After graduating college, I moved from Florida to Israel for a five-month Masa internship program with Destination Israel.

The journey with Masa was more than just the start of a career; it was the start of a lifetime of lifelong friendships.

On the program, I met so many new people—from all parts of the world—who would impact my life in incredible ways and who I would otherwise likely never had met had I stayed in theUnited States.

One of those individuals was a Canadian fellow named Andrew. Over the course of a few months, we developed a great friendship, and toward the end of our internship, we were not only more connected to the country but to each other.

We were not ready for the journey to end just yet. Israel opened many doors for us that we still needed to pursue. So, we decided to stay and explore those opportunities a while longer.

I made Aliyah and Andrew applied for a work visa. We started to build a new life together in Israel for two and half more years. And despite living and workingt housands of miles away from our hometowns, the friends we made along the way became family.

They helped make Israel truly feel like home and continue to be an important part of our lives. Never in a million years did either Andrew nor Iimagine that we’d leave the program (and Israel) with a significant other…let alone our future spouse!

The country allowed our love to flourish in all the right ways.

Our innate connections to the country gravitated us together. The relaxation, peace, and happiness that we experienced in Israel shaped our relationship as a couple. Israel is where our careers jumpstarted, where our love blossomed, and where so many memories were made.

Morgan Kashin is a Masa alum with Destination Israel.

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