Travel Anxiety and a First-Timers Visit To Israel

The trip anxiety started a week ago. It always starts a week before traveling. Sleeping poorly because I’m worrying about packing too much. Or too little. Did I bring the right chargers and cables and connectors? I have no clue where or when it started. It started a week before going to Florida last month, and it started a week before I get on a plane later today to fly to Israel. 

Almost half of the Jewfolk staff is going to be part of Experience Israel 2023, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s mission to Israel in conjunction with Israel’s 75th birthday. We’re one of roughly 35 Federation-sponsored trips from around the country that will be in Israel during that time – around 100,000 American Jews between these trips, synagogue trips, Yom Ha’atzmaut-related revelers, and the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly.

Here’s what I’m not worried about: the current situation in Israel. Which isn’t to say I’m not concerned about what’s happening there. Between the anti-democratic push to neuter the judiciary system and rocket attacks, there’s a lot going on. I’ve been asked by one relative to not become a war correspondent and assured by many other people that safety won’t be a concern. After hearing some of the plans for this, I’m more convinced than ever that the 250 of us on the trip will be just fine. 

For me, this is incredibly exciting. For starters, this will be my first time visiting, which will mean the very typical first-timer activities like floating in the Dead Sea, going to Masada, and the visiting Western Wall. Secondly, unlike many of my friends that I came up with in the media who have traveled the world covering Olympic Games or the World Cup, the furthest I traveled for reporting purposes is Washington, D.C., last year, and Pittsburgh in 1997. In other words: I don’t get to do this very often.

So for me, I’m not just a tourist on this journey; this is a work trip. There are feature stories and podcasts planned throughout the week in Israel – and possibly stretching into the following week; I have no doubt there’s going to be a lot to say. The week is going to be a whirlwind.

When on any given day an article will go live is a different story. We try to be consistent during a normal time and get things posted at 7 a.m. But with an eight-hour time difference and regularly scheduled activities going on, we’ll do our best to get articles out in a timely fashion. And to catch up, you can always signup for our weekly newsletter or check us out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TCjewfolk. 

We hope you enjoy reading about the journey the Experience Israel 2023 group is about to embark on as much as we are to bring you the coverage.