Monday, July 18, 2011

Realizations and Acceptance

I feel like a failure. I'm back in the United States right now after just one week in Israel when I was supposed to be there for a month. I thought I had a well thought out plan- five days on the beach in Tel Aviv, two weeks doing WWOOF on a farm in the Negev, culminating in a week with friends camping and hanging out. Then things started to go wrong even before I left home.

I had a lot of reservations about going on this trip in the first place. I knew I wanted to get out of Boulder and I was excited to pack and leave from my old apartment. But, that was the last time I was excited about leaving on this trip. I am usually highly organized, almost to a fault, but this trip I couldn't get motivated to pack and didn't have anything fully put together until the day before, less than 24 hours before I was going to leave. Highly unusual for someone who usually packs for a big trip a week in advance. 

And then I was super busy the last week before I was supposed to leave. When I thought about the upcoming vacation I was in denial that I was actually leaving, also odd for someone who lives to travel. When Monday finally came to the airport, I drove myself there and it still had not hit me that I was leaving and that it was my choice. 

It wasn't until I was at Ben Gurion waiting for the train to go to Tel Aviv that it hit me, I did not want to be on a trip where I had planned to be by myself for 3/4 of it. It was a really awful feeling considering I planned this, I got on the plane and now I was on the other side of the world. In addition to my nagging feeling of regret, things started to go wrong from there on out. 

The first night in the hostel in the mixed dorm some guy was a major creeper, not only to me, but to the other girl in the dorm offering to get us drunk and give massages. I went to sleep afraid he was going to come into my bed or touch me. I thought I had a plan B though, my Israeli friend had offered me his couch at his place in Tel Aviv, basically around the corner from the hostel. Perfect, I thought! But, then he wasn't there in the morning, he hadn't asked his roommates and I felt super awkward. I looked for hostels and private rooms were really expensive. I decided to go to Jerusalem to stay at a friend's apartment and try to go to the farm early 

But then he didn't have a couch, things were complicated in his life and my presence wasn't helping. I started to consider going home since it seemed like already the last fourth of my trip, the part I was going to have company for, would probably never come into fruition. Since I had already made arrangements to go to the farm I decided to just go hoping it would be better and at least a good two weeks. 

The farm wasn't what I expected though. I wouldn't be working with the animals or the winery, but doing just gardening stuff. There was only one other person that spoke English and without a basis of Hebrew I was struggling big time. I felt super sick on the bus there and at the farm. I knew that I probably needed a different farm, but then all the other ones I tried to contact were full for another week or two. I had a long day of doing nothing on the farm for Shabbat, a whole day of solo thinking time sans electronics, in the middle of nowhere and I realized that I needed to just go home. Nothing was working out as planned and struggling through three more weeks alone, plus spending a bunch of  money on a hostel was not going to be worth it. Changing my ticket ended up being cheaper than sticking it out. 
Horses on the farm, whom I wish was part of the work on the farm
I came home three weeks before I had planned, or more like five months before I planned to be in Denver again. My pride is hurt and I am finding it difficult to reconcile the realization that I am done travelling alone. I enjoyed it most of the time last year, but I think that that phase has ended. I am not done travelling, but I am done taking long solo trips for a long while, maybe for good. I'm working hard on accepting that fact. Were things that bad on my trip? Not really probably, but alone they were amplified. 

Lesson I am taking away from this whole ordeal: listen to your intuition, it's trying to tell you things. I wish I had... It was an expensive lesson to learn. 

At least sunsets were pretty in the Negev on the farm! 

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back home Allie - I hope you are feeling a little more welcome and warm stateside in Colorado. You are always welcome back in Boulder ~ Matt.