Finding Florida in Israel

I’m not going to lie…I’m a self-proclaimed world-traveler but sometimes I still get homesick.

Adjusting to life in Israel has been a little harder than I expected – pretty much everyone on my trip has been here at least once and speaks a little bit of Hebrew. Also, due to my delays, I missed all of the bonding activities, so I’ve felt a little out of place.

To top it all off, I’ve only slept about 5 hours since I got here. My bed is harder than Fred Flintstone’s and I can hear every creak and crack and slight screech I make while tossing and turning in search of my sanctuary.

Skyping my parents last night did not help. I felt so at home for a few minutes to realize I was so, so far away from them.

my family minus my brothers
Skyping my family, minus my brothers

I was miserable when I woke up. I tried to keep good spirits while at my Hebrew exam this morning (I more than failed), and then continued to run my errands.

My roommate Rachel, my friend Matt and I wandered into a lunch place called “Mike’s Place.” I heard the server’s voice and felt my heart fly with gratitude. I felt at home.

I demanded he tell me where he was from and when he replied “Florida,” I knew it was a gift from the universe. Moshe and the other server, Carley, were both from my home state, and instantly made me feel at ease. We laughed and joked and talked about the most irrelevant, stupid stuff. We promised to hang out with each other and do Shabbat with each other.

Moshe from Mike's Place
Moshe from Mike’s Place

It was the kind of welcome home I needed, to accidentally land in a spot that was not expecting me yet was so grateful to have me there. I know it’s going to take me more than two days to get used to this place with unknown sites and languages and people, but this small memory from home made me realize eventually this too will be familiar. It’s not going to be easy, and I signed up for a challenge, so that’s exactly what I should expect.

This comforting reminder lets me know that even in the strangest of places I have unknown energies praying for my well-being. For that reason, I know this adventure will be my most successful yet. I know it’s going to be challenging, but I’m ready for it.


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