Falling in love differently – falling in love with a country

Have you ever felt as if God would have tricked you?
By making a mistake: placing you to a different country other than the one your heart is connected to deeply?

I was lucky enough to start traveling at a very early age. Back then I was excited to go anywhere. ‘Let’s go, just let’s go: wherever’. – I did not matter. I just wanted to explore, see and travel. (Back then, there was no FB – so we were not traveling for ‘likes’ but we were traveling because we ‘liked’)

Every place and every journey touched me. I was so excited that never wanted to go home. I went under the giagotos-effect all the time! Not because it was much greener on the other side, but because it was NEW, it was FRESH, it was EXCITING. I know this now, but it took time…

It took time until I started to relaxed. It took time until I learnt to travel differently: Travel not with a distracted-excitement and knowing all travel books by heart prior to leaving home; but to travel with a focused-excitment and not knowing nothing at all prior to leaving home.

First it scared me. ‘Don’t I like traveling anymore? Am I not interested in new places anymore?’ — but then again I faced the word: change. We change, whether we want it or not. Whether we like it or not. And mainly whether we accept it or not.

So, I accepted. I accepted that fever does not go high 2 days before traveling due to an over-excitment dose, but I simply acknowledge the fact: Lovely! Another trip.

So yes, this it how it was … for a while. I started to get familiar with this new traveling-self,with these new features of myself, when one journey shook everything up-side-down again.

What was this volcano that destroyed the comfortable self again?
It was my first trip to Israel in 2011.

Since then that over-excitement what I felt as a child comes back every time my ticket says – direction: Tel-Aviv Ben Gurion Airport.

I am sure we all have favorite places, we all have places that we just fall for. I am sure, since after all that is why we travel, aren’t we?
I have several liked places as well.

But I only felt twice in my life the feeling as if God would have tricked me. I only felt twice in my life the feeling as if I would belong there more than anywhere else, as if my heart knows that place, as if all my cells would feel at home.

The first love was Rome – and I had times if I did not visit her for more than a year I had physical pain. My dream was to live there. No matter what, just be able to walk where Michelangelo, Bernini were spending their days whenever I want… Those days were the days of my life – walking the little streets alone at the age of 15, discovering every bricks, the days, when curiosity overcame fear. Or rather, when fear still did not exist in me at all. As I write these lines, my heart is beating faster…oh yes, this is the first love, the one you never forget.

But then came Real Life, the junctions (that I have already talked about), and the ‘you plan God laughs‘ moments, and I am still not living in Rome…

As the enlightened-minds say: ‘sometimes you have to let your first love go, let her hands free, let your heart free. Maybe then, you receive something else. Something, that is even better.’ (So I let her go, even though, first loves are graved in you for ever)

Years passed without a new love. Years passed without a deep relationship – I had crushes, passionate ones, longer ones and shorter ones. But such as in life, crushes are easy come easy go… real love takes time, touches deeper, and are not given simply.

Just when I was having enough of the singly-life, just when I was desperate for love, just when I felt I saw so many, yet none made my heart beating faster, that was the time, when I first saw her.

Israel, the Holy Land.
It was a love at first sight; still, I knew it was not a simple crush. It was more complex. It was real.

But as I said: love is not given simply. Nor is this: ever since our first kiss (the moment i stepped on her fields), we are in distance relationship. If you have ever been there, you know what I am talking about. It is tough.

I visited her six times during the last 2 years and our love just grew deeper and deeper. Every time, new corners are discovered; every time new experiences are written in our common history.

Whether I see her mistakes already or am I still in the pinky-blind-state-of-mind? 

Let me tell you something: I have never been blind. Love does not blind me. Love simply makes me admire, look up, and be curious to know everything about my other-half. So my answer is yes, I see her flows, mistakes and what she is lacking from the very first moment. It does not change anything.

Until love is there, until respect is there, until caring is there, until will is there… all is good.

So again, have you ever felt as if God would have tricked you?
By making a mistake: placing you to a different country than the one your heart is connected to deeply?

My answer is yes. I love my own country – if you ask my friends they would tell you I am real patriot if not nationalist – yet, two times in my life I felt as if I would rather belong somewhere else.

I am not necessary believing or not believing in previous lives; yet, either these deep feelings are the clear proves of them, or I am just very clear about where I wish to spend my next ones ….

So this is my secret love story that I wanted to share with you – they say, if you love somebody deeply you can’t express WHY you love, you just do. Maybe! But not for me, I know clearly WHY I love Israel so much….but let’s talk about this in an other time…

Until then: להתראות…see you later!

About the Author
Virag is a Christian Hungarian who, after sharing her life with a charming Israeli, started her (often painful) journey towards Judaism. By chance (or not) today she works with a handful of pro-Israel organizations as a new media manager and writes raw-honest personal narratives about her internal identity dilemmas as an attempt to find a way between her Christian roots and the novel feeling of being drawn into Judaism
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