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Studying in Israel as a teen gave me a lifelong love of travel

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 100 countries.  Niver is the creator of popular travel website, We Said Go Travel, a top 100 travel blog with monthly reach of tens of thousands and with international t...

Why everyone needs to experience Tel Aviv in their lifetime

As a teenager, I was allowed to travel to Israel for nine weeks with 150 friends from Los Angeles on a summer Ulpan — a school for the intensive study of Hebrew. We studied, we laughed and we learned about ourselves. That trip imbued in me a desire to travel that has never left. Because of that summer experience, I chose to study in Jerusalem during my junior year of college.

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My trips to Israel

I never wavered. I decided to do it when I was 16 years old, and I followed through with a semester at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I lived in Israel during the first Intifada, and I did not worry. I knew I was where I was supposed to be. After that semester, I felt that it was necessary for me to live in another land. I chose to work at Club Med and on cruise ships and have traveled to six continents and over 100 countries.

In October 2015, I was invited on another journey to Israel. My life of writing about travel and creating videos of my experiences was leading me back to where it began. I was honored to be invited and thrilled that I would spend my birthday in Jerusalem during the adventure.

I highly recommend that you visit this amazing country. It will change your life.

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Two places to stay in Tel Aviv

Why everyone needs to experience Tel Aviv in their lifetime
Image: Lisa Niver/SheKnows

I absolutely loved the Brown Beach House, a new property just a block from the beach in Tel Aviv. The décor and atmosphere are inviting and inclusive. Champagne in the lobby felt decadent, and I indulged in a massage just after arrival at a property, which might become my new favorite ritual.

Staying at the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya was another highlight of my trip. The location on the marina is stunning and allowed me to walk on the beach for a windy sunset before returning to my two-story sanctuary with a view. The Herbert Samuel is the first kosher restaurant at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, with a fully open kitchen showcasing many fresh, seasonal ingredients. I couldn't get enough of the incredible tomato salad. I could have eaten a second and maybe even a third one. Breakfast was a buffet of fantastic tastes, and I wish you could taste and smell the food on my video. It was remarkable, like my room and the service.

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Why everyone needs to experience Tel Aviv in their lifetime
Image: Lisa Niver/SheKnows

Enjoy all 27 of my videos from Israel to see where we went and what we ate and feel like you were there with us. Find more activities and travel tales on my website, We Said Go Travel or my YouTube Channel.

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