As the April showers turn quickly into May flowers, you will blink, and we will jump right into the long-awaited summer months. Many families plan for their summer vacations a year in advance, while others enjoy the spontaneity of finding something on a whim and booking it without too much thought.
Last summer, we were in an interesting predicament: our new house was not ready to move into, and we had to vacate our rental property. We decided to take this as an opportunity to spend a month abroad, traveling throughout Israel.
As exciting as this plan was to my husband, I took on the bulk of the anxiety and worrying about the month ahead in a foreign country with an extremely loose itinerary with three children under seven. We were not the first people to attempt a trip like this, but we were different because we did not have close relatives or friends as a backup plan in case things went awry.
With a leap of faith and recruiting my mother to join us on this journey, we set off for a month of new adventures, learning curves, and exciting yet sometimes nerve-wracking experiences. We tried to become immersed in the culture and country and live authentically, not as tourists.
We spent our mornings at local coffee shops, afternoons strolling through marketplaces and less traveled streets, and evenings by the water eating the local fare. My two older kids spent three weeks at Camp Kimama, where they met fellow travelers, interacted with local counselors who taught the language and culture through complete immersion, and even learned how to surf!
By the end of our month, I could barely remember the reason I was nervous about the impending trip in the first place and wished for just a couple of weeks more. But just like anything else, all good things must come to an end, and it just reinforced our desire to do something like this again.