Karen Ohayon – India & Israel (2012) †

To be quite honest, there aren’t that many places in the world that I don’t want to see. I have been exceptionally fortunate to travel around the world to some awe-inspiring places; I have been to Greece, Austria, Hungary, Spain, and many other destinations. When I think about my life, there are only two things that I am certain of. The first is that I am excited to begin my career as a nurse. I believe that I have the ability to make a difference in my patient’s lives. The second is that I will travel.

In the next several months, I expect my life to change drastically. My family and I will be moving out of our house, I will be graduating college, and I will need to find a job. But my priority for this summer is none other than which specific destinations I wish to travel to. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” wrote an autobiography on her travels to three incredible destinations; Italy, India, and Bali. If I were to imagine being granted a wish for this summer, it would be traveling to some of these very destinations.

Prior to beginning my career as a registered nurse, I want to experience other interpretations of medicine. I have had the opportunity to study western medicine. My hope is to be able to incorporate holistic, homeopathic, and traditional medicine into my practice. India is home to Ayurvedic medicine, a medical system that has evolved over thousands of years and includes the use of massage, herbs, and individualized diets. I believe that health is not just your medical state, but your mind, body and spirit.

I would hope to arrive in Kerala, India by June 10, 2012. Time Magazine rated it one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It is the perfect combination of both city and rural life located by the water. I plan to live with a host family and find mentors that would teach me their medical system. Additionally, as I seek professional growth, I hope to seek personal growth as well. I hope to adapt some of their meditation rituals practiced that may help reduce my natural inclination to be stressed. On the weekends, I hope to take weekend trips and explore neighboring cities and destinations, residing in hostels for overnight trips. After spending a few weeks in India, I plan to travel to my next destination.

While the two destinations are not remotely close to one another, my next stop would be Israel. After spending a month working to better myself, I would be welcomed by close family members in Israel. I would stay there for about two weeks and travel between the major cities of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. India and Israel both have an incredibly enriching culture. Becoming familiar with different traditions, beliefs, and values can only prompt my growth.

I expect to return to the states by August 20th. Tickets, weekend travel expenses, and food would reach an estimated $6000. As of now, I have saved $1500 for these travel plans. I appreciate being considered for such an incredible opportunity. I believe that this trip will be a once in a lifetime opportunity that will help me grow both professionally and personally. I hope that with some financial assistance, I can make my dream summer plans a reality.

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