(slightly modified quote from a song by The Wombats... works because Tel Aviv is the New York of the middle east!)
I'm moving to Tel Aviv to be with my boyfriend, Amit. It is a big move - I'm leaving my my friends, my family, my Canberra lifestyle, my job, my apartment and everything familiar behind me.
But I'm going for some very good reasons. Probably the best reasons one can have. Love. Amit and I met in Vietnam in April 2009 (see my blog post Hoi An has swollowed me whole), and since then we have exchanged hundreds of emails and phone calls and 1000's of text messages. I went to Israel in July for two weeks. Amit came to Australia in October for three weeks. We like the same things, complement each other, want the same lifestyle, have the dreams for the future.
Frequently asked questions about my move:
Isn't it dangerous in Israel?
No, no more than most other countries in the world. Tel Aviv is particularly safe these days. Yes, Israel has a huge army, every Israeli does compulsory army service. There have been many terrorist attacks on Israeli soil. Israel is surrounded by countries that don't think they should exist. It is very complex. Tel Aviv is like a bubble though, there you feel like you are in a cosmopolitan Mediterranean city, full of life and young people and beautiful beaches.
Do people speak English there?
Yes. In Tel Aviv everyone does. Waiters will even translate menus for you if they don't have an English one handy. All Amit's friends speak fluent English. However, I do plan to learn Hebrew, as it is the national language, and it will help me get by.
Do you have to wear different clothes and cover your skin as a woman there?
No. Israel is a completely western country. People in Tel Aviv wear casual clothes, bikinis on the beach and miniskirts to nightclubs.
What will you do there?
Firstly, I'll learn Hebrew at an Ulpan. Ulpans are an immersion language school. I will go to classes for half a day four times a week, for five months!
After a few months I hope to have a visa sorted out and I'll look for work in my field of science communication. Or something like that. There are a lot of possibilities.
Where will you live?
With Amit, it central Tel Aviv.
Won't you miss Australia?
Of course. I'll miss my family and friends. But right now I'm so excited about my big adventure, about being with Amit, living in the middle east in a vibrant city on the sea.
Do you have a question for me? I'll answer it on here if you send it through. Right now I'm getting back to packing, tidying, chucking out stuff, and packing some more.