I spent the last twelve days backpacking through Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and numerous places along the way. This journey was one of the few moments in my life that I can't really describe. The words just aren't there, despite all my attempts. When people have asked me "how was the trip?", I have responded with "incredible." It's much more complex and deeper than that. It felt like a dream.
Maybe experiencing firsthand seemingly magical and spiritual places like Jerusalem, Petra and Bethlehem provided me with this dreamlike experience. Now awake, I feel different. I feel changed. How? I'm not exactly sure.
Why did I change? From constantly oscillating between extremes in incredible places thousands of miles from home. I was scared shitless, I laughed hysterically, I cried, loved, erred, learned and explored. I made great friends. I started to understand cultures and people that I did not comprehend before. I found beauty, hidden places and witnessed history unfold. This magical experience is something that only happens when you explore.
One change I'm certain of, is that of my perception of the world has changed, along with my views of the Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, the Abrahamic Religions and their complex relationships with each other.
That change in perception is the beauty of traveling. Traveling opens you up to new ideas, new experiences and expands your view of the world, forcing each of us outside the bubble that we create. In my mind, these new ideas and experiences to draw upon are critical and everyone should travel to different places if they can. You will find that people thousands of miles away aren't so different from you. They may look different, speak a different language and believe in a different God, but they want happiness all the same.
I've been back a couple days but I just want to keep exploring.
The Dome of the Rock, Jersusalem. Taken with a Canon Powershot.