I am going to Israel.
Just this statement makes me deeply happy and even a little bit proud. Since I was a little girl I have wanted to go to the Holy Land, and since becoming a photographer I have dreamed of going there to “document" it.
In 2018, my dream will become a reality.
Early on in the preparation process, I got a note from a friend thanking me for not creating a GoFundMe page. She admired that I was taking responsibility for my dreams and doing the hard work of making them happen without asking others to pay for it.
That note really encouraged me to work even harder. This trip is something I have wanted almost desperately, and to have it become real, feels like something important that I have accomplished. Something that will never be able to be taken away from me.
It reminds me of a quote I love from one of my top 5 favorite books of all time: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
So, the trip is paid for. I am going. In February of 2018, I will spend one month photographing Israel. I am going alone. And as of right now, I only have plans to meet up with two people. That will make this very much the kind of solitary expedition that challenges me, and in which I thrive.
But a few weeks ago, I was talking with another friend of mine. Someone who loves me and reminds me that I am loved by others and I don’t have to do everything completely on my own. She encouraged me to not only let others help if they want to, but to invite them to help, it allows them to take some small part this "trip of a lifetime."
Talking with her was hard. I absolutely suck at asking for help. I don’t mind being asked, but I am not good at being vulnerable, or at relying on anyone else. I honestly wonder, how much of this attitude is related to the deaths of my parents. They were so young when they died. And when they were suddenly gone, I got it in my mind that there was no more safety net for me — that if I wanted anything from then on, I had no choice, but to do it for myself. Of all the things I wish for, I wish they could see this. I wish they could see that I have made this a reality. Last night I let my brother know that I had reached my goal and funded the trip and I could hear him smiling as he told me how proud he was of me. And in his voice, I could hear theirs. Because Mom and Dad would be so proud too.
I’ve been thinking of what my friend said to me about letting others help for a few weeks now. And there are a couple of ways people could be involved if they wanted to. The first one is actually the cheapest and the most important. I am going be over there for 28 days, four weeks. I don’t have my dates absolutely locked in yet, but I expect to be traveling February 3 to March 3. I would really love it if I could have 28 people send me a post card telling me they’ll be praying for me at this time. My address is 533 Spokane Avenue, Apt: A, Whitefish, MT 59937. For everyone who sends me one of these, I will send you a post card from Israel with my thanks and appreciation.
There are a few things I haven’t bought yet. Some I need, and some I just want. The stuff I need is at the top of an Amazon page called “Wish List for Israel.” Here is the list if you’d like to check it out: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/307TFY0GU4C8P/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2
I haven’t bought my suitcase yet, that is a need. I need a lightweight tripod. I’ve listed a few of the books I want to read before I go. But the big wish list item is the Lee Filters. This is a direction I have been wanting to go in my photography for a while, and Israel seems like the perfect place. I am expecting a lot of harsh light and open landscapes combined with overly bright skies.
Some of this stuff is reasonably priced, photography gear never is. So an alternative for those who don’t want to buy a $750+ set of filters is to send me amazon gift cards via email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org you can purchase gift cards here:
Again. I am going, and barring an act of God, nothing will change that. I have a new camera, good lenses, my laptop and backup hard drives. Everything else will work itself out. The items on this list are just for someone who might want to help out.
I have had so much positive feedback on this trip. I haven’t even really posted a whole lot about it yet, so it makes me profoundly grateful to have so many offer their kind words and well wishes. The truth is I am not ready for this. After my parents died and I went solo backpacking in Western Europe, that was a trip of a lifetime, and I wasn’t ready for it either. So I am going to go, and trust and hope. I have carried this dream in my heart for decades. It’s time to go bring it to life...