There are places that nourish our souls. For some, it is the hammock in grandma’s garden that awakens positive memories and conveys a deep sense of security. For another, it is the stiff breeze that slams into the sail and requires a quick manoeuvre. The place of power of one of my clients is a park in Tokyo. Mine, I now know, is Israel, especially the beach in Tel Aviv when the sun goes down.
It’s been a powerful 14 days. In a Nutshell: My flight is cancelled 24 hours before departure and rebooked so stupidly that I land in Tel Aviv 9 hours later and thus only after midnight; my luggage gets lost during the change in Munich; the taxi driver who takes me from TLV airport to my Airbnb rips me off; on my birthday, I sit on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem in the morning with a magical view of the Dome of the Rock; on the way to Bethlehem, I am the only woman on a bus full of Palestinians heading for the West Bank, staring at me like a monkey in a zoo; at the barrier to the West Bank, I get into a fight with a Palestinian taxi driver because he charges mafia prices to drive me to Bethlehem, 2 km away; I get a Hebrew tattoo on my forearm so that I am always reminded of what is important to me; shortly before my departure, I meet the German-Jewish journalist and book author Sarah Levy, who is turning her back on Hamburg in 2019 to emigrate to Israel. In her just-published book, she writes about her motivations and about her longing for Tel Aviv. And finally, I fall “head over heels” for an insanely attractive Israeli and have butterflies in my stomach for a week ;-).
Conclusion: Despite all the inconveniences that such a challenging start to the holidays brings, I am doubly and triply blessed with beautiful encounters. Not least by my ultra-cool 60 year young landlady – ballet teacher, artist, director – with whom I share a flat for a fortnight.
At no point during my trip do I feel lonely, even though I travel alone every day and don’t understand the language. Instead, I feel free, held and deeply connected to myself and my roots.