Post-Israel Sentiment

Leaving a place is always hard. Certain sentiment would come up and wrap you around on the flight, on the streets, and in between any daily tasks unexpectedly. Post-Israel sentiment is one such that hits you in the back and reminds you of the good time and important lessons learned there. It reminds you to be the person you happily were in that distant land and carry the blessings with you as much as you can.

When I heard about this class last semester (two weeks after the class had started),  all I was told was a “free trip to Israel.” Wasn’t sure what this trip was about, I filed several petitions after the strong “free” incentive and luckily got in. Then I knew it was about start-ups and innovation- two topics I have held distant interests for a while.

Even though I can’t stop telling people how wonderful the beaches at Tel Aviv were, and how I believe there is a correlation between beach and entrepreneurship, the actual blessing of Tel Aviv came from the people I met.

Working with Spot.IM was itself a blessing. We went through bumpy ups and downs with the company, something so real and thrill that maybe only a startup can offer. In addition to learning from one of the best VCs (megma) in the country on entrepreneurship, we (the were so lucky that we made a friend on the street one day who happened to be a quite successful investor in the area. Several taxi drivers passed us their name cards introducing their business ideas in mind. A colleague and close friend at the company shared that he constantly brainstorm with friends on side projects and the next start-up idea. It almost felt impossible to not be entrepreneurial in that environment.

And of course, the beaches were wonderful. Surfing before work was simply amazing.

As I walk down the familiar streets in Cambridge, longing for the warmth and waves, these people come up to mind quite frequently, reminding me to be a bit “innovative” and “direct” every day. The post-israel sentiment also comes up sometimes, less about the nostalgia, but more about the good memories and how to keep making good memories as a braver and better person after Tel Aviv.

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