In the fall of 1998 I flew to Israel to volunteer for 3 months on a kibbutz. I had just been admitted to medical school in Denmark and had a few months off before the studies started. I wanted to travel, but not alone, and when a girl from work returned from a kibbutz stay all excited, I decided that that was what I was going to do.
The first day on the kibbutz was kind of a culture shock. “I don’t think that I will stay as long as originally planned” was what I told my mother on the phone that night. The next day though, that all changed. As cheesy as it sounds (and I apologize in advance), that was when I saw him in the Kibbutz dining hall and knew it had to be him! “I really like it here and will probably stay the planned time” was what I told my mother on the phone a few nights later.
So it had to be him and fortunately he felt the same way, so that is how it went. I stayed on the kibbutz for four months then went back to Denmark for a year while staying in touch with 15-minute phone calls three times a week, letters and a few plane rides back and forth. That was before the internet….
After a year of that, I immigrated so that we could be together all the time. That was 16 years ago and I am still here and happy to be so.
This weekend we went back to the kibbutz. While Dear Husbands grandfather was still alive we went often but in the last few years it has been more sporadically. Walking through the kibbutz, we showed the kids where we had been working, their fathers place when he was just him, the swimming pool and the place we had our first kiss (which somehow turned the face of our soon-to-be ten-year-old bright red ;-)).
Going back in time, remembering what was can be nice once in a while, but more than that, I think it gives a great sense of achievement – to see how far we have come since then and how much has happened.
In 16 years’ time we have turned into a couple and then a family, lived in all kinds of places – from really crappy to very good, studied a lot of different things and experienced so much. Times have been really good and sometimes very hard, but overall we have been going forward! Going back puts it all into perspective, makes me happy and proud of how far we have gotten and excited for all the things yet to come.