After what felt like an eternity, but was actually only 48 long hours, I have settled into my hostel in Tel Aviv. Sunday, I left Oak Park with my parent for a three hour drive to Toronto that turned into a 6 1/2 hour drive with our stops. When we started getting hungry for dinner, and came to terms that dinner was not going to happen in downtown Toronto, we pulled over into this small college town and found some random bar that ended up having some of the most delicious food I have had in a very long time! We finally made it to the hotel around 9:30 for a not so good night’s sleep.
The next morning, we got up and headed into Toronto before my flight out. While looking for a decent breakfast place, my mom spots an Aroma coffee, and naturally we decide to stop for a little taste of Israel from almost 6 thousand miles away. After a delicious breakfast sanswwhich and an even better mocha, we drove around downtown a bit before heading to the airport! After checking in and checking my bags, my parents walked me back to the security line where we parted ways, and that’s when the real fun started (just kidding, love you mom and dad!).
My first sign at the airport that this was going to be an amazing year, was a couple in line a few people behind me that were speaking Hebrew. I asked them where in Israel they were from, and told them about my upcoming year. After heading into separate lines, we re-met at the gate, where they were clearly with a group. Being alone, I sat near their group. Not 10 minutes after sitting, I heard the couple speaking Hebrew to the group while gesturing and pointing to me, telling them about my upcoming travels. All of the Israelis were so excited and asked me questions about the MASA program or another 20 minutes. Once on the plane, the two women in the seats next to me and I stuck up conversation. Like most Israelis I have met, they were extremely nice, and the woman in the center seat (sorry mom!) kept telling me how much she hopes I love Israel enough that I never leave.
Finally, after a sleepless 10 1/2 hour flight, I arrived to the hostel two hours before check-in. Since I was unable to get a room until 2;00 pm, I headed up to the Hostel Lounge and napped on a couch there!