Well here we are:

Writing from a bed,
in a bedroom,
in the home of a family
in Izmir,
Turkey. 

Things that have happened in the past few days that seem important to mention:

I got Bat Mitzvah'd in the Negev Desert surrounded by humans who I had known for 8 days but who felt (and still feel) like family.
They listened as I explained the significance of my Hebrew name (Vered).
They danced around me after I read from the Torah about Moses.
They snapped when discussed how he is finding himself and I'm (trying to) find myself and
yada yada yada, you'll never walk alone. 

My dad taught me that as well. And Liverpool. 

Other things:
I cried at the Israeli Defense Force Military cemetery because, selfishly, seeing your own age on a gravestone accompanied by a picture of the fallen solider is heartbreaking. Hearing stories from your IDF solider friends is also really rough. 
I don't think I believe that any war is really worth those lives. 

I also cried at the Holocaust museum because I learned how mothers in the Jewish Ghettos would write that their children didn't know what a flower looked like. 

I laughed more than I cried but describing the comical situations and clash of personalities this trip created would be boring. But I promise I did laugh because the world is funny, especially when you're surrounded by people who find the joy in it.

I slept in a tourist attraction Bedouin tent and had a wonderful time. A couple days later, we drove past a highly impoverished Bedouin village. I felt guilty for romanticizing this lifestyle. I felt sad for every minority whose culture is exploited. 

I FLOATED IN THE DEAD SEA WHICH IS PROBABLY THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER DONE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE BECAUSE IT'S SERIOUSLY LIKE ZERO GRAVITY AND THE MUD MAKES YOUR SKIN BABY BUTT SOFT AND IT'S HELLA MAGICAL. AND YOU CAN SEE JORDAN JUST ACROSS THE WAY. AND YOU THINK ABOUT HOW SMALL ISRAEL IS. 
AND WE ALL FLOAT ON. 
ALRIGHT. 

I said goodbye to the Jew Crew. I love these people I've spent the past 10 days with.
I hope our paths cross again and again. 

I swam in the Mediterranean Sea and ate hella pomegranates and I'm still not sick of them.
And I celebrated life in Tel Aviv. There is always something to celebrate, right?  

I flew to Turkey, felt really excited then really alone, remembered I'm never alone (in a good way, not a creepy way), teared up a little when the airline lost my bag, ate more pomegranates, felt better, realized that Turkish is a crazy hard language and that I'm in another country right now by myself and that this is my life. 


A few things I wrote down that people said that seem important too: 

"My new thing is to walk around barefoot in nature for at least an hour a day"

"I want to take my clothes off more because I hate taking my clothes off" 

"You need to learn Yiddish and become a Yiddish theater star. You have the face for that! Does she not have the dace for that?!" 


Alright. Onward and upward my dear friends.

Cheers! 

P.s. More pictures coming next, I promise. 
But until then... 

The Dead Sea and what feels like a billion shades of blue and the sharpest salt crystals cutting into your feet and a reinvigorated curiosity for life when you realize you can't sink 




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