Israeli Days/Jordanian Nights: Day 1

Mediterranean Sunset

Hello world,

I'm trying something new while on my current and final study abroad trip to the Middle Eastern countries of Israel and Jordan: a daily blog of my various shenanigans. Some of you may be (hopefully) familiar with the travel column I've been contributing to for the University of Michigan's student-run SHEI Magazine over the past few months. These posts will be sort of, kind of, maybe a little like that, but different and in miniature form. 

A question that may first come to mind: how did I end up in the Middle East? Well, to be frank, the answer is rather unexciting. I got an email, read the details, and my ever-present wanderlust took over from there. Simple as that really, save for some logistical considerations — but we shan't bore you with those.

I landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday, May 4, right around 3:40 PM local time (which is to say 8:40 AM in Michigan). As I glanced at signs and advertisements posted along the walls of the airport, it was quite clear that I wasn't in Kansas anymore (sorry to put that oft-used phrase to work once more). The official languages of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic, also known as elaborate strings of scribbles of varying length that are indecipherable to the uninitiated.

Our group's hotel motel Holiday Inn for this first portion of the Middle Eastern expedition is a fine little establishment called the Sea Net Hotel. The Mediterranean Sea is just a hop, skip, and a jump from its doorstep, the beach loaded with sand volleyball courts, an exercise park, plenty of waves for surfing, and accompanied by a lovely promenade, complete with bike lanes. 

The sun set sometime ago as we walked along the promenade, runners, bikers, and their dogs making their way around or through us. If that first sunset was any indication of the beautiful sights we will be witnessing in these Holy Lands — and I've no doubt it was — then we are in for quite a treat over the next two and a half weeks.

I'm excited for whatever tomorrow holds already. See you then.