We got a ton of amazing submissions for your betchiest birthright stories but this one about finding the love of your life in the Holy Land really one took the cake. Here it is Betches, enjoy!
I went on Birthright in July 2012. I just turned 21 so I made the cut off for the 18-21 year old group. I recently spent a semester in Prague so I had my traveling-to-party time and was actually there to experience Israel. Every trip has Israelis join for a week to give perspective on what it’s like to live there. We got lucky enough to have one of the sexiest Israelis of all time, a soldier named Daniel. I was surrounded by other girls who also thought the same—everyone always falls for the soldiers — so, I figured I’d stay focused on the reason I went to Israel and let them fight over him.
One night I was sitting outside of our hotel and Daniel happened to be there. We ended up talking for nearly three hours, leading to a heated discussion on Middle Eastern politics. I learned so much that night and he even brought me to the point of tears… but that's another Birthright story. As the night progressed I could tell some girls were looking for his attention. I already decided that I wasn't going to throw myself at this guy, so I let them have at him and I went to chat with others from the group.
A couple days passed and I talked to Daniel on and off, but nothing like our first conversation. One day we were riding the bus and I fell asleep sitting next to some girl. My head was resting on the window and when I woke up my neck was killing me. I looked up and noticed that the girl wasn't there anymore. Instead Daniel was sitting there telling me to rest my head on his shoulder “to help my neck.” asdlfhasdfajksdhf.
When we pulled up to the hotel in Jerusalem that night, everyone was exhausted and rushed into bed but Daniel and I stayed up talking. We rode the elevator up to our rooms and I really wanted to kiss him, but I told myself from the start that I wouldn't. We both laughed when I told him we could shake hands, but he actually did give me a great goodnight handshake!
A few days later, it was finally Shabbat dinner. We were in Jerusalem and the whole group had the night to just hang out. As I was about to go into my room, Daniel appeared. He told everyone downstairs that he was going to bed, too. He asked me into his room and I swear I thought we were just going to talk but we ended up sharing the sexiest, most passionate kiss I had ever had. He was so strong and so sensual. He kept gazing at me with his amazing blue eyes. I felt fucking beautiful.
I am really good at playing it cool so I, of course, didn't tell anyone and acted normal the next day. I kept catching Daniel smiling at me out of the corner of my eye. We kept talking, enjoying each other’s company, and talking about our lives throughout the trip — nobody suspected anything between us.
A couple days before the trip was over, he asked me to extend my stay and come meet his family. I was shocked but intrigued. I called the airline to see if it was possible and they said that they had no spots available for me in the next couple weeks; if I wanted a free plane ticket back, I would have to go as scheduled. So that was it. I was going to just have to end my romantic Israeli experience and head back to the states. #basic
My Birthright group arrived at the airport at 1:00am. Everyone was crying and saying good-bye to each other. Not me because that's just not my scene, plus the only person I was thinking about was Daniel. I turned to say goodbye, but I just wasn't ready to leave him. So I quickly told the girl next to me to tell the airline that I wasn't coming when they called my name. Then I told Daniel to grab my bags and we ran out of there together before anyone could ask us any questions. He had his friend pick us up and we drove to his house in Mazkeret Batya. Not even Israelis know where Mazkeret Batya is so I sure as hell had no idea where I was. It was the most spontaneous thing I had ever done.
We got to his house at 3am, stayed up all night, and at 10am he introduced me to his mom, little sister, and little brother before leaving for 24 hours. He had work that he couldn't get out of, so I spent the day with his family. It was insane. He came back from his job and we spent every minute of every day together for the next week. It was absolutely amazing. Before I knew it, it was time for me to buy a ticket home. He and his entire family wanted me to stay longer but school was starting soon and I had to get ready for my senior year.
A couple months later Daniel flew to Colorado to visit for 6 weeks and we started dating. I visited him in January for a couple weeks and we were in a long distance relationship until I graduated in May 2013 when I moved to Israel to live with him.
He is the love of my life.
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