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of moving to Israel.

So this is it. My first day in Israel since making the move.

I woke up feeling a bit empty, as if all of the excitement before leaving had drained the butterflies out of me. I don't feel different; I'm not nervous or excited or unhappy. I just feel like me.

Maybe it's because my cousin's house in the suburbs of Jerusalem rests in a neighborhood that looks like my own in the States. Maybe it's because I ate scrambled eggs and toast this morning just as I do at home.

Or maybe it's simply because I was meant to be here, all along.

These past few months, with the slew of presidential election nonsense and horrifying displays of gun violence pervading my every waking moment online, I have felt the eager itch to get away. At first, I thought it was another bout of wanderlust, that familiar feeling of wanting to be everywhere and nowhere all at once. But as the weeks drew on and I got further in my teaching fellowship application, I realized that it wasn't so simple at all. I have always dreamed of living abroad and calling another place "home" for a while. And doesn't everyone talk about buying a one-way plane ticket and never looking back? Of experiencing the world while you're still young and hungry and when nothing seems too far out of reach?

So I did it. I accepted the position as a teaching fellow in Israel and started packing. And while I was finishing up my summer job, the police brutality and civilian retaliation grew worse. Donald Trump continued to spew his bigoted sentiments. Gas prices rose, medical companies bled their customers dry, and rapists walked free (I'm looking at you, Stanford.)

It seemed like every day I would open up a news site with a new name plastered on the headline. "School shooting yesterday," or "Terrorist threat," or "Active shooter alert."

And yet all the while, people would ask me, "You're moving to Israel? Aren't you afraid know...what's happening in the Middle East?"


I woke up this morning to Israeli sunshine, drank iced tea, ate breakfast, and played with a dog. I heard children laughing outside and an ice cream truck making it's last rounds of the summertime.

I have yet to hear sirens.

So no, I am not afraid of what is "happening in the Middle East." In fact, I do not feel anything new. I am not a stranger, a tourist, or an outsider.

I feel like I'm home, at last.

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