Taglove Birthright

“What are the odds of finding your second home and a soulmate 7,290 miles away? Incredibly high- thanks to Birthright! Last summer, I traveled to Israel with the Birthright organization Israel Outdoors. I was not expecting to be affected so deeply by this amazing place, and completely fell in love over the course of the trip. By the time our group reached Jerusalem, the thoughts kept racing through my head that I had never felt so at home anywhere I traveled as I did in Israel.

But another factor just might have come into play. Alex was the security guard and medic for our Israel tour group. Though we came from radically different backgrounds, we bonded instantly over a shared love of music. After a few adventures through the streets of Akko, 2 am conversations at a Golan Heights kibbutz, and late-night meanderings around Tel Aviv, I felt like I had known Alex for years. While I was falling in love with Israel, I also fell in love with him. By the time our group arrived at Ben Gurion to travel home, I fantasized about grabbing my bags, racing away from the airport, and staying in Israel.

Though my love affair with Israel was prematurely ended when I arrived back home, I couldn’t let Alex go. We became a very long-distance couple and I visited him only three months later, possibly earning the record for shortest time between Birthright conclusion and return to Israel. Since then I have been on two more trips to Israel, with a third planned next month for our one-year anniversary! I can only thank this incredible country for helping me meet the love of my life and allowing me to discover a place where I truly feel at home. Israel will surprise you, delight you and unquestionably challenge you, but most of all it will welcome you. And you might just fall in love.”

Amanda Marks

Attached photo of Alex and I at Masada 🙂

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