Several months into my Ulpan adventure, I found out that my parents had decided to make their first ever trip to Israel at the end of my Ulpan course. This will be a perfect opportunity for me to use my new language skills to navigate the country as well as to see parts of The Land that I have never seen before with two of my favorite people. In my non-studying time I have ransacked my friends bookshelves for their guide books of Israel, scoured the Internet, and made countless inquiries to National Parks and guest houses in key parts of Israel. I scribbled tons of little notes about where I thought we should go and when but it became clear that if this was going to be a successfully thorough tour, I was going to need to come up with something more organized. That is when I got the idea........and THE SERIOUS TOURING PLAN was born.
First I printed out all the sites that were absolute "must see" places and color coded them according to region. (I made a color coded region map too because I kept losing track of what was where.)
Finally, I made an overview chart with a breakdown of the sites that we will visit each day. The chart is by hour as I calculated the approximate time that it would take to visit each particular site and the traveling distance between sites. I gave each day a slot in a folder and divided all the maps, Internet printouts and notes into the appropriate day.
To much strategy? My Israeli friend's just laugh when I ask for their advice on my plan. Planning anything in advance is very counter-cultural here. Israel is a very unpredictable land filled with very spontaneous people so I am anticipating a million and one things to alter the plan but if this plan gives this American family a basic guide to follow in seeing this amazing country, it will have performed it's task well.