I returned one month ago from a week long trip to Israel. It was my 2nd trip to Israel and the first trip I have taken solo. Yes, my wife and infant daughter stayed behind and I traveled halfway around the world by myself. Previously, I had never even crossed the border from the US into Canada solo, so this was quite a solo trip!
On this trip I flew from Minneapolis to Chicago on United and then Turkish Airlines (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) from Chicago to Tel Aviv via a layover in Istanbul (which is an amazingly modern and clean airport). My trip was filled with familiar things (staying at the Sea Executive Suites in Tel Aviv, as I did on my previous trip) and new experiences (running a half marathon through the beautiful city of Tel Aviv) and visits with old friends and new friends. Oh, and amazing Israeli craft beer at the BeerBazaar in the Shuk in Jerusalem.
This was my first trip to Israel as an official member of the Jewish people. I felt an even bigger attachment to Israel during this trip than I did on my previous trip. I seriously left a piece of me there when I left... I felt that way after my first trip and I felt that way even more after this trip. As I stood on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport about to climb up the stairs into the airplane, my eyes teared up and I wished that I could just fly my wife and daughter to Israel to join me and not leave. Since returning to the states, all I can think about is my next trip and how I can't wait to be able to return as soon as possible. Also, I just want to live there... I want to exercise my right of return and become a citizen of the start-up nation.Visiting Israel again helped to solidify my Judaism even more. The feelings I felt proved that I was always Jewish at heart and I know that making my Judaism "official" was the best decision I have made spiritually.