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Traveling to Israel *rant*



Traveling to Israel <gasp> *rant*

I live in a flyover state in the middle of the country. Granted, I live in the suburbs outside a pretty large city, with several very highly ranked universities.

My husband and I travel a lot. Sometimes for work, sometimes just for fun. My husband has been to South Africa, Kuwait, Turkey, for work, and Venezuela and Brazil (driving from Argentina, where he is from). Between us, we’ve been to most the democracies in Europe—he’s also been to Australia and Canada for work, and together we’ve done Dominican Republic and Mexico (although, I don’t really count those as most of the time was spent at the resort.) Not to mention, many trips back to Argentina.

So this year we decided to go to Israel for vacation. I have never had so many people tell me: “good luck,” “I hope you don’t die,” “you’re going to get blown up.” etc…

First of all, I didn’t ask their opinion about whether I chose an appropriate vacation destination. I hear this all the time when before we go to Mexico as well. Which, in my opinion, is safer than many of the places I’ve traveled to the US.

Secondly, from my understanding Israel is quite safe. I’m not sure the statistics, but I’m pretty sure more tourists have been killed by acts of terrorism in Germany, France, Spain, England, and United States than in the country of Israel in the past 20 years.

Please understand I’m not trying to ignite a political debate. I’m not talking about traveling to the Gaza Strip. I’m not discussing the conflicts between the IDF and Hamas. And I’m not trying to get into a debate whether or not Israel is an apartheid state. I teach political science (and have taught World Religions as well)—I’ve done research on both sides and plan going on excursions to the West Bank in order to have a more well-rounded understanding of the situation.

Even my boss, who has a PhD in political science, told me I’m very brave for going. Granted, I know her specialty is in American politics, but for God sakes, you’d think she would know not to believe everything you reads or hears on the news.

I don’t know if it’s just because where I live the only countries many people travel to are all-inclusives in the Caribbean or Western Europe, but it irritates the crap out of me.

I know I should write it off as ignorance, especially since no one said anything to me when my husband was in Kuwait or South Africa. Even though when he was in Kuwait it was during Ramadan and it was at the height of ISIS attacks. In South Africa, he had to travel in caravans in order to avoid being hijacked. He was frequently pulled over and harassed by the police in order for bribes. I guess they’re just used to hearing that Israel on the news all the time.

I remember one particular time I was traveling solo to Argentina and my mom was freaking out. I will give her a bit of leniency because she is my mom, however, that same day a gunman shot up a movie theater in Colorado. I told her most likely the worst thing that’s going to happen Argentina is I could be robbed.

Not to mention, someone is killed in the city I live almost every day. Even people in the suburbs shopping at Walmart.

I just hate how everybody seems to scared the minute I tell them I’m going on vacation there. I’m also not naïve, I know everybody needs to keep their eyes open and use caution. I do the same thing going to a baseball game in my city. I’m not saying something couldn’t happen while we are there. It’s just that I have not met one person who hasn’t given me “that look” when I told him we’re going to Israel.

Travel lovers of Reddit please tell me you deal with this too? For me traveling is about getting out of my comfort zone, and it’s about seeing how the rest of the world lives. Short of traveling to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a couple others, I’d go anywhere given the opportunity. Please tell me I’m not insane.



The BEST holidays

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