Travel Journal

One Way Ticket: Birthright - Entry 1

September 17, 2012 / Simone Spilka

Writer Simone Spilka came to MIlk Made a few months ago to tell us she would be leaving New York in just a few short days and flying to Israel for Birthright on a one way ticket and had no exact date for when she would be returning. She looked over a few hand written notes scribbled on bits of loose notebook paper that explained a few of her ideas of where she wanted to go over the course of the next few months. All the knots in her plans weren’t tightly bound and it seemed as though she was flying by the seat of her pants - which is exactly why we couldn’t wait for her to start sending us postcards from her adventures abroad.

I have a love for cheap booze and chatting up any moderately interesting stranger more than the average 21-year-old girl. These are defining qualities for this particular situation I have put myself in. What is also defining is the fact that I arrived to LAX at 5am with a computer, camera and journal scattered among the 30 pounds of shoes and colored denim that, as of recent, live on my back.

Now, I am connected to an eclectic group of forty Jews experiencing the gift of Birthright.

For those unfamiliar, Birthright is a ten-day excursion to Israel for any Jewish individual ages 18-26. Eighteen different organizations exist to provide an enriching experience to each type of traveler: mine specific to touring the country via outdoor adventures. The purpose is to connect people to the land and their roots.

Individually, we have forty different religious upbringings and previous travel history. We have different interests, careers, and motivations for taking this trip at such a time in our lives. Collectively, we are the foundation of an organization that provides people a new perspective on culture an ocean away, and the only price tag is an open-mind.

Twenty-four hours, two flights, one September issue of Vogue, and a number of first impressions later, I arrived in Israel.

This journey will begin with a story of organized tours and Israeli soldiers, of camping in the desert and riding camels, but in time will evolve into something much deeper. From here, I’ll venture onto X amount of unknown nights in countries across the world in search of the greatest music festivals, obscurest sleeping accommodation, and craziest parties that make Mike Abu’s usual antics look normal.

Tonight my bed is on a Kibbutz, or “a village where people share everything…except their wives.”

Welcome to the one-way ticket project.

World meet Simone < > Simone meet World.

#mike abu #travel journal #birthright #israel #simone spilka