Short Stories | Allie Bernstein

As anyone who has ever traveled anywhere knows, it’s virtually impossible to answer the question “So, how was your trip?” How can I summarize even a vacation, let alone six months of learning and growing and discovery?

The short answer: beats the hell out of me. But any experience is comprised mostly of the stories you can tell from it, and the best stories are the ones you never expected to have. Ergo, I present to you a selection of the moments I never expected would happen – but did. (For the full list or further details, you’re just going to have to talk to me. Terrible, I know.)

  • Sitting in a car full of Israelis singing the theme song from The Magic School Bus in Hebrew
  • Enjoying the best four-hour desert highway roadblock in the entire world (actually, not sarcastic)

From the road block

  • Meeting best friends from Arizona, Montreal, Toronto, Switzerland, and Hungary
  • Becoming a sushi addict
  • Navigating the bus in a foreign language by myself
  • Purchasing a chai latte entirely in Hebrew – including a joke
  • Regularly eating lunch in Rabin Square
  • Getting toes nibbled on by wild fish on purpose
  • Befriending a stray cat (here’s to you, Mr. Tails)

Stay warm out there, Mr. Tails.

  • Leaving my purse with a Slovakian man I had just met three weeks ago
  • Driving a car full of people in the mountains in the Galilee
  • Managing a team composed of my fellow interns and my boss
  • Waving at Lebanese grounds – twice
  • Advancing to a professional level of pomegranate opening

Nom nom nom

  • Becoming used to palm trees
  • Trying 18/19 foods on this list (someday, khachapuri, you will be mine!)
  • Winning Escape Room with my boyfriend in 57 minutes
  • Being able to recognize olive trees
  • Arguing the merits of Charmander in a kibbutz pub (for the record, I am firmly pro)
  • Seeing an Israeli soldier shift her M16 on the bus so she can work on her crossword puzzle
  • Holding a baby sheep on a goat cheese farm in the Negev Desert
  • Cooking a stellar meal with my boyfriend on a whim
  • Falling in love with a shelter dog named Stella


  • Nerding out with an Israeli bookshop owner
  • Making a website layout from sticky notes like a real designer
  • Meeting one of the authors of Startup Nation
  • Attending two different Arctic Monkeys-based dance parties
  • Touring Tel Aviv with nine Albanian journalists
  • Hearing firsthand about building a kibbutz out of nothing from its founders

To be perfectly honest, this barely scratches the surface of my time abroad. If we get to talk in the near future, you probably won’t be able to shut me up about any of these or the countless other stories that didn’t make this version of the list. But please do me a favor and feign interest for at least a few minutes. I can’t wait to tell you about it.


You can view Allie’s original blog here!