s/present.
Mike and I got some food prior to getting to the AirBnB for the night but were kind of in a rush because the parking meter was running out. Of course the only sit down food joint in apparently miles was more of a “sit down, take your time” kind of place. The food was delicious though! It was pita bread with cheese, pita bread with beans, and then assorted veggies. Haifa is big on fresh veggies and seafood.
We got to our AirBnB hosts home at 6pm and didn’t leave for the rest of the night. Our host was young and still studying at Uni. She showed me some of her paintings, we talked for a bit and then went to our bedroom to chill out and play with our host’s cat Shusha.
08. mount carmel, baha’i temple, and intro to tel-aviv
We started the morning out heading to one of the UNESCO sites in Haifa – the Baha’i temple. It was completely symmetrical and beautiful. We have on in Illinois actually in Wilmette, so it was neat to see Israel’s version.
Also, stray dog 🙁
We went for breakfast at a place that accepted all colors, all races, all TYPES of people! Very us.
I got a milkshake… because it was on the menu.
Next stop, Mount Carmel! Growing up, I went to church at a place called Mount Carmel Church, so it was really neat for me to actually go there and see it.
I actually don’t know what the significance of it is but after a quick wikipedia search it looks like it was regarded as a holy mountain, and Elijah resided there sometimes.
Beautiful view. So cool to see the city of Haifa in the distance, too.
We were going to go to a town called Acre that apparently has good hummus but we both decided we should just go to Tel-Aviv, where we were ending our trip together.
So we drove there and met our AirBnB host who was very talkative but friendly for a little while then hit the town.
Misleading sign to a head shop.
The coolest tree.
We decided to check out a gay bar too which turned out to be a really weird experience. Mike and I just wanted to go DANCINGGGGG but this place was more of a sit down, drink, and smoke cigarettes kinda place. So we absorbed the atmosphere and just chilled out.
Ate some great falafel, then went back to our place to sleep.
09. parting ways
The weather in both Jordan and Israel had been fine for the duration of my stay, but this last day is what I had been waiting for. It was so totally gorgeous. Sunny, breezy, and sexy.
We went to drop off the car and then walked along the boardwalk next to the Mediterranean Sea. Casual.
Dog walker…Can you imagine?
We walked for a long while searching for food but inevitably ended up eating where we ate the night before called Falafel Gabai which was so good!
Then we wandered around and bumped into some really cool shit.
This looks like a street, right? Cars are just parked here blocking one another.
How does this make sense?
Blocks and blocks of flea marketry.
One of my favorite spots in Tel-Aviv. This singer was incredible!
We got some some kanafeh which is a cheese pastry basically soaked in sugar. I had it in Jerusalem too and it is SO GOOD, then we walked down to Old Jaffa, where everybody apparently was taking wedding pictures.
There were at least three other brides here.
Stumbled upon the wishing bridge. If you hold the post of your astrological sign and make a wish, it’s supposed to come true.
I’m not gonna tell you my wish.
Coolest architecture in Tel-Aviv hands down:
We chilled out back at the AirBnB for a bit, talked with our hosts, and then went out for our “last supper” together before I left at 2am the next morning.
And we got Italian! Not relevant to the trip at all, but damn was it good.
10. three countries in one day
I woke up at 2.30am to head to my flight home with a stopover in Poland.
The Tel-Aviv airport was literally hell.
I was going through security and they asked me the typical grueling questions but then they got to “are you bringing anything back per someone else’s request?” and I felt honesty was the best policy so I mentioned I’m bringing two vases back to the states for my travel buddy. I should have never done that. They told me to go to a separate area to get the vases scanned for explosives, then I had to wait in a line that just took absolutely forever. The thing with the security there is that they scrutinize so much but they’re completely unorganized. The employees didn’t seem to necessarily have one post, so the person who was taking your passport would go look at something else while still holding your passport so the line is stuck until she returns with the passport. It was just stupid.
But anyway, I got through on time, made the flight, and then got to Poland.
I’m mostly Polish, so it was REALLY cool to be able to go explore Warsaw for a couple of hours. My mom’s family, the Mielzynski clan, has a wine brewery and restaurant in Warsaw so my goal was to check out the Old Town of Warsaw and then go to the restaurant.
Don’t let the sky fool you. It was cold. After walking around for a number of hours, I was able to realize why Polish people do just fine in Chicago. Similar weather. And poor me, only wearing a wool sweater.
I loved these brightly coloured buildings.
There was a monument near /this/ monument that said something like “this is the location where over 300,000 Jews were loaded into concentration camps.”
And then… my ancestors’ restaurant.
VERY cool to be able to sit here and have some pie and tea.
Unfortunately no one named Mielzynski was working haha.
Across the street there was a cemetery so I decided to check it out and see what I could find.
And then before you know it I had to get back to the airport!
I got some Polish soup and pierogies and then unfortunately the flight was delayed over two hours…there was a lot of sitting around in my seat on the plane.
Ten hours later, I was back in Chicago. Home sweet home.
It’s been a day since I’ve been back and I must say… I love Chicago and this is my home.
I’m very lucky to live in a place where I can be myself and not have to worry.
With a U.S. passport, you can travel practically anywhere. In Jordan and Israel, this is not always the case. When crossing into Israel, I didn’t even get a stamp on my passport but instead a loose leaflet with my information on it because of having trouble getting into other countries with an Israeli stamp.
In Israel, almost everybody has to serve in the army. I believe for men it’s three years and women only 1.5 – 2.
We have so many perks of being in America that just wasn’t the case in specifically Jordan. So many people living in poverty with garbage littering the streets and while yes, they are free, I don’t think I saw any Bedouin people over the age of 40.
However..with that being said, this was an unforgettable experience for me.
-Petra was absolutely incredible. The history of the Bedouin people, the Nebataean rock-cut architecture, the hiking. I saw so much beauty, in people and in nature.
-Snorkeling in the Red Sea was scary for me, but very very cool. Being with all the fish and coral is out of this world.
-I got some great photography out of the Dead Sea and it was such a neat experience to be able to have almost my entire body out of the water, just floating and getting a natural sea salt treatment.
-Jerusalem was full of rich history, and such a sacred place to visit.
-Nazareth driving was a pain in the ass but the most heart-warming experience came of it – meeting a family that truly saved the day and made our night with their hospitality and welcomeness.
-Haifa had a gorgeous view from Mount Carmel.
-Tel-Aviv provided great weather and view of the Mediterranean Sea. Very bohemian in some areas, with the flea markets and music in the streets.
Like anything, there were ups and downs during this trip, but I’m blessed that I was able to see a little bit more of the world with one of my closest friends and that we were able to experience it together. While I wasn’t able to be with my family for Christmas (I’m sorry!), I’m glad I took the time off work to spend the holidays with Mike and have the adventure of a lifetime with him.