So, I’ve been keeping this under wraps and as you may have guessed from my instagram (if you don’t already follow me you can do so here!) that something was going on, but I’ll let you all in on a little secret…I’m moving to Israel for 3 months. Now, if you know me then that’s not really news; I’ve backpacked across Europe and lived in Thailand for a year, it was pretty obvious I was going somewhere right? Well this time’s different, this time I’m going completely alone. Yep, you read that right, no Joe. Now, I know what you’re thinking (trust me, this is the first thing that’s popped into everyone’s head who I’ve told about this trip), Joe and I are FINE! We’re not breaking up, there is no trouble, we’re not sick of each other. Quite simply, we’re in two different points in our lives right now and we have two very different goals; Joe wants to get a foot in the door of his dream career, and as for me…well, I have no idea what I want.
So why am I going to Israel? Israel is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for years, it’s a country that’s fascinating to me; the history, the culture, the FOOD! I mean, c’mon hummus is from Israel, how can I not want to go?! But why am I actually going? What normal person packs their bags and leaves their house, their boyfriend and their family alone while they go work in a hostel in Israel? Well you should know by now that I’m not a normal girl. But other than that, here are 6 reasons why I’m doing this.
1. I have no idea what I want to do with my life
My mind races at 100mph, more often than not it keeps me awake at night. I have conversations with myself in my head and I like to describe my brain as an excited puppy. I get excited about everything, every idea, I run after it, grab it with both hands only to discover I don’t want it anymore. In my life I’ve wanted to be a vet, a dancer, a fashion editor, a buyer, a travel journalist, a personal trainer and a marketing officer…but none of the above really stuck. I realize that I’m not special in this, that most people my age (and older) don’t know what they want to do, where they fit in, what their niche is and what they’re best at. The only difference is that I’m willing to do something about it. My absolute worst nightmare is waking up in 30 years time in a job that I despise, knowing that I have another 20 years in that same job because I’m too scared to do something different. Put simply, I’m breaking the mould before I even fit into it.
My current job is a fixed term contract, although I’ve enjoyed it I’m not sure it’s something I want to do with my life so rather than jump straight into something else I want to take a step back, have a breather and decide what I want. Now, I’m not delusional- I don’t think I’m going to return home from Israel a changed woman with all the answers. I just want some time to figure out my next move.
2. I want to get to know myself
My entire adult life, I’ve never been alone. I left home at 18 to go to university and I met Joe shortly after that…the rest is history. I know myself through my boyfriend’s eyes, I know myself through my family’s eyes, but who am I through my own? I’ve never really spent enough time with myself to know for sure. Am I funny? (obviously) Am I sarcastic? (obviously not) Am I caring, passionate, dedicated? Would I help in a crisis or would I look the other way? Am I strong willed, or a conformist? I really have no clue.
I know it’s cliche to say that I’m travelling to find myself, but that is kind of what I’m doing.
3. I want to be more independent
Some of you may look at me, look at my life and the experiences I’ve had so far and think I’m independent, when in reality I don’t think I am at all. Yes I’ve travelled to over 30 countries, but I’ve always had Joe by my side. Joe is the one who puts the effort in to learn the languages, he reads the maps, he makes the friends, he speaks to strangers, he figures out transport, he reads reviews, he handles the money, he does EVERYTHING. As for me, I follow him blindly like a lost lamb whilst putting up glamorous photos up on Instagram #feminist. NOT.
I want to do these things for myself, to show myself that I can.
4. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone
The last time I did something this scary it was 2011 and my dad had just left me standing completely alone in the kitchen of my student hall at University. I didn’t know a soul and I was pretty terrified. I imagine stepping off the plane in Tel Aviv is going to feel something like that. Recent events in my life have made me realise that life is for living and sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone to do just that. Yes I’m scared, thinking about it is making me a little queasy right now and I’m not going for another 6 months. But, if you don’t take risks, you’re not living and I want to live my best life.
5. I want to make friends
I don’t have many friends (apart from all of you lovely people). When I left Hull I never really went back and I lost touch with most of my childhood friends, except a couple who mean the world to me. University friends disbanded pretty much as soon as we’d thrown our caps in the air at graduation and honestly, I don’t stay in one place long enough to make real connections with people. I get bored with jobs so quit, and I get bored with England so leave that too. I’m constantly moving, constantly absent that people tend to give up. Being really honest with myself I just don’t make the effort with people. I don’t text back, I cancel plans and why? Because I don’t need to, I have my best friend and he lives with me. I feel like I don’t need anyone else.
I want to be social, and I want to make the effort with people. So this is the first baby step in that direction.
6. Because I can
Above all else, this is my number 1 reason. I’m young, I have enough money in the bank, I have little responsibilities, I’m not married, I have no children and I CAN.
Have any tips on Israel? Let me know where I need to visit and where I need to avoid! I’ll be staying at the Golan Heights Hostel so if you’re planning a trip in October come say hey!