Orkin spent five months in Europe traveling through Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne, Paris and London, spending about 3 weeks in each city. Orkin says in her book A Photo Journal, “I saw Rome from the back of a motor scooter; Lucerne from a bike; Paris from a Renault; and London from tour buses. But mostly I walked. Seeing Israel and Europe was one of the richest experiences of my life. I only regret that I haven’t been back since.”
In the beginning of 1951 Life assigned Orkin to travel with the Israeli Philharmonic during its first American tour. Leonard Bernstein and Serge Koussevitzky were the conductors. In May of that year Orkin went on the first El Al press junket from New York to Israel. She ended up staying in Israel for two and a half months. She took enough photographs for a book of the people of Israel, and also lived on a kibbutz doing a picture story about a little girl named Tirza.