Life is short, that never changes since the days humans walk this earth. Our life expectancy rise, but the quality of our lives don’t necessarily rise. How do we know that we have lived a life that is better than others? We don’t. But we can only know when we live our lives better than how we lived it yesterday. Our future should only gets better, better than all the bitterness and disappointments in the past. It’s useless to compare our lives with the others. Life is a race, but not with others, life is a race against ourselves. Ealier this year I have a chance to travel further than all the places I’ve been in the past. It’s a great way to race myself. Nine hours of flight and I stepped my feet on the Holy Land of monotheistic religions, Israel. It really excites me that I can get to roam the land where many historical events occured. It’s a land of endless evolutions. Many nations have claimed the land. So I was there, on a trip to create an unforgettable engagement film for a couple getting married soon this year. In short, I was there because a client fly me over to film their trip. But my biggest excitement is to be able to learn and see the historical lands closer (and don’t worry my dear client, I still do my job at the best way I could).
Every trip I take surely changes my life, changes the way I think and gives me new perspectives in life. And this blog is here to share the stories that I’ve learned throughout this trip. My life may not be cooler than yours, but perhaps there’s a lesson or two that you can pick up here.
- Be thankful and grateful to those who are good to you
I was there because of the mercy of my clients. So I definitely put them first. If they ask me to take a picture of them when the sunlight is nice, just do it without question. Be thankful that you met them and that they gave you one oppurtunity to see the nice landscape. My clients treated me like part of their family without treating us like someone they hire or own. And I definitely know my priorities. My clients sent me there to put their trips into this time capsule I called films, so that’s what I’m doing. We now treat each others like good friends and we are way pass the boundaries of client-vendor relationship.
- Do more research before landing
So I landed in Tel Aviv wearing shorts and sandals. Little did I know that Israel is cold at that time of year. I have always have an impression that Jesus walked the land of Israel wearing tunic and sandals so the land must be warm. But I was wrong. At first all I got was stares on the plane. Everyone was wearing thick coat as if it’s winter. Then I got cold chill when we got off the plane and to the airport. And at the end of the day, the whole package came to me in the form of bad flu and super cold weather. From my research, Israel always look sunny and warm. Apparently I didn’t search enough informations. But seriously, look at the photo I took on the runway, it looks warm but apparently it’s nearly 10 degree Celcius that day. Luckily my cold resistance is pretty high that I can survive through the trip in one good piece.
- Have interest on the surrounding people
In my opinion, what build a nation is not it’s infrastructure nor it’s system, but it’s the people. I always have deep interest into studying the culture of the land I visit. Are they Jews or are they Arabs? How do they differs? How is the connection of the land today with the land mentioned in the Bible. Is the book really written on that land or the land is named based on the book? History and culture is inseperable with the identity of the people. It excites me that I can get to talk to some native Jewish and learned their culture. I got to talk to some pilgrims from the States too during my trip. What are they wearing on their heads, what is it that they do when they pray? What is sabbath? The thing that I love most from travelling is to be able to witness all these cultural stuff with my own eyes.
One funny story happened during my stay. There’s a lady waving her hands from about two or three rooms away from the hotel corridor. Being uncertain about the intentions of the lady calling me away, I slowly approach. By the way, it’s an old lady, in her 70s perhaps. If she’s in her 20s then this will make a different interesting story. So, she invited me to her room, which I find weird. She speak to me really fast in Hebrew, which I obviously don’t understand. Then she point to the light switches in her room. I was uncertain still, I thought she got electrocuted by the switches and mistaken me as someone working in the hotel. So in the end, I turn the switches off and she thanked me for it. I was still puzzled before realizing that it’s Sabbath and they aren’t allowed to touch any switches. The elevators are working automatically and opening at every floors and nobody can press the milk button on the restaurant that night. It’s our tourists jobs to press it for them. Should’ve charged money that night, pffft.
- Tel Aviv is a beautiful city
The thing about Tel Aviv is that the city is gorgeous. The beautiful skyline is sitting side by side with the beaches and beautiful traditional shops. We can easily spot dilligent working citizens chilling by the beach when the sun is setting. And let’s not forget the night life. I didn’t stay long enough in Tel Aviv to enjoy the night life. But you can sense it, the beaches are full of potentially amazing bars and clubs. How the big city enjoy itself kind of amaze me.
- People know how to enjoy themselves
Coming from a small town where we don’t have these two things in this photo. Sidewalk, and good time. I find Israelis know how to have a good time. I find this photo is only one of many Israelis senior citizens who chill at the beach, or the park, working out or just strolling the beach casually. Having such a beautiful city and a vibrant working environment is like killing two birds with one stone. Productive working and good leisure time. This is what’s lacking in my hometown. The working life isn’t vibrant enough and the leisure is just lame. Makes me want to bail on my tour group and just stay in Tel Aviv.
When I told people that I’d be visiting Israel, some commented that I’d be visiting Arab, some asked why should I be filming an engagement film in a war torn land, some even thought that Israel is in Africa, and some might have thought that Israel only existed in the Bible. I’ve known Tel Aviv as the Sillicon Wadi, where there are plenty of startups in the nation, but I didn’t know it’s going to be this beautiful. Let’s not mention that the girls are beautiful too. Although I know if I live there I might be single for the rest of my life, because the guys are too handsome too. So the summary of my trip to Tel Aviv, it’s beautiful. Gorgeous in fact.