Experiencing it Firsthand
The purpose and focus of an Ancient Paths Adventure is to give you a deeply experiential study tour to the land of Israel and Jordan that is intricately planned and all-inclusive in its needs for the ease and worry free adventure of a lifetime. While some destinations we will visit on this tour are popular tourist attractions, many are well off the beaten path and each site has been carefully selected because of its ability to transport the student into the text of the Bible. Our intention is that after visiting each sight you will be better versed in the history, geography, and biblical significance of the location. Each stop we make is designed to bring Scripture to life in a way that it enriches and impacts the way you read it. After all, it’s been said that there are 5 gospels—Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, and the land of Israel.
We believe the best way to create a personal and meaningful memory is by engaging all five of the senses. Each site we visit on these study tours is full of opportunities to see, hear, touch, smell—and yes, sometimes even taste—the same things as David, Jesus, and others from the Bible. Biblical knowledge combined with the testimony of the Spirit and the first hand experience of a Ancient Paths Adventure will truly transform your view of the people, places, and events of the Bible.
Meals & Gratuities
This study tour has been built so that you have everything you need for an enjoyable and educational trip. We want you to be fully focused on the lessons and experiences you will encounter, and not be distracted by local tipping practices, transportation or wondering where you are going to eat that night.
On a typical vacation, a specific budget is set aside for food, tips, fuel, etc. On an Ancient Paths Adventure, not only do we plan when and where we will eat, but we have also included the cost of all meals and tips into the cost of your trip. Once again, this releases you from having to spend time and energy trying to find a reputable, healthy restaurant or vendor, and instead frees you up to fully engage with your surroundings and the other people on your trip.
Travel Gear & Study Materials
Included in your trip will be a backpack for water and to carry your daily needs while hiking, pre-trip curriculum to prepare mentally, a journal and a hardback bible. Daily you will be filling every page in your journal as you capture and record what you see and learn, and you will be dependent on your backpack throughout the trip to stay hydrated, keep your hands free and your belongings secure.
Lodging & Transportation
While the walking, hiking, and sight-seeing receive the most attention, the transportation to and from the various sites, and the lodging arrangements in between days are just as important, and even vital to the success and enjoyment of a visit to the Holy Land. The charter buses you will be in are spacious, comfortable, and a welcome respite from being on your feet, and the lodging will be more than adequate to provide you the rest you need to be ready for the next day of your adventure.
When we say you will be immersed in the land of the Bible, we are not simply referencing walking the land and hearing the Word. We are talking about gaining a deep understanding and appreciation of the Bible through study and first hand experience.
The context and knowledge you will gain from the pre-trip curriculum will set you up to get the most out of your study tour. After learning about the places and events in the Bible, you will be surprised by how amazing it will be to experience those things first hand, up close and personal.
Ancient Paths Adventures Upcoming Study Tours
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Video Testimonies from Alumni
Written Testimonies from Alumni
“The first two weeks of November 2014 were simply awesome!!! Why? This is when my husband Guy and I were part of a small, intimate study tour to Israel and Jordan. We have Ancient Paths Adventures’ Brandon Hammonds to thank for guiding us, sharing his vast knowledge of the Bible and its history, yet always revealing keen insights, and asking us many thought provoking questions to ponder. To say Brandon made the Bible come alive and somehow “more real” may be cliché, but this was the reality for Guy and me. From the first day to the last, Brandon lead our group to explore, experience, and be energized in walking the “Ancient Paths” that we had only read about in the Old Testament. To be where Christ had been, had prayed, had taught, and became our Savior brought us an immeasurable closeness to the Lord, and heightened awareness of who He truly was and is. Brandon’s demeanor and candor is what truly opened up the Bible. Guy and I look forward to having a future opportunity to travel these ancient lands with Brandon, but until then we will encourage others to experience Israel, Jordan, plus other ancient paths, with Brandon.”
— Guy and Ginger Kirk – 2014 Trip Alumni
“Going on an Ancient Paths Adventure to Israel has given me the ability to encounter the Word of God not only with my intellect but through smelling, tasting, seeing and walking in the very same places the stories of the Bible took place. The Word now comes to life in a much more personal way when I read the verses. We visited so many sites daily and were able to see so much of Israel. I have now seen and experienced the entire expanse of Israel – from the north to the south and from the east to the west and Ancient Paths Adventures made this happen. The way we were welcomed and provided for made me feel like family while there.”
— Nate Alongi – Trip Alumni
“Going on an Ancient Paths Adventure with Brandon was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I saw the Bible become more than just words on a page. More than just some vauge image I had in my head. To see the reality of what was going on around people in the Bible, the things they were seeing and do the things they did, made me really see how real it all actually is. The things we read about in the Bible aren’t just stories made up by people, they really happened, and they had an impact on the world that is still being felt to this day. Even more than this though, I came to see how much stock we put in places and things, and how much it doesn’t really matter, compared to our relationship with God. It’s all about the heart, because that is what He is after. We are called to be with Him, that is what He wants most, and everything else takes second place. Some people would call this trip lifechanging, but I would call it soulchanging. It definitely won’t leave you the way you came. I know I will never be the same as before I went, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you get the chance to go, GO! It will change your perspective, and that will change everything.”
— Marta Stutzman – 2013 Trip Alumni
“An Ancient Paths Adventure through the Holy Land with Brandon Hammonds was for me, personally, the trip of a lifetime. I know that years, and even decades from now I will look back on those 13 days as a key marker for my life in the Word of God. The Bible became so real as I walked through the Wilderness, and as I dipped my toes in the Sea of Galilee. The fruit of my life in the Bible after this trip is clear to see. As I read certain passages that once didn’t stand out in any way, I am now brought to tears. The trip was a big sacrifice financially, but it was worth every penny and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Practically speaking, the trip was so well organised and we packed so much in. Brandon taught us so much, but more than that, he provoked us to search out the Scriptures for ourselves instead of wanting a quick drive-thru answer. The Word of God really is living and powerful, and I am realising more and more that His words are sweeter than honey to my mouth. In a nutshell: go to Israel. GO!”
— George Lightwood – 2013 Trip Alumni
“The tour of Israel I went on led by Brandon Hammonds was an amazing experience. The way I read the Bible now is so different. The stories in the Scripture have become so much more real. Going to the actual places of Biblical events, getting a visual for much of the imagery used in the Bible, and even experiencing those places with all my senses has caused the Bible to come alive in a whole new way. It wasn’t just a dull sight seeing tour, but it was very provoking to love Jesus, His Word, and people more. Everywhere we went Brandon had practical life lessons that touched our hearts. I was also able to connect with everyone who went on the trip and made lifelong friendships. In so many ways going to Israel with Brandon was life changing.”
— Colin Dwyer – 2013 Trip Alumni
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Safe to Travel to Israel?
This is inevitably one of the first questions that will be asked. If there were not an enormously high degree of safety, I would not lead any trips to Israel. I would not want to shoulder that kind of weight. Although it is impossible to promise 100% safety, travel in Israel is very safe. We will always be traveling with an Israeli guide who will serve as my assistant. He will always be aware of what is going on in the country. If there is even a hint of potential danger, we will simply avoid the area. We will not take chances! Overall, the likelihood of any kind of danger is very, very slim. In fact, everyone who returns from these trips remarks, “I never once felt unsafe.”
What does a typical day look like?
A normal day begins with a wake up call at 6:00 a.m., breakfast at 6:30, devotions at 7:00 and by 7:10 we are on our way! In order to accomplish what God sets out for us to experience, the majority of our days involve moderate to strenuous hiking. We travel to our various sites by bus where our hikes will begin. It is during these hikes and at these sites where God’s word is studied in its historical, cultural, geographical, and Jewish contexts. Lunch tends to fall between 1:00-2:00pm, and will be served on location. Since lunch can come late in the day, it is highly recommended that you carry snacks with you. Eating small snacks throughout the day is best for keeping energy stored up in the body. It is recommended that snacks (without chocolate – it melts) like trail mix, granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, or protein/energy bars be purchased and taken with you on the trip. At the end of the day, we will arrive at our hotel between 6PM and 8PM for a wonderful dinner and welcomed sleep. We will stay at hotels with wonderful breakfast and dinner buffets and very comfortable rooms. At the end of a long day, I want you to have a great meal, a soothing shower, and a much-needed night of rest. You will need to be able to regroup because we are going to do it all over again the next day. Generally speaking, you should be able to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night if you desire.
Do I need to train physically for the trip?
Yes. As you get ready for the trip, please understand there is no level ground in Israel, and you should prepare for 4 to 7 miles of moderate to strenuous hiking/climbing/walking each day of the trip. Physical training (long before our departure) is a must for this trip.I can’t emphasize this enough. The first thing that goes when you become physically tired is your mind. The more physically prepared you are, the better your mind will be. The trip will be more meaningful, educational and fun if you prepare in advance for the activity level you will experience. I highly recommend physical training that includes cardio and strength training. Stair climbing (actual stairs or machine), lunges, bike riding, running, and long walks are all very good. I realize this information on the physical demands may be intimidating for some of you. Please don’t be overwhelmed by this. Yes, the days are difficult, we will work together and we will all get through it. The point is not the destination, but the journey. So get in the best shape as you can, and then let the group carry you along.
You should consult your physician concerning these requirements and any medications or conditions which may have an impact on your ability to participate fully. Prescription drugs you anticipate using during the trip should be packed both in your suitcase and your carry-on. We suggest you bring along a written prescription as well, it can be filled if needed. Please contact your health provider to check your coverage when traveling outside the United States. Traveling to the lands of the Bible requires no immunizations though you’ll want to be sure your tetanus shot is current.
How long can I wait to register?
You can wait as long as you like but trips can fill up quickly. It is encouraged to lock in your spot by registering as soon as possible. You will also miss out on the $100 discount if you wait too long.