Last year, I said I wanted to take a spiritual journey and gain enlightenment. I consider myself a really spiritual person. I don’t belong to any specific religion, but I do believe in the simple act of what you give out, you receive back as well as doing good onto others.
I practice meditation and prayer, and I journal daily. Once a week, I do Reiki and on occasion partake in enrichment classes. As a matter of fact, just the other day, I took a Sound Bowl meditation class and I participated in a fire ceremony to help me release my “limitations.”
After my breakup last year and plans to move to Brooklyn fell apart, I needed more. I needed a spiritual trip — something to help me find my strength again and find new direction.
I began googling for solo trips to spiritual places like Machu Picchu, India, Iceland, and Sedona.
And then in the midst of my research, I got an email from Israel’s tourism board inviting me for a week with one of my photographers to document the experience. The trip entailed traveling to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Tel Aviv.
I felt chills. This was no coincidence. Of all the places in the world, this was the most spiritual place. I do believe it was heaven sent. Here are 10 reasons experiencing the Holy Land changed me forever:
1. Safety. Israel is so safe! Despite what the media sensationalizes, I walked the streets during my entire trip feeling protected. I actually felt safer in Israel than Miami. The energy there is just so much more peaceful and relaxed.
2. Friendly locals. Adding to safety is the fact that everyone is so nice in Israel, and they were excited to speak English with us whether we asked for directions, were noshing at a restaurant or just laying at the beach.
3. Healthier food. If you are ready to eat healthy and delicious food, then Israel is for you. Think lots of Mediterranean fare. Oh, and the local wine and coffee are must-tries, too.
4. Hot men. Single ladies get ready for some major eye-candy. Israeli men are gorgeous.
5. Latino fix. Israelis love salsa. Who knew?! Many of them also speak Spanish and there are quite a handful of restaurants like the tapas spot Vicky Cristina where we got our fix.
6. Dead Sea. Talk about tremenda limpieza. I immersed myself to my shoulders and felt the healing of the water wash over me.
7. Wailing wall. Write a note to God and stick inside the wall. They say your prayers get answered faster here. I was willing to try. Within minutes of touching the wall and praying, I felt a wave of energy flowing up and down my arms. It moved me to tears.
8. Camel ride. I’m scared of heights, but my photographer, Danielle, who is also my younger cousin, coaxed me into doing this in the middle of the Judean desert and I’m glad I did. It was silly and we laughed so much.
9. Nightlife. I thought Miami and New York had the best night life, but Tel Aviv wins the prize on this one. We went on a night tour with Tlv Nights and got to check out four different bars, lounges, and clubs. Every spot was creatively decorated, the ambiance was cool, and the music was so good. We heard everything from live music by a band named the Meatballs to a DJ who played hip-hop.
10. History. Israel's past is so rich — everywhere you go there is a Biblical story tied to it. It made me feel so connected to God.