1. 1. You slept more on the bus than you did in your hotel room.
2. 2. ICEBREAKERS!
3. 3. Your tour guide had such a deep knowledge and connection to Israel that you question whether or not he was actually part of the Torah.
4. 4. If the rabbi you had in Hebrew school was as cool as the one on your trip, you would’ve paid a lot more attention.
5. 5. Every day, you hiked at least 5 miles up a mountain… before lunch.
6. 6. Without your swanky orange nametags, there was a 0% chance you remembered everyone’s names.
7. 7. For lunch, your options were:
a) Falafel with hummus
b) Shawarma with hummus
c) Hummus with hummus
d) All of the above
8. 8. When they tell you to drink as much water as humanly possible, they REALLY aren’t kidding.
9. 9. Because the hiking just never ends and your average daily mileage approached “Moses wandering the desert” levels.
10. 10. Seven miles, 15K steps, and 2000 daily calories burned later, the first night out reminded you how beautiful Jewish girls can look when they have a few minutes to get ready.
11. 11. You also realized every Jewish guy’s wardrobe consists entirely of J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Lacoste.
12. 12. Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, EVERYBODDDDY.
13. 13. You received an elaborate education on key Hebrew words, phrases, and expressions.
14. 14. For example, every night you got to party you went “La Panim.”
15. 15. You became a regular with the hotel bartenders and lived up to their stereotypes about American drinking habits.
16. 16. The next morning though… “Al Hapanim.”
17. 17. You heard incredible stories from people around the world who share an amaaaaaaaazing passion for Israel and whose personalities can only be described with one word… Trippy.
18. 18. Slappin’ and schmearin’ suntan lotion became a routine morning activity.
19. 19. You appreciated the beauty of the Tel Aviv beaches and the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea…for the 30 minutes you got to spend there.
20. 20. Achla Hamuda was your jaaaaaaaaaaaaam, even if you only knew five words to it.
21. 21. Your group regularly disappointed the trip leader/bus mom (aka The Shlucha), with your inability to count from 1 to 40.
22. 22)Your bus driver’s ability to make three-point turns while on a 50-degree angle on the side of a narrow mountain path made you question what he did before he was a bus driver.
23. 23. On the bus you had one Israeli soldier with a gun acting as your guardian angel… because at the end of the day, you’re still in the Middle East.
24. 24. From Ashkelon to Tiberius, lurking around every corner, you had the sneaking suspicion that waiting to attack you were… CATS!
25. 25. You got used to being surrounded by danger, and when you made an unknown turn around a cliff and shouted “YOLO,” it was actually relevant.
26. 26. Sharp jagged rocks in the distance? Yeah, let’s climb those in our Havaianas.
27. 27. Excuse me, Rabbi: Can you please explain what a “Mikvah” is just one more time?
28. 28. With such an incredibly thought out and planned schedule, the hardest decision you had to make each day was what to wear.
29. 29. It took nine days to realize no matter how clearly you expressed your desire for black coffee with ice cubes in it, you would get milk-filled mocha slushy (and would drink it anyway).
30. 30. But seriously, do we need water shoes?
31. 31. Everywhere you went, the most commonly asked question was, “Is there free Wi-Fi?”
32. 32. Between meals, it was always chip-o-clock, and, excessive trial and error led to one conclusion:
Green Doritos > everything else
33. 33. You realized your new Israeli friends were just like you, except with a better Borat impersonation.
34. 34. Walking around the Mahane Yehuda market (The Shuk) in Jerusalem, you were convinced you were on the set of Homeland.
35. 35. Protecting borders, surviving wars, and developing advanced military technology are all impressive… but nothing is more impressive than chocolate with Pop Rocks inside.
36. 36. On the one day you visited Yad Vashem, the military cemetery, and said goodbye to your Israeli’s, you were like… “Really! Really? OK fine, I give up, have all of my tears you sadistic bastards.”
37. 37. Despite the warnings and precautions, you still managed to get cuts all over your body and feel the fiery wrath of the Dead Sea.
If you can read this right now, it means your eyes finally stopped burning.
38. 38. You developed a deep fear and respect for your camel, who may or may not be named Carlsbad, over the 10 minutes you spent with him.
39. 39. That one night in the Bedouin tents gazing at the stars finally gave you a reason to use those free astronomy apps you downloaded years ago.
40. 40. Despite it being a “free trip,” by the last day you had less than 20 shekels in your pocket.
41. 41. When the trip was finally over and it was all said and done, you strongly considered leaving the airport, joining a kibbutz or the IDF, and making Aliyah.
42. 42. But even if you didn’t, you’ll never forget the good times you had, the amazing people you met, the memories we created, and the squishy feeling in the bottom of your water shoes.
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