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Stop Here for Wonderment

My First Real Adventure

ISRAEL | Tuesday, 29 March 2011 | Views [381]

I have been a traveler since I was a kid.  My father is an archaeologist and he did not like to leave his family at home, so every summer, starting when I was 7, my parents would pack us up and drag us along to Israel.  Growing up in Fl, the weather was just as hot, only drier.  I enjoyed it, for the most part.

When I was a teenager, all that changed.  My friends were spending the summer going to Adventure Island and the beach, I was waking up at 4am to do physical labor.  They had summer romances, I had summer pottery reading.  The summer I was 15 I BEGGED my parents to let me stay in Tampa for just one extra week.  I would join them later.  They agreed.

When it was time to go, I was put alone on the transatlantic flight that would bring me to Tel Aviv.  These were the days when you had to be 14 or younger to be escorted around, so I was totally on my own.  I got on the plane in Tampa to head to Miami.  There was bad weather in Miami, so we were grounded for a few hours.  I took the opportunity to call my parents, tell them we were late, and then, because mom and dad had left me some cash, I ate in a nice little steakhouse.  But lo and behold, they began to page the passengers of my flight, we had a super short window and we were going to take it!  I wolfed down my food, called mom and dad, left a message and ran to the plane.  We took off and a few hours later I was in Paris.  Now, this was the tricky part.  I was supposed to change AIRPORTS in Paris.  From De Gaulle to Orly (although, luckily, they were transporting my luggage).  That still meant that I had to find the dang bus.  I was taking French in High School, but it doesn't really prepare you for travel.  Although everyone was super nice, not everyone was super clear.  I wandered around for what seemed like HOURS to my teenage brain (more likely it was 20 minutes) before I finally found the sign.  I got on the bus and took a ride around Paris to my new airport, where I had to identify my luggage and get on the next plane.

My layover was several hours, so I napped on the airport floor.  Again, there were some delays, so I called mom and dad one last time.  I had to leave yet another message (I was not even sure they were GETTING my messages).  Although we took off late, we made up the time in the air and I got to Tel Aviv early.

Now, I am not a patient adult, and was less so as a child.  When I got my bags, made it through customs and Passport Control (man those people were confused that a teenager was flying alone to Tel Aviv) I got outside.  No sign of mom and dad.  I waited.  And waited.  I finally decided I would take a taxi cab.  I had no idea where the Kibbutz was, I just knew it was a few hours away and near Nazareth.  Surely the cab driver could get me to Nazareth.

I wandered from driver to driver, interviewing them.  While many of them wanted the fare, most were wary to take me, as they actually did NOT seem to know where they were going and they did not seem to want to take a young American girl.  I finally headed over to the buses, deciding to try my luck there.  Just as I was about to board a bus which would drop me off SOMEWHERE near Nazareth, I heard someone yelling my name.

My older sister was sprinting toward me, preventing me from getting on the bus.  My parents, knowing I was one to take my situation into my own hands, had driven like bats out of hell to come fetch me, probably breaking several speed and general driving laws.  They sent my sister (who is a rather good runner) to check out all the logical points: cab stands, bus stands, etc.

When I relate this story to my mom today, she shakes her head...what was she THINKING?

Tags: adventure, archaeology, israel, teenager

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