The days following my trip to the Dead Sea went nothing like I imagined. Initially, my plan was to apply for my visa to India, finally tour Tel Aviv, and spending some days leisurely wandering the city before heading south to Eilat along the Red Sea on my way to Petra. Even after traveling for the last seven months, I’m still surprised how frequently I’m wrong when it comes to predicting the future, but I have to say it’s always an adventure. The very first lesson I learned way back in Faro, Portugal was never, ever, ever let an opportunity to travel with good company pass by.
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While my arrival to Israel was remarkably pleasant, I remember hearing horror stories of travelers being detained and questioned for hours on end by the Israeli border officials. Given Israel’s location and checkered history, I understand the necessity for these this kind of security measures, but I was terrified being single man traveling alone with no solid plans would throw up a few red flags. I can’t stress this enough, not a single person I’ve encountered thus far on my trip has ever said anything good about their experience crossing the border into Israel. In fact, several people (and even web sites) said that if you don’t get detained at the border for at least 2 hours, you haven’t had the “true” Israeli experience.