Hey everyone! Today I am super excited to have one of my best friends as the first writer of my Traveling Girls segment on the blog. I’d like to introduce Sabrina Gilmour who I met on my first day of orientation at Glendon College. Sabrina embodies everything Gilmore Girls and the fact that her last name is Gilmour is the finishing touch. We both share a passion for exploring and traveling all of which Sabrina has been doing the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy reading about her adventures and much as I did.
Last week I embarked on a trip of a lifetime with my family to Israel and Jordan. When someone first learns that you are traveling to one of these places the first question that usually comes up is, “is it safe there?” Well, you can’t always let this question get in the way of where you want to go. Despite people’s comments, Israel’s bad reputation and it’s ongoing conflict with Syria, Iran, and Palestine, we still decided to go.
Our first destination was Tel Aviv and from there we traveled the majority of Israel. It was like seeing the Bible, my history books, and all the documentaries I’ve watched all come alive right before my very eyes. In Israel, we followed the footsteps of Jesus. From Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus to Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood days, all the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified and his empty tomb has been placed. We also visited the traditional sites where Jesus performed His many miracles such as the Wedding Church of Cana where He turned water into wine and Tabgha, where He performed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. We even rode a boat on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water. It was an incredible feeling to be walking and riding along the same places that Jesus and His disciples did hundreds of years ago.
In the Old City we visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Thousands of people go there each year to pray and place their prayers in the cracks of the wall which I was lucky enough to do. Each day I traveled, I became more aware of my body and my existence as I was able to reflect and pray in some of the holiest places in the world.
Onto the less religious side of the trip, my family and I rode a cable car up Masada and walked through the ruins of King Herod’s fortress. Moreover, I floated in the Dead Sea which is 1,400 feet below sea level and the saltiest body of water on earth. I instantly became aware of every single place I had a cut on my body. And of course, I had to cover my body in mud because of all the wondrous things the minerals have said to do for your skin!
For the remainder of our trip we were in Jordan. We visited Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land. We then traveled to Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world. The rose-red city was first established sometime in the 6th century B.C. by the Nabataeans. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the formation of the rocks, stone carvings, and colors. Nothing prepared me for seeing such an amazing place. It was like traveling back in time, and you wouldn’t think you were anywhere near modern civilization. I definitely had my Indiana Jones moment.
In Jordan, we also rode a Jeep in Wadi Rum where “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed. I even rode a camel for a good 20 minutes in the blazing heat. It was truly an out of this world experience. It started raining while we were there which is apparently good luck considering it rarely rains in the desert.
While I was traveling, I never felt unsafe or in danger like the news media led me to feel beforehand. I am incredibly grateful to have traveled to two amazing countries and come home safely. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have traveled to Israel and Jordan at such a young age. Usually, these places are still on a person’s bucket list by the time they reach 50. I hope that each and every one of you get to live out your travel dreams in your lifetime. It is so important to travel because it teaches us compassion, humility, and knowledge. It allows us to step out of our comfort zone, experience new cultures and values, giving us a new set of eyes. As the saying goes… “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Thank you Libbey for letting me share my adventure with your readers.