In about six hours I’ll be boarding an El Al flight to Israel. This trip is very special for me. Between ages 15 and 26 (1970-77) I spent a great deal of time in Israel, mostly living on kibbutzim, in various sections of the country. Since then, I was back in ’82 and ’97 for short visits. This is the first time I’ll have totally free movement, with a rental car. It’ll just be me and my wife, with our own private schedule of visits, sites, excursions, hikes… with stops at a few local wineries.
While there were many adjustments to life in Israel, there were also many upon return. If you have ever lived in a foriegn country, especially one with a foreign language, then you know what I mean. Sometimes I jokingly call Israel “my alternate universe.”
As far as my current profession, as a pest control operator, some of you know that it would not have happened without my past experiences all somehow coming together into the decision to purchase Hearts Pest Management. I never thought that working on jobs, very similiar to our California farm laborers, picking oranges, lemons, apples, pears, grapefruit, avocados, dates, would somehow play a role in a decision 30 years later to buy a pest control company in California. Yet it did. Some people follow a very direct path though life, but it is just as likely that life takes you on some very odd twists and turns. For me, it took many life experiences in many places in order to arrive at this decision.
One of the best takeaways from life in Israel, or any country far from your hometown, is that it helps you to think out-of-the-box. Once you’ve been away, you never quite think the same way about anything. This includes big picture issues and the smallest details of life. In Israel, everyone serves in the military. Even if you are not serving, there is always an awareness of terrorism, external threats and the fragile nature of life. Then there are the little things, like eating an Israeli breakfast of salad and hard boiled eggs, nothing like the heavy pancakes and bacon we eat here. From a business perspective, this type of experience helps you understand that what you have worked so hard for can be easily taken away, that little things add up and do matter in the big equation and that it is ok, even beneficial to think differently.
I’ll try to write more and include some pictures from my current and past trips to Israel as the days go by. Since time will be limited, I’ll likely do most of my writing when I return in a few weeks.