I made the decision to make aliyah and live in Israel as a teenager, before meeting my husband, after taking on, due to the influence of NCSY, the more "accepted" or "popular" mitzvot like Shabbat and kashrut. I remember how I announced it to my parents.
In a way you must feel sorry for my parents. I was a strange kid. In the mid-1960's when other kids were becoming "hippies" and discovering drugs, I was "getting high" on Torah. They couldn't imagine where they had gone wrong. I was just too different for them to accept. Nobody's kids were anything like me.
Then I made this grand announcement:
"I'm going to live in Israel."And knowing that they'd use all their intelligence and logic to try to convince me otherwise, I continued with:
"It's a mitzvah, and just like you couldn't stop me from keeping Shabbat and Kashrut, you can't stop me from making aliyah."I accepted that mitzvah, for good or for bad, and believe me it wasn't easy coming to 1970 Israel. But just like one loves one's children, no matter what, and we don't return them if "faulty," that's how living in Israel is for me.
My personal bonus is that I honestly consider my life here in the HolyLand to be wonderful. I have no compaints. I can't imagine having a better life any other place in the world.