Tomorrow I leave for Israel to attend the International Mediterranean Travel Mart. Of course, it’s also the same day they are planning a strike at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Fingers crossed that it will all be resolved by the time I’m supposed to land!

This will be my first time to this area of the world, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you have been to Israel or Jordan, and have any special tips for me, or would like to share your experience, please be sure to leave a comment, and I will keep you posted.

I’m excited to be meeting with the Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as well as traveling with the Professor of Tourism and Travel for the Israel Ministry of Tourism. I’ll also be working with several local tour operators in both Israel and Jordan, who will show me their beautiful countries, so I will be in good hands. I’m hoping to also get a good amount of time to do some photography. I’m especially looking forward to the ancient old city in Jerusalem. I will try my best to keep you all posted with photos and commentary on my trip.

It should be interesting, as I grew up Catholic, and will be traveling with a Jewish tour operator and friend from New York, and we’ll later meet up with my Palestinian college roommate, whom I have not seen in many years, who lives now in Jerusalem. Should be an interesting and enlightening dinner party!

I’ve also decided this year to dedicate each of my trips to someone or something. I am dedicating this trip to my parents, who have already been to Israel (and Egypt) before me, and now get to re-live it through my eyes. I am so thankful for the opportunities they provided us growing up, and how they encouraged us Gill kids to study hard, work hard, believe in ourselves, and go out and see the world. And, maybe even change it. Here’s to you, Mom and Dad!

p.s. Of course, my mom will be expecting me to remember all of the holy references/places from the Bible, so I might have to do a quick refresh on the plane.

Adventure On,


3 thoughts on “ISRAEL & JORDAN

  1. Hi Kristen,

    I found your blog on the Wanderlust and Lipstick website. I was also at IMTM in Israel for the first time and just wondered how your experience went. Some other travel agents from Arizona flew in on Feb. 9 and we took some tours on our own to the Dead Sea/Masada, Haifa/Rosh Hanikra/Akko and Bethlehem in addition to doing the tours sponsored by IMTM to Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Jerusalem and the Galilee area. We also flew down to Eilat in order to go to Petra at the end of our s stay, but the weather turned so nasty that they canceled our tour, which of course was a huge disappointment as we only had one day to do it and we had flown down there just for that reason. I found the sites, culture and history in Israel absolutely fascinating and loved the experience, however we felt that the people were very “brusque” which was a bit of a surprise to me. Going through the airline security was also a nightmare for me–I felt that they treated me like a terrorist all four times I flew as they questioned and searched me a great deal more than anybody else in our small group. I must have set off some type of profile or something, however it was not funny because it was quite scary being treated this way. I left Israel vowing that I wouldn’t come back because of this rough treatment, but the magic of the land had already bit me, and I have now decided that I probably will go back again some day should the opportunity arise.

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