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"How does it feel to leave?"

So for those of you not as close to the ins and outs of my everyday life, I just got back from America for my job. I was in the USA for one week…just two weeks after I was there for my first work trip. To be honest it felt…weird. It felt familiar and homey while at the same time, I felt like I belonged to a different place now and that I was just a visitor. In the few days since I  left the Holy Land, I texted my roommate back in Israel incessantly and after only two months of living together, it feels unnatural not to see her everyday.  I thought I would be relieved to be able to come back and be in my familiar environment, but I also could not wait to get back to Israel. It felt odd to not have spoken Hebrew in a week (even though I did say slicha [excuse me] and toda [thank you] to some strangers in Boston by accident).

Leaving has made me realize how much I truly belong in Israel. I have known this from the first time I set foot there but it’s even more apparent now. Israel is all I can talk about. My friends, my school, the place I study in the park, the food I eat, the beaches I go to…it consumes my conversations. This is not only because Israel is where my life is but because theres truly nothing else Id rather be talking about. I love the fact that every Sunday, strangers will say “Shavua Tov” (Have a good week) and last week I continually received texts from my Israeli friends wishing me a “Shana Tova” (Happy new year). Here in my office, no one knows that last Thursday was any different from any other day, no one knows to wish me a Shabbat Shalom on Friday or a Shavua Tov on Sunday. It’s just made me realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by Jewish people in the Jewish homeland day in and day out…even if for the little things.

Although I will say, I am also incredibly lucky and thankful to be able to spend (a slightly belated) Rosh Hashanah this past weekend with my family in Maine. One of the most important days, and I will not be 5,000+ miles away in Israel, but surrounded by the people that love me most. If I wish anything could be different about Israel, it’s that my family could be there with me. My parents, my nana, and my sister and brother in law have all bought their tickets to come visit me in Israel and I could not be more excited. I can’t wait to share this place I love so much with the people I love so much…who knows…maybe they will follow in my footsteps, But for now, I’m just lucky to have people I care about spanning the globe.

As much as I was so incredibly excited to get back to Israel, I was also really sad to be leaving my family again. Being an expat is hard, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Being away from everything and everyone familiar isn’t easy…but sometimes it’s still right. Now I’m back in the Holy Land, getting back into the swing of Ulpan, spending my first Yom Kippur in Israel, celebrating Sukkot and relaxing on the beach…so lots of exciting life moments/blogs to come!

A belated shana tova to you all!

Some views from home!

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