Israel trip, September 2009

I know, it’s been two months since September. I’m far behind in my blogging ;(

In September 2009, following our trip to China, I flew right to Israel. I could have come back to Boston for a few days, but I wanted to go straight to Israel for a couple of reasons, detailed below.
First, I’ve always wanted to fly around the world. Going from Boston to China (via Toronto) westward, and then needing to go to Israel, gave me a chance. And I’m glad to say, that mission is now accomplished, so I can check it off my “life to-do list.” For the record, my complete itinerary was Boston (BOS) -> Toronto (YYZ) -> Shanghai (PVG) -> Xi’an (XIY) -> Beijing (PEK) -> Vienna (VIE) -> Tel-Aviv (TLV) -> Paris (CDG) -> Boston (BOS).
Second, I had not celebrated my birthday with my family in Israel for a few years. It was time, and it was fun 😉 My birthday is September 5th, which was right after the end of our trip to China.
Third, I wanted to try working remotely for more than a day or two. Every now and then, I work from home (or a coffee shop) for a day or two, and I find it highly productive. But I wanted to get a better understanding / feeling for what it’s like to work remotely for a week or more. I’m glad I tried it, because now I know it’s very difficult. It requires a lot of patience, the ability to understand what people mean (not just what they say), and more. Not for me, if I can avoid it.
Of course, the main reason for this trip to Israel was not my birthday, nor my around-the-world trip. It was my little sister’s wedding. Noa and Doron got married in September, and Alli and I would not miss that for the world.
The wedding was a blast. A beautiful place, great couple, a chance to see many family and friends, and a big party of course. There are a bunch of pictures on Flickr and Facebook. In fact, one of the reasons I waited with this blog post is to give my sister a chance to post her wedding pictures online.
My birthday was also fun. My family likes to celebrate occasions and give gifts, something I myself enjoy a lot as well. Can’t complain there 😉
The third event that happened during this trip was the Jewish new year, or Rosh Hashana. This is one of the two times a year I go to temple (the other being Yom Kippur, the day of atonement). Being in Israel, I got to go with my dad, my grandpa, and my uncle, which was awesome.
There was two other bonuses to being in Israel for more than a few days. One is that I had a chance to re-connect with old childhood friends, and I capitalized on it. I met at least 2-3 people I had not seen in many years, and that was awesome. Everyone is doing well, married, with kids coming soon.
The other bonus was that Alli‘s parents and brother, Shaun, were with us much of the time. Although Shaun got a little sick the first couple of days, it was great to spend a lot of time with them, and I’m happy they joined this significant family event.
All-in-all, it was a great trip. Even learning that working remotely is not for me, while not fun to learn, is a valuable lesson.