I’ve been thinking about moving to Israel for years now.
I thought about when I was, like, 12 or something and my mum took my sister and me on our first trip there. As we took the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem I looked out the window to see a small boy on a donkey and his big sister walking beside him. It was quite a change from Harrow-On-The-Hill. Needless to say, it was vastly more exotic and therefore boundlessly more interesting.
I thought about it the next time I visited too, some twenty years later, when I went with a work delegation from the European Parliament. We visited Tyre, where a group of men were gathered under a makeshift canopy watching some Hollywood film or other projected onto a sheet hung up against a wall. They were smoking hookahs. I don’t smoke, and I doubt they would have welcomed a western girl in their midst, but I could have happily sat down beside them with a glass of something cool and crisp and let life flow by. We got ushered to the hotel instead.
I thought about it when I covered a pro-Israel rally on my first journalism assignment and at the end joined in as the participants danced in a circle while singing loudly.
I thought about it when my daughter was born seven years ago.
I’ve thought about often it whenever it was cold and icy back home in England, and the Mediterranean beckoned, or whenever the summer sun struggled to make much of an impact on the mercury.
But you can’t merely think about things forever. Sometimes you have to get up off your arse and do them. So last month I picked up the phone, called the Jewish Agency and told them I wanted to make aliyah.
And so it begins…