Savvy Traveler Q&A: Israel with Corporate Executive, Joy Langley
June 29 2015
I visited Israel for the first time in 2010. To date it is still one of the most interesting countries I have had the privilege to travel to.
The Jewish state was created in 1948 and is considered sacred by 3 of the most important religions on our planet. The history of its land dates back to seemingly the beginning of time and its geopolitical situation is fascinating, complex and controversial. It is a place to go to experience the vibrancy of our contemporary world as well as be transported back to ancient times.
Savvy traveler and "girl boss", Joy Langley, has made several trips to this middle eastern country over the past 8 years and is continually captured by the mixture of people and culture. I am pleased to share the experiences and tips of this woman power player and art supporter. Enjoy!
The Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Name: Joy Langley
Occupation: Vice President, External Affairs for an agricultural commodity consultancy
Hometown: Yakima, WA
What’s your favorite way to get through a long flight?
Easily consumable reading material (primarily chick lit and magazines – Women’s Health, Wired, Forbes) and libations both in ample supply.
When was the first time you traveled to Israel?
What do you love most about Israel?
The diversity of the land (the arid Negev, the verdant oasis of En Gedi, the beach in Tel Aviv) and people (Druz, Jews, Arabs, Israelis, Palestinians, religious and secular)
Joy and friends dipping their toes in the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv!
What is your favorite memory of one of your trips to Israel?
Heading out of our hotel in Jerusalem’s historic Arab Quarter into the cool night after a day hiking for a Goldstar (Israeli beer) in a bar populated by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers. Still in uniform, the army issue weapons were propped against the bar, which underscores the tension always simmering just beneath the surface in Israel.
What would your perfect day in Israel look like?
A trip to the wineries in the Golan, hiking a nature preserve, and an afternoon on the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)
What food do you always eat at least once during your visits to Israel?
Falafel. Hands down the fluffiest pita in the world is in Israel.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about Israel?
Israel is roughly the same size as New Jersey and home to over 8 million people. Though a Jewish homeland, the Arab population is rapidly growing and there are international calls for two states – a home for the Jews and a home for the Palestinians – to resolve historic conflict.
What is the one place tourists need to explore in Israel that may be off the beaten path?
Tzfat which is an historic, fascinating city in the North with the highest elevation in Galilee
What is the one fashion item you always pack when you travel?
A black wrap dress; easy to pack, never wrinkles, and always fashionable regardless of the time of year or location.
What’s your #1 travel tip when it comes to packing?
Less is more and layers!
On top of Masada at sunrise!
Joy's Pro tip: you can pretend to be students and sneak in on hikes and guided tours. She adds, "Ok, this might not be the best idea but it worked for us!"
What is one beauty product you always pack when traveling?
Neutrogena dry touch sunscreen (SPF 30+) and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 20)
What is your tip for diving into a new city and getting acclimated with the culture?
Learn the language as much as you can but don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, the site of many rallies and political protests, where Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – an elected official committed to peace in Israel – was assassinated following a rally for peace on November 4, 1995.
*Photos by both Joy Langley and Jen Jedda*