Coming Home – A Feeling Unlike Any Other

November 28, 2016
Posted in Israel, Travel
November 28, 2016 Donny A

Coming Home – A Feeling Unlike Any Other

I remember my first time flying to Israel on El Al – Israel’s National Airline, back in 1992. As I am sure you can imagine, for a teenager in the early 90’s the build up to the trip was very exciting, everything from packing the suitcases to checking in at the airport and boarding the plane only contributed to increasing my enthusiasm. While for today’s youth travel may lack to mystique and thrill as airline travel has become the norm, but back in the 90’s I was overly excited for my trip.

One of the highlights of that flight came as the plane started its final descent to Tel Aviv and the captain asked the crew to be seated. My family and I were lucky enough to be sitting in an exit row directly across from the cabin crew’s seats, something that is now considered an extra-value seat, that requires paying a premium or having elite status with the airline.

As the stewardess came to sit down, the lights of the Tel Aviv shoreline came in to view. I can still vividly remember, some 20+ years later, the look of joy on that EL AL stewardess face of seeing the lights of her home in Israel.

Now let’s fast forward to today. For the last 15 years, I have been in the travel industry, primarily focused on trips to Israel. One of the most common questions I get asked is; “what will it be like when I get there”? To this, my answer has always been, “you will feel like you’re coming home”. This was my first impression of Israel, and it is one I love to share.

A few years back, a friend asked me to meet with his in-laws to help them plan their first trip to Israel. At the appointed time and went to their home to discuss their trip and to take care of the arrangements.
I met with the well-traveled couple, who were well into their 70’s, and sure enough one of the first questions they asked was; “what will it be like when we get to Israel”?  And of course, I gave my standard answer “it will feel like coming home”.

Shortly after they returned from their trip I received a phone call from my friend’s mother in law. She called me to thank me for the amazing trip I had arranged and said: “I must tell you this crazy experience that happened to us”.
“We were sitting in first class on our flight to Israel from Madrid, and as the plane began its descent, I started getting agitated about navigating an airport I was not familiar with. As we touched down, the stewardess started walking around the cabin and came over to us and said, “Welcome home!” “I burst out crying with joy before the plane even got to the gate!
She went on to tell me that this was one of the most memorable highlights of her trip, and I can truthfully say it that is how it was for me on my first trip to Israel.

This is an experience that I have valued most over the last 15 years, and it’s one that I can’t wait to share with you…