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Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel

We meet many people on the road, both locals and travelers alike who help us in time of need or distress without expecting a return. Last week of every month I bring you stories from travelers who have experienced kindness on the road and like to share and spread it for the love of travel. This month’s story has come from Netherlands’s Jacomijn Heupink who takes us to Israel, that too during Shabbat. No one would know it better than me how difficult it could get during Shabbat. As a tourist, you might get into trouble if you don’t plan in advance. Read on to know what Jacomijn’s experience was during her hitchhiking in turbulent Israel.

Over to Jacomijn Heupink.
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Kindness on the Road in Israel

Top Indian Couple Blog by Nisha Jha and Vasudevan R - Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel

When you know me and know my blog… You know that I’m a police officer and will be traveling safe. Maybe sometimes people are surprised by what I feel is safe but still… nothing bad has ever happened to me in my years of backpacking around this wonderful world. My confidence in mankind hasn’t been affected by my work, by the situations I can be part of when working. Life is good, people are most of the time sincere and helpful!! The world is a beautiful place to live in!!

So this time I am about to tell you about when I was visiting Israel. I see you thinking already.. hmm Israel. That place we only see in the news when there was an attack again in the Gaza or when there has been suicide attacker somewhere that killed innocent people and children. But Israel is also the place to be when you love to interact with people, to see that ancient old history in Jerusalem that everybody knows about or if you want to float in the Dead Sea!!

Top Indian Couple Blog by Nisha Jha and Vasudevan R - Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel
hitchhiking in turbulent Israel

So when I visited Israel I did it all! I visited Jerusalem for a couple of days before heading out to the desert to go climb the impressive Masada mountain and to go floating in the Dead Sea. Best experience yet I must say. I was so shocked by the force of it. You really get pushed out of it. But the next day, it was Shabbat .. I couldn’t get out of the desert so to enjoy this day I wanted to go to the Dead Sea again.

On Shabbat in Israel nobody works, it is like the Sunday used to be for us in the old days. No transport, no restaurant and no shops. So I couldn’t get out of the desert to go to Haifa because the buses wouldn’t drive until just after sunset. So I had the day to spend in the desert still. I didn’t hesitated about my idea to go float again, to feel that strange sensation yet another time, But the problem… no bus to go there. No other way to go there than to go hitchhiking.

On my way to the dead sea I got a lift from two German tourists but on my way back I didn’t get anything. Then I was happy to get a ride from a young Israeli couple. They just had a relaxed weekend on the dead sea too. They had a toddler at home and they needed some time for themselves!! They were on their way back home and were happy to take me with them. And I was so happy to get that ride.

I felt really safe with them. They were really sweet with each other and were a happy young couple!

After a while we were at the intersection they could stop but they wouldn’t want me to walk that last part. They were making sure that I would be back at my hotel. So they went out of their path and went that bit further making me happy! How sweet is that?

Top Indian Couple Blog by Nisha Jha and Vasudevan R - Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel

They were happy to talk to me and ask me questions about my life in Holland and why I was visiting Israel. They were of course happy to hear me talk positive about their country. I made sure they knew their actions were helping to make it an even better experience than it already was!

So when I got out and we were saying goodbye the lady made sure that I got some water. They were persistent. The shops are closed…you need to drink because weather was hot. Take the cold water and enjoy it!!

They made my day a perfect third day in the desert of Israel!!

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Jacomijn is a Dutch travel blogger who loves to travel solo and blogs at Safe and Healthy Travel. When not traveling she works as a police officer in The Netherlands. She loves to take challenges and get out of her comfort zone to really experience the world and its wonders!! When following her you’ll get to see a yoga pose every now and then on the greatest spots in this wonderful world.
Stay Safe and Keep Healthy!!

You may also want to read some of the earlier posts on the same theme.

More Kindness on the Road Stories

Kindness on the Road
Surviving America
Good deed not dead!
Lost and found

If you have been helped by someone during your travels and want to share your story with the world, feel free to connect with me in comments section.

What else to do and Where to Stay in Israel

Hotels in Israel. Book your hotel now!

What else to do in Israel

More Stories on Israel for you


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P.S.- This article, Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel belongs in Le Monde, the Poetic Travels, one of the top Indian Travel Blogs, published by the traveling couple bloggers, Nisha & Vasudevan. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on another website other than the RSS feed reader or itself, then that website is guilty of stealing our content. Kindly do us a favour by letting us know via Contact Us. Thank you.

n j j

46 thoughts on “Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel”

  1. That was really beautiful. And now i am going to her blog and she her posts and experiences. I think if someone is sincerely good and is radiating positive energies, she or he will not be treated badly unless she has to make amends from some previous deeds. Am i sounding like karma? Hi Nisha enjoy.

  2. What a unique experience! Here in the USA we’re always told how hitchhiking is so dangerous, but it seems that people are kind and goodhearted everywhere, and it usually ends up being a safe and pleasant experience.

    1. It certainly is. I would tell my children the same, don’t.. But as you get older, can see people for what they are… Most people are good and willing to help a fellow civilian out!! We miss out on a lot of beautiful experiences because of fear… Thank you for reading my story!!

  3. I can totally feel your pain. I was in Israel in January for a few weeks and I was stuck in Jerusalem. In the end, we did find a few buses that took us back to Tel Aviv. These were private mini vans. I guess it is less organized around the Dead Sea.

  4. This is an inspirational story and I loved every bit of it. I would love to go to dead sea by the way and also, try the Israeli food.

  5. Another story that shows that there are still so many good people around the world! Despite the media telling bad things, I love reading stories like these about the kindness of people.

  6. This is a great read and it’s true, you only here of such places when bad things happen! But what about the good things about how beautiful they are or the sights to see!? Very good article!

  7. I love Israel and spent some time there last year. Just have to remember where you are going and plan ahead for local customs. So nice to hear about how these guys helped you out – seem like a very lovely couple.

  8. I love everything about this post – the fact that Jacomijn decided to hitchike instead of a bus is quite obviously a reason but mostly, I love the sense of freedom in this post. I mean, they write so candidly about wanting to visit the beach etc and pay no heed to the fact that many people are focusing on the act of hitchiking being scary! Amazing – great story and post, thank you!

  9. I love hearing about our exciting and safe adventures hitchhiking the globe. I’ve always been too scared to try it myself, but maybe it’s time I give it a whirl. I would love to visit Israel and float in the Dead Sea.

    1. See who is in the car and you can always decide not to get in if you don’t feel it is good. The best thing is to listen to your gutfeeling and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel good. But doing these kind of things will make you realise that there are a lot of great people on Earth that wants to help and connect without wanting anything in return! So good to feel that every now and then!! Good luck and hope you do get that experience one day!!

  10. I have experienced hitchhiking, too! It’s such a wonderful experience to trust strangers and be amazed at how good people are generally. And Israel is definitely a safe place to live! I never thought I’d be living in this awesome country for a while now! <3

  11. Hitch hiking sounds perfect to get out to places like the Dead Sea. There are good souls all over the world helping others. As an overland traveler I have yet to travel as a hitch hiker but Jacomijn makes it sound very easy. Shabbat is an interesting time to visit Israel.

    1. It was good and felt great to step in the cat with that nice couple. Hear about their life, about their feelings. So good to connect with strangers in such short time period!! Hope you will to one day!!

  12. I love this series of yours, Nisha. I have a post going out this week on similar lines and thank you for the inspiration. I know how Shabbat can be in Israel and it was so sweet of the young couple to help Jacominj.

  13. It’s so nice of Jacomijn that she conveyed that the couple really enhanced her experience in Israel. Dead Sea seems like a must experience thing(: … It’s incredible that most travellers are so positive and have good experience in general when they travel solo… travelling sets people free, you see the real world and broaden your perspectives of life, it’s enlightening.

    1. The couple really made that day one to never forget!! And yes, the Dead Sea is a must!! Also a feeling I will never forget!! Being pushed out of the water to float… So strange!! And solo travel is also great, being free and doing what you need at that moment feels so good!!

  14. Wow! Nice travel blog. The stories are easy, light and so straightforward.
    In India we can see a huge surge in the field of travel blogging, but unlike the rest this blog connects with the sentiments.
    And Jacomijn, thankyou for sharing your story. It retains our faith on the good, and that this is and can be a better place to live 🙂

    1. It feels really good to be able to say that people are generally good!! Instead of everything they want you to believe in the news. I’m a police officer and I know bad things will and can happen. But I also know that most people will never have that experience!! We are lucky and need to feel that way and enjoy that instead of fearing things that might never happen.

  15. Glad to see this post, it is an awesome travel story to understand about the city. its really nice post with amazing pictures.

  16. This was a really great story! I love hearing about amazingly positive experiences in countries that media so often portrays as a “scary” or “unsafe” destination. So sweet that the lady even made sure you had cold water. Truly beautiful experience.

  17. A police officer who is a travel blogger, how cool is that! I guess I’d think twice (or even thrice) before hitch hiking in a foreign country, especially one like Israel. So nice to see that people were kind to you and you had a good experience. Cheers x.

  18. That is so heartwarming. Not only did they see you safely to your hotel but got you a bottle of water too. That is so thoughtful and indeed so kind. Not everyone outside their world does that and you were lucky to have found them. Cheers

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