It’s another summer after a completed school year at Penn. Several months earlier you’ve been presented with several options for how to spend your warm weather months—summer classes, prestigious internship, or an all-expenses paid trip to Israel. Being the overachiever that you are, you choose all three, head over to Birthright’s website, pick a flight, and sign yourself up. As the trip gets closer, you seek advice from friends, family and of course, Street, for four of Birthright's must-dos.
1. Gram the shit out of every minute
The number one rule of Birthright? Pics or it didn’t happen. What Birthright trip is complete without photos of you and your gal pals frolicking in the Dead Sea, posing in front of the Western Wall, or owning the elevated surfaces in Tel Aviv? Not Instagramming each day of your Birthright trip is an insult and a crime to the captions just begging to be posted. Riding camels in the desert was practically meant for #HumpDay and the beloved camel emoji. The ten days of Birthright are really your only opportunity to use a Hebrew keyboard. Yes, taking photos to document your experience and preserve your memories is a good idea, but posting each of those photos on Insta for the rest of the world to see is even better.
2. Pack copious amounts of srat apparel
Afraid of getting your face burnt by the early morning sun on your Masada hike? Slap on a baseball tee with your Greek letters emblazoned on the front brighter than the sky’s beams. Headed on a dark underground tunnel adventure in Jerusalem? Grab a tank with your favorite sorority pun written in neon on the back to help guide those in line behind you. Packing srat apparel is crucial to make sure you can be identified by the other Birthright groups you’ll inevitably run into, and wearing symbols that Israelis won’t recognize will only help build up your edgy American reputation.
3. Flirt with an Israeli soldier
Did you even go on Birthright if you didn’t have a four-day love affair with a handsome Israeli soldier? Everyone knows that boys look better in uniform, and the olive skin and toned biceps certainly don’t hurt. Yes, the language barrier might be big enough to keep you from speaking, but one look into those helmet-shielded eyes will be enough to melt that worry away. It’s a win-win—he’ll get to say he made out with an American, and you’ll finally have come as close as possible to finding your own Kostas.
4. Eat your way through
Let’s be real. Birthright is equally about the food escapades as it is about religious discovery and all that jazz. Any drink from Aroma puts Starbucks to shame. A falafel pita from any market you encounter just makes American hummus feel bad. The flaky Israeli chocolate melts in your mouth and kicks Hershey’s ass by a landslide. Don’t even get us started on the pop rock bars, or we think we might truly explode.
At the end of the day, Birthright is a chance to travel cheaply and learn a thing or two about another country and about yourself. Birthright is what you make it, but with Street’s help, we think we just might make it a little bit better.