I can hardly believe next April will mark five years since I took what is turning out to be my trip of my lifetime – My pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan.
Despite occurring prior to my starting Robert's Ramblings, I had intended to journalize everyday through a blog so I'd be able to capture my thoughts, fresh in mind.
Alas, I didn't. I didn't even write a single entry summarizing the trip once we returned home. That error in omission is all water under the bridge now.
What follows is partially an exercise in jogging my memory, and partially wanting to recreate those missing journal entries before they fall even further from my recollection. (I hate to call it a memoir because that sounds so serious and suggests finality).
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At first I went through my limited amount of photos I'd taken, along with those taken by Dave Young Kim, one of the ReGeneration interns, who was tasked with taking photographs for the church.
You will find copious amounts of hyperlinks to other source material, such as locations, religious explanations, and words that I figured some people might not necessarily know.
Once the first draft was completed, and I'd had a chance to do a second reading to clean up errors and clumsy wording, I took at look at any trip photo albums others may have shared through their Facebook profiles.
Originally, I'd hoped I would be able to remember enough to create two to three blog posts summarizing things - give or take 3,000 words. It is now two weeks later and the length has ballooned to 15 blog entries, containing over 31,000 words.
As I started writing, things just kept popping into my head. (Which I hope is a good thing!).
Most entries cover a single day. However, a couple days were broken into two parts because they became so long. Rather than boil it down considerably, I decided to keep what came to mind. Think of it more as a personal travelogue, interspersed with comments along the way.
I'm sure there are items I've forgotten, or possibly had a different take from other people on the trip, and I should probably apologize in advance if you find any of the items I recalled monotonous or inconsequential at best.
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I've chosen to use initials when I'm referring to people on the pilgrimage other than our guides, Doron (Israel) and Robert (Jordan). Hopefully, that shouldn't take away from the worth of the piece, and those that went should be able to remember which initials refer to whom.
TO: BP, CB, CH, CM, DB, DE, DK, ED, GC, HS, KG, LL, MG, PD, PW, RC, RP, RW, SH, ShL, StL, RF, RV, TB, TS, WC and YB, Thanks for being my traveling partners.
To: Doron and Robert (our guides) thanks for helping to expand our knowledge and understanding where historical events fell - especially with a Biblical perspective.
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Lastly, I've decided to back date the entries to the actual dates as if I'd followed through with my original plan. Admittedly strange, but it seemed like a smart thing to do. Clicking on the "TO BE CONTINUED" link at the bottom will take you to the first trip entry (April 9th, 2008).
Enough with explanations! Thanks for reading and I hope it inspires you to go on pilgrimage yourself (or again if you've already been).