Today was our bus’s turn to participate in Taglit Tel Aviv Day, where a ton of birthright groups came to Tel Aviv, explored, and participated in a variety of different activities. Despite some nasty traffic on the way in, we were quickly on our way and split up into smaller groups to more effectively explore the city.
Discovering and experiencing new cities is my favorite part of travel. Seeing everything from the street art to the markets to the way people jay-walk all help me to understand the city and the people that live in it. One day later, I’m still lacking the confidence to effectively jay-walk in Tel Aviv without Israeli assistance.
Through connecting with the city in this way, I came to see it as a new and young breath of fresh air compared to the cities we had visited so far. It lacked the thousand year old buildings and historical context present in Haifa, Zefat, and Tiberias, but that told a story in its own way. It’s a younger city than most, still over 100 years, but represents the most recent chapters in Israel’s history. I felt that when talking about coming to Israel, a lot of emphasis is placed on the religious significance and the history of the country. My experience in Tel Aviv let me experience it more as a modern country filled with people doing the same things as people in America, only a little different and unique.