‘Twas the night before Israel

My out of office is on, I’ve deleted the app for my work emails off of my phone, my bags are packed and holiday is imminent.

In the morning, I’ll be jumping on a plane to Israel, to spend 2 weeks exploring the country, along with as much of Palestine as I can squeeze in. I’ll be spending 2 days at a travel blogging conference in Jerusalem before travelling all over.

The region has been on my radar for quite some time. The Israelis I have met on my travels have been a fascinating bunch, and the history, politics and nature are of great interest.

I had a bit of a pre-trip freak out today, where I was overwhelmed with guilt, and I just burst into tears at my desk. I feel guilty that I don’t have a strong enough understanding of the political context to make an informed opinion, and guilty that I’ll be implicit in the oppression of Palestinian people by travelling around having a keen time while people are suffering.

But one thing I will be able to do is listen and learn. I’m just going to go with an open mind, meet people, ask questions and try not to get on my high horse. The situation is so complex and there really are two sides to it. It is bound to be an eye-opening trip.

I’ve calmed down and gotten over myself, and I really am looking forward to the holiday. My hostels are booked, I have a few tours to look forward to, and have been planning my sessions for the conference. 

TBEX, the organisers of the conference, have given me a lot to look forward to. Not only are there useful talks and workshops from industry experts, but they also put on tours, parties and excursions, all included in the ticket price.

My plan for TBEX, and for the trip in general, is to get out of my comfort zone as much as possible. I really don’t enjoy parties, but I’m going to go anyway. On one day, I’m forcing myself to get up at 4am for a bike tour of Jerusalem at sunrise. I’m going to network with brands even though my blog doesn’t have enough readers for me to be a desirable collaboration. 

I’ll be blogging throughout, with little updates as I go along. I’ll write some more thorough articles when I’m back, but you can follow the adventure along the way. I’ll be exploring religious sites, desert, mountains and cities and you can hear all about it on here.