I’m Going to Israel

IMG_8842 The wall of the TempleMount

I’m pretty sure that I’ve never written a post announcing future travel plans, but I’ve been dying to share this one and would like to explain why I’m going and what I’m most looking forward to.

So, you guessed it, I’m going to… Israel!

In one week I will take an 11 hour flight (yikes) from Toronto to Tel Aviv and finally set foot in a country that has forever been a bit of a mystery to me.

Sure, I’ve read plenty of information about Israel, but it is one of those countries that I feel I can never truly understand until I experience it first hand. I look forward to learning more about Israeli culture and history, and while I am not religious myself, I am very interested to see how all of the religions come together in one place.

IMG_7423 Old City alleys

Safety

Israel is a safe country to visit.

I’d just like to get that out of the way.

Yet, without exception, every single person that I have told my plans to has shown concern for my safety. Some expressed that they would not want to travel there themselves, especially right now, but most of them simply asked if I was afraid.

I told them I was not.

I received the following note along with my itinerary:

Note: the news from the region continues to fill the airwaves and newspapers of the world – I want to reassure you that Israel continues to be in business, unaffected by the strife in the region. Planes from around the globe continue to fly to Israel filled with tourists – beaches are full, streets and markets, theatres, restaurants and tourist attractions are filled with local population and tourists. Israel is diligent about its security and that of its visitors and we would never wish to bring you should we feel that there is any hint of any threat to you.

This was certainly my first press trip that required a “note“, but I still wasn’t afraid.

Again, Israel is a safe place to visit and I will feel totally relaxed.

Sat Crystals, Floating and spaYup, that relaxed.

 

 

Passport

In reality, my only concern about travelling to Israel was in the passport issue.

Once it’s stamped, I will no longer be able to travel to the following countries:

  • Syria 
  • Lebanon 
  • Libya 
  • Kuwait 
  • Iran 
  • Iraq  
  • Sudan 
  • Yemen

There are others that may cause problems as well.

However, my current passport expires in 2015 and I am willing to wait two short years to be able to visit those countries should I choose to.

Because, I probably will.

Once I get my new passport, I will be able to enter those countries.

IMG_3145 a camel on the background of The Temple Mount

What I’ll be Doing

Now for the good stuff. I was be travelling around the country over the course of a week, beginning and ending in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv : City bike tour, port tour, visiting Jaffa’s markets, galleries and museums and experiencing Israeli nightlife

Kibbutz Lavi : Experiencing Shabbat preparations and planting a tree in Lavi forest

Mount Tabor : Visiting Tabor Winery

Sea of Galilee : Visiting Capernaum and riding horses and Vered HaGalil

Masada : Hiking up Masada’s snake path and descending by cable car

Kibbutz Ein Gedi : Hiking in Nahal David nature reserve with oasis and waterfall

Dead Sea : Visit Ein Bokek and have mud treatment at spa

Jerusalem : Touring old city, visiting museums and exhibits, nightime bike ride, visiting Christian and Jewish quarters, the Western Wall and Western Wall tunnels, arab markets and wine tasting.

I have always wanted to visit Israel, and since I physically laid eyes on it from across the border of Jordan in May of this year, I promised myself that I would visit soon.

I am incredibly excited to do all of these amazing things while learning more about this enigmatic country.

Salt4_DeadSea11_0453_Itamar Grinberg

IMG_8512 praying in the Wailing Wall

IMG_0340 The old city at moonlight

Of course, I also look forward to sharing it all with you.

Please let me know if there is anything you would like
to see photos of or learn more about.

I will be travelling with the Israel Ministry of Tourism,
but will only share my personal thoughts and opinions.

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14 Responses to “I’m Going to Israel”

  1. Auður - I heart Reykjavík
    October 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    I was recently in Israel with the Big Blog Exchange and the only troubles I had was on the way into the country because they didn’t believe I was a blogger that had won a trip and I got “detained” in the airport for a couple of hours.

    BTW, they have stopped stamping your passport (at least they didn’t stamp mine) and before that you could ask them not to stamp it.

    Enjoy it – I was very skeptical before I went and was pleasantly surprised. You can read about the journey here: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/category/israel/

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Ohh, I didn’t know that they had changed it! Someone I know that went last year has a stamp, so it must be very recent. Glad to hear that you liked it. I will definitely take a look through all your posts before going, especially that Eskimo in the desert one 😀

  2. Danielle
    October 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    How exciting! I believe you’ll be safe with no worries on your trip! I really want to travel to Mauritius for my honeymoon but my dads worried i’ll be a target because its off the coast of africa and he doesn’t believe it to be safe.

    Question though, when you go on these trips, do you go by yourself and meet up with other people for a group tour or is it just you?

    Have fun! Can’t wait to see pictures.

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      It seems that family and friends always worry about us no matter where we go, hehe. Mauritius would be amazing though, I have friends there and have always wanted to visit. I hope you go anyway.

      I travel on press trips for work a lot of the time, where I am placed into other groups of writers. When I go on my own, I usually just travel alone.

  3. Raymond @ Man On The Lam
    October 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I spent 4 months in Israel many moons ago and safety was never an issue. You’ll LOVE Masada at sunrise!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Bromances, Grooming Habits, and other Random Observations from the Serengeti

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      That’s good to hear, I never thought it would be an issue :]
      I can’t wait to see Masada.. at any time of the day

  4. Nicole
    October 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    A friend of mine went on a birthrite trip. I was jealous. =\ She loved every minute of it, there.
    Nicole recently posted..Ever Seen a Grown Man Act Like a Kid?

  5. Clint @ Triphackr
    October 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Hey, I’m going to Israel in a couple of weeks also! I don’t think our paths will cross but have fun! I’m really looking forward to it.
    Clint @ Triphackr recently posted..Travel Gear Giveaway!

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Ah, too bad we aren’t there at the same time. I hope you have a good time too :]

  6. Beverley | Pack Your Passport
    October 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Sounds brilliant Seattle, can’t wait to see pictures! 🙂
    Beverley | Pack Your Passport recently posted..Facing My Fears: Black Water Rafting at Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

  7. Cristøbal
    October 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Probably they will give you a provisional ID instead of the stamp, so no worry about enter other countries. If not ask for it.
    In Tel Aviv they have different beaches, there is a gay beach beside a ultra-orthodox one (different days for women and men). Great contrast for travellers.
    If you like street art don’t miss Bethelem wall, there are some Banksy´s and more cool staff.

    Album from my last trip: http://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/101802964791651019790/albums/5888324400599959153

    Enjoy lowest point on Earth.

    • Seattle Dredge
      October 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Oh–just saw this here now (only saw it on g+ before). I looked at your album though, great photos. Can’t wait to see it all for myself :]

  8. Hogga
    October 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    amazing.

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