This past week has been filled with adventure. My program’s “mandatory” trip to Tarragona turned out to be much more interesting than I had anticipated. After visiting what used to be an ancient Roman arena and circus, we ended the day building human towers. We learned that “Castells,” also known as human towers were declared an intangible heritage element by UNESCO, and everyone was very excited to be able to make our own. Continue Reading
I’ll start with the more personal matter, losing my suitcase. I didn’t think arriving to another country where you don’t speak the language could get much worse than the nightmare it is trying to get around. Well, not having your clothes and other things you packed for your trip might make it a bit harder. Needless to say, the airline (the culprits of my additional obstacle) delivered my luggage to my homestay quickly. Continue Reading
Somehow I’d gone 22 years of my life without having a macaroon. I’d known what they were, seen them in bakeries and at dinner parties, yet never taken a bite. When I came to Paris I knew I had to try one, and I wanted one from the best. Continue Reading
Our final day in Tel Aviv was bittersweet, as we knew our incredible journey was coming to an end. We started the day meeting at YL Ventures, a venture capital (VC) firm like many in Israel that focused on early-stage investing. I was astounded that while the US was trending towards less early/seed-stage capital and much more later-stage investments, Israel seemed to embrace their unique VC ecosystem.
Today was our second to last day of this trip. Heading out the hotel door at 8:30, we went to our first destination for the day, Caesarea. This is an ancient Roman and Byzantine city that was designed and created by Harrod.
I arrived in London at 7:31am (also 2:30am “my time” aka eastern standard time). On the plane, I managed to sleep from 9pm until we landed, so after five and a half hours sleep I felt pretty good. A couple of eyedrops in my “I don’t quite want to wake up yet” eyes and I was ready to take on London! Continue Reading
As our sixth full day in Israel comes to a close, I find myself already reflecting on the trip two days before we fly home. Being here has opened my eyes up to not only the differences between the United States and Israel, but the similarities we share as well.
And on the fifth day there was light! Up until this point in our trip, our understanding of what makes Israel’s startup culture unique was almost entirely secondhand. That all changed today with our visits to a couple of successful Israeli “startups,” and to an organization that is committed to building stronger business ties between Israeli and the US.
This is the start of our fourth full day in Israel. The pace is intense. By observing the culture of Jerusalem, the West Wall, and the Dead Sea we are starting to understand the nation and its people. The reoccurring sight of armed police and soldiers started to get routine until we went to the border with Jordan yesterday and witnessed the live mine fields which brought the reality of past despair, suffering, and a feeling of isolation knowing that there were three more borders (Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt) not including the chaos in the Gaza Strip and to a lesser extent the West Bank.