The bus we took was full of Israeli soldiers that all looked about 16-17 years old. All with weapons. I was pretty comfortable with this as I was in the Military about 3 years earlier, but it was just weird seeing…. Kids with guns. I mean it’s not much different with our military. Apart from they were just cutting around on a normal bus….
I’m not normal and I’m happy with that…
Many may see it as being an odd decision to decide to travel through some of the harshest environments in the world, with your ex-wife that you haven’t seen in the past 3 years… But I I’m happy with being odd and don’t tend to listen to others opinions as much as I used too. Mainly because the people that have these opinions, hold onto grudges with people for their whole lives without realising they are ultimately damaging themselves and closing themselves off to living in this beautiful world with a greater sense of freedom.
Who do you hold a grudge against? Does it serve any purpose? Are you unconsciously letting your ego take a position of power to feel right over another?
I have been betrayed, lied to… Many different circumstances in my life that we would describe as ‘wrong doings’. When I was younger I would take it personally and place hate on that person, but as I have grown older I realise that holding any of the past, especially with negative emotion weighs you down. As soon as you release these self-sabotaging feelings you feel a sense of lightness, hence the saying ‘a weight off your shoulders’.
What can you release?
Jack of all trades
Annnyway… back to the story! I was travelling the world at the time, making money however I could… In Canada I would sit on a train and sing to passengers, window clean, whatever it took to keep the dream alive. When I was travelling I would sometimes stay in hostels or couch surf to keep spending down living with locals that would put me up for free.
I had a video call with my ex-wife and she had taken a very similar path as me with yoga/meditation and was renovating an 8 bedroom property we had bought in France when we were together. To be honest at the point that we spoke I was a little lost and like I explained in my last chapter the buzz of travelling was wearing off. Things that other people would see as crazy, amazing experiences had just became normality. I was lacking depth again and more importantly the feeling of being grounded. I was a nomad. No bills. No stress. No purpose… Dani asked me to jump on the project in France to help renovate the property and run the business. I mean I wasn’t doing anything else at the time apart from being in South America, climbing mountains in the Andes and TRYING to learn Salsa in Colombia! Haha! I did manage to dance salsa, not well but loved it regardless… with a Colombian girl phahaha, badly!
Travel with you ex-wife? Go on then!
Dani had just left the military and had an aid project in Africa, which I have wrote about before and was planning to go to Israel/Palestine to work with a group of people that had broken away from Tel Aviv, to create a small community in the desert… Errrr go on then! Right up my street!
I’m not going to lie and say it was a breeze travelling with your ex-wife, we were facing a lot of demons and reflecting them back on one another, but a valuable experience nonetheless and one that we have both learned from, like the whole of our time spent together.
I was particularly excited about travelling through Israel/Palestine the hot bed of religion and loved the element of danger that it presented. It was an eye opening experience and very interesting at the same time.
Kids with Guns
We flew into Tel Aviv, and was sure to grab the paper visa so that I didn’t get the Israel stamp in my passport, as it could stop me going into certain countries in the future. Tel Aviv felt pretty normal, the odd Apache flying overhead, but nothing that was out of the ordinary. We stayed overnight at a hostel close to the sea, watched an amazing sunset on the beach and then headed to the bus station to take a trip to the small community. The bus we took was full of Israeli soldiers that all looked about 16-17 years old. All with weapons. I was pretty comfortable with this as I was in the Military about 3 years earlier, but it was just weird seeing…. Kids with guns. I mean it’s not much different with our military. Apart from they were just cutting around on a normal bus.
Imagine stepping onto the 53 into Durham and sitting with 30, 16 year old kids with sub machine guns. Just crazy, think back to when you were a kid at 16…? Also back in the UK there isn’t a threat. Whereas in Israel it has been ingrained into them that there is always a threat and that you have to protect yourself at all times. The situation there is very complicated between the Jews & Arabs. There is a lot of hatred between them, which started when the British created a state in Palestine back in 1917 after the 1st world war. It was really interesting being in Israel and Palestine and learning both peoples perspectives. I almost think that until you have been to a place/situation and experienced it yourself your opinion is invalid as it is second hand experience. In this day and age you do not know what is true and what isn’t, so I won’t place my opinion until I have been there and seen it with my own eyes.
Real eyes, realise, real lies!
We arrived at the small settlement and it was a very warm welcome from them. Shown to our accommodation I was sharing my room with an Israeli guy who was learning desert survival skills and was an ex-military officer in the Israeli Army. He became a good friend and I learnt about his views on the conflict over there before he went away to learn desert survival skills from some old dude he kept talking about. He was really passionate about survival, I hope he followed that dream…
We were offering our services as volunteers in return for food, accommodation, meditation sessions & experiencing their culture. One of the favourite parts of my time there was spending Christmas with people from all round the world. Each person had to integrate their traditions into the festivities. Another was the tradition of a Friday night Sabbath held by the community. Everyone dressed in white, all of the community would bring food for a buffet style dinner and they would sit and sing songs. It was such a nice event where the whole community stopped and put their daily stresses to one side to allow time to be with one another. There was no phone in sight… I really don’t do the experience any justice, I suppose it’s one of those, where you just had to be there…
Do you have a special time with your family without distraction, where you can spend quality time with one another? An activity? A meal?
We spent around two weeks there and then decided that we wanted to explore the country a little more and move further in towards the nitty gritty. We took a bus back to Tel Aviv and where due to move into Jerusalem the next day…
If you enjoyed this post then try – ‘Dead Bodies & my Ex-Wife’
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