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by Rachel Strohl

Dear Rachel from Four Weeks Ago,

Rachel, you are about to have the craziest, most extravagant adventure you have ever embarked upon. You are traveling further than you have ever gone, staying in a foreign country longer than you ever have before, and you are going to be doing it on your own. In my wiser, four-week-older state, here are a few things I wish I had known when I left, and some of the amazing things we will do.

  1. It’s okay to eat when you fly; in fact it makes the entire situation way more pleasant.
  2. Take out all of the cash that you want to spend beforehand. Credit cards are a great back up, but cash is best.
  3. You are finally going to excavate! And trust me, you are going to find some really cool things.
  4. You should try all the foods. You’re going to eat whole sardines. Embrace the crazy girl.
  5. When your ankles swell up, just stick them straight up in the air for about 5 minutes. You didn’t twist your ankle, I promise you’re all good.
  6. Make new friends, but don’t forget about the old ones. They still miss you!
  7. You are going to feel overwhelmed in the square sometimes. Don’t shut down, but rise above. The adrenaline high from doing so is amazing!
  8. Patience is a virtue, and you are going to develop some.
  9. People may mess with you because of where you come from, but its okay. Again, rise above.
  10. Tel breakfast is the best breakfast. Pita and hummus with a view of the ocean, nothing is better than that.
  11. If you go swimming for more than 30 minutes, please reapply sunscreen. Burns and salt water don’t mix so well!
  12. Embrace travel within Israel! You are going to some really amazing places, so soak up the history and the amazement.
  13. Don’t forget to call your older sister! She misses you so much, and you never know when a simple phone call could brighten her whole day!
  14. Bring nail clippers. Please. Just do.
  15. Learn to embrace instant coffee. It will be your ally on the days that your 4:30am wake up call wants to kill you.
  16. Learn all that you can, from whoever you can. Maybe it’s what actually makes someone British, or the difference between a slag cake and a really cool rock. Learn it all.
  17. Make an appointment for a manicure/pedicure and a massage for when you get back. You are really going to need them.
  18. Last, but not least, ask questions. Ask lots and lots of questions about everything. Questions are the key to the doors of knowledge.


I know that your trip seems really daunting right now. But you are going to be just fine, I promise. You’re going to fall in love with this country, the people, and archaeology. So embrace the adventure!

All my love,



Rachel Strohl
About Rachel Strohl

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Dear Younger Me