My name is Hannah Blustin and I founded Pomegranate Travel.
I was born and raised in London. Having been through Oxford and a finance career in the City, I can honestly say I felt pretty wed to England, and London in particular. And then I met and married an Israeli, and was whisked off to the Middle East. Yikes.
I was not a complete stranger to Israel, having previously visited, nor was I a stranger to adventures abroad, having unleashed my passion for travel at every given opportunity, from backpacking as a student, to copious luxury travel fueled by a City lifestyle. However, I was not prepared for the intensity of my experience in Israel. I fell in love, in a complex, rich kind of way, the intellectual intensity of which was somehow perfectly sweetened by the joie de vivre and sensuality one finds here.
In Israel, one can’t help but be inspired by the pervading spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism, by people following their dreams rather than a nine to five. So I jumped on the band wagon and set up Pomegranate Travel – my chance to share this little known, endlessly fascinating place where sensual indulgence and intellectual stimulation come magically all wrapped up together. After some years, I found the Israel business was established, and knew the time was ripe to continue the journey as I had always intended (Pomegranates are endemic to the Middle East, not just Israel!). Jordan and Egypt border Israel, and are both highly significant in regional relations, and as treasure troves of the ancient world. Indeed, if we’re being honest, Petra, the Pyramids and the Pharaonic tombs and temples surpass any remains found in Israel.
Today I am based between London and Israel, with plenty of time in Amman and Cairo, as well as lesser known corners of Jordan and Egypt, and quite a bit of time spent in the USA, and I can honestly say I am living my dream by running Pomegranate Travel – which it turns out is much more exciting than banking!
Photo copyright – Oded Plotnizki
Hannah, You are the Goddess of Israel Travel!Deirdre J, NY
My name is Sherry Kagan Segal and I am the CEO Israel at Pomegranate Travel.
I was born and raised in the US, and moved to Israel right after college. I have been in love with the country since the first time I came here with my family as a child.
My favorite city in Israel is Tel Aviv. I think actually it might be my favorite city anywhere, because it offers a combination of so many amazing things. It has a great beach, with some of the best sunsets I have ever seen. I love walking my dog along the beach, and watching the kite surfers in the late afternoon, as the sun sets over the horizon.
I love the culinary scene in Tel Aviv. I have done countless walking tours in the Carmel shuk, Levinsky street and Neve Shaanan. Each one was a completely different experience. I have eaten in too many great restaurants to even begin to name them, but some of the best meals were ones eaten not at the fancy restaurants, but at the casual beach cafes, where I could take off my shoes and feel the sand between my toes.
And don’t get me started on the street food! Anything you can imagine in a yummy pita. Sharwma sliced and popped into a flat bread covered with tahini, veggies and pickles. Or piping hot falafel, served with spicy sauce.
But I also love the people. They are loud and boisterous and full of life. Dancing, singing, busking, walking along the promenade with their families or quietly sitting on what clearly looks like a first date.
I love all of Israel, but Tel Aviv is undoubtedly my favorite (please don’t tell Jerusalem, the Galilee, Haifa, Eilat etc.).
My name is Ryan and I am the Chief Travel Architect at Pomegranate Travel.
My name in Ryan and I am originally from South Africa. My favorite site in Egypt is Nuweibah. It is a small beach enclave about halfway between Tabah and Sharm El Sheikh. There are a few scattered resorts and beach huts there but it absolutely one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. There is a family of dolphins who live in the bay. They are not captive and they often don’t appear but once in a while they will come out and swim and play with tourists. A truly magnificent experience.
My favorite Travel destination on earth is in the mountains of Vietnam in Sapa. This is one of the most ethereal otherworldly places I have ever seen. The combination of the physical challenge of trekking through muddy foothills for days, the incredible hospitality and homesteads of the Black Hnom tripe who inhabit this area and the views that look like they were taken out of a Hollywood movie makes this one of my favorite places on earth. Experiencing this while trekking for three days with my kids aged 8, 10, and 12 was one of the most rewarding and magical travel experiences we as a family have ever experienced.
Ryan was unbelievable in looking after us before and throughout our trip. Robert S, Miami
My name is Gal and I am Pomegranate’s Director of Operations.
My name is Gal and I am originally from Israel. My favorite site in the Middle East is Mamshit (Mempsis), the ancient Roman town located in the north east Negev desert. Located at the edge of a cliff above a dry river, these remarkably preserved ruins of the small fortified Roman border town were partly reconstructed and now host periodical theme craft markets or handcraft activities. They are also perfect background scenery for one of the best and most picturesque camel ride routes in Israel.
My favorite place on earth is the Greek island of Naxos which is part of the Cycad’s island group. It is large enough not to be considered a small island, but is certainly not densely populated, and contains the best blend of nature, charm and that special Greek Island atmosphere. Non touristy villages can be accessed not too deep into the heart of the island, which differ from its sandy flat beaches being forested and mountainous. Unlike many of the larger islands which are close to the mainland, Naxos is not connected to the outside world by international flights and high rise hotels are not allowed to be built.
Gal was awesome thru our entire trip…always available to us to answer questions.Alan C, CT
My name is Anna and I am a Journey Consultant at Pomegranate Travel.
My Name is Anna and I am from Germany. The moment I came to Israel I fell in love with this country immediately, the variety and possibilities to travel in this little country are endless. You can have a delicious breakfast at the Mediterranean Sea and on the same day spend your evening with a fabulous BBQ and bonfire in the Negev desert in one of the many khans. The Negev desert is my favorite spot, the wideness of the desert and the quiet of nature are my happy place. I love to travel with our jeep and discover ancients site from the Nabateans like Shivta or Mamshit, which are breathtaking and my run away escape place from the big city lights. When I am not in the desert I love to explore Tel Aviv’s history and stroll in the Neve Zedek neighborhood, and finish the day with a delicious dinner in my favorite restaurant TYO.
So helpful, kind and extremely professional.
Allan F, Toronto
My name is Shira and I am an Operations Manager at Pomegranate Travel.
My name is Shira and I am an International Israeli. Born in the US raised during my younger years in Quito , Ecuador and living in Israel since my teens, yet I consider Israel my home. One of my favorite spots in Israel is the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea. The lowest point on Earth, this amazing blue, turquoise water looks so peaceful and yet due to high concentration of salt cannot sustain life. The contrast of the body of water and desert amaze me every time I visit. I love discovering my home Israel so small and yet so much diversity and different sites and regions to explore. My next best is the Golan Heights especially in winter when all the meadows are green and all the rivers are flowing into waterfalls. A must is the Banias Nature Reserve with Ancient Greek temple and an amazing waterfall.
Shira is unflappable and doesn’t miss a single detail. She is a true professional and a gem!. Jen P, Miami
My name is Rob and I am a Senior Journey Consultant at Pomegranate Travel.
My name is Rob Moller and I am Senior Journey Consultant for the Middle East.
I am from the UK and my favourite place in the Middle East is the city of Cairo located on the mighty Nile with its ancient Pyramids. I love to explore the Old Citadel and Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar for an insight into old Cairo, and to sit down and soak up the atmosphere in a coffee house is a must. Of course, Cairo is not complete without a trip to see the magnificent Pyramids preferably at sunrise or sunset. Along with much of the Pomegranate team I also have a soft spot for Israel having lived there for a year I have a years worth of special memories!
When it comes to my favourite place in the world outside of the Middle East, I have a soft spot for Cambodia. They say that the people always make a place and the Cambodians do. I was lucky enough to teach English in a small coastal town just as the Khmer Rouge fell. With all that happened, the Khmers have to the most resilient and hospitable people in the world. They are blessed with Angkor Wat, the Mekong River and some of South East Asias most untouched forest – making it the perfect place to explore and meet its wonderful people.
My name is Yuliya and I am an Operations Manager at Pomegranate.
My name is Yuliya and I am originally from the Ukraine. My most loved travel destination in the Middle East … is the place with the most ideal sunsets ever, where the landscape is so unusual, that you doubt you’re still actually on Earth… It’s where Walt Disney came to shoot the famous The Martian… It is of course the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan. This is where and when I fell in love with Jordan once and forever. Outside the Middle East, I love to travel Europe, especially small towns rather than capitals, places where you can feel the atmosphere, dive into local culture, and watch local life. I love Europe’s unique corners – from tiny Finnish ski resorts to luxury North Italian lake towns, to colorful Portuguese villages, romantic French Brittany in the west, to my beloved Ukraine on the East. This is what inspires me and no matter what I have been visited already, I can always find a new place on the map of Europe to be explored.
My name is Yettie and I am an Operations Manager at Pomegranate.
My name is Yettie and I am from the French part of the Alps. For me, the most attractive city in the Middle East is Jerusalem. This dynamic city mixing tradition and modernity always leaves the people I take there to visit for the first time, filled with an indefinable feeling. I love to travel and I have visited many countries in Europe, especially France where I lived all my youth. But also Alaska and the USA, Argentina, South Africa and several Asian countries. Of all the countries, visiting Vietnam was a delight for me. This country touched me with its vitality, its history, its beauty but above all the Vietnamese people and also the excellent cuisine!
My name is Sam and I am the Finance Manager at Pomegranate Travel.
My favorite experience in the Middle East was touring the ruins at Luxor, the great temples and ruins of Karnak and Luxor will bring out your Indiana Jones, and combine in a fabulous way with the beauty of the Nile to satisfy your nature spirit. While trying to think of my best travel destination I honestly could not come up with just one, though I think Thailand and Portugal would feature very highly! I have been blessed to have travelled so much that it’s just not possible for me to pick – so I guess it means that I must continue the adventure to find the best destination to blow all the others out of the water.
Samantha – we are back home now but I wanted to send you an email letting you know what a great job you and your team did while we were in Israel. Terry S, Texas
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