Getting Around in Southern Israel

This was very surprising to me since it’s something most Americans or I would never do in the US for safety reasons, yet friends would do it often without hesitation there—which allowed me to notice a difference in attitudes towards hitchhiking among my friends.

How did I feel when I tried this way of getting around?:

It was definitely overwhelming to navigate myself out of the airport once I had arrived in Israel. I thought I had prepared myself for this beforehand—I had downloaded a ride-hailing app called Gett, which is better-known in Israel than either Uber or Lyft. I spent some time waiting for my ride, when I realized, through observing my surroundings and the ways in which other passengers left the airport, that my ride couldn’t pick me up. I had to cancel my ride and utilize the ride-hailing system the airport had established. It was during that first ride that I realized the language barrier I would face if I didn't pick up some basic Hebrew. Afterwards, once I was within my program cohort, navigating public transportation became much easier. My friends gave me keywords that would enable me to communicate with the bus driver when needed. My friends also helped me learn the different shekel amounts I would need for the rides I would be taking.

If I wanted to travel outside of the kibbutz during my time in Israel, I frequently took the bus. Since fewer people travel in the southern part of the country, the bus was never full during my trips from and to Eilat. I believe this would not be the case in larger cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa in the northern regions of Israel.