Who are you?
I’m Samuel Green, born in the UK and living in Tel Aviv, Israel for the past 7 years.I’m a licensed tour guide here, I have a radio show and also work with start-ups in the local tech scene.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I initially left the UK in 2008 to join Procter & Gamble in their EMEA headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2010 the company moved me to Israel. I left P&G in 2012 but stayed over here.
What challenges did you face during the move?
In both countries the main challenges were to do with navigating local bureaucracy in the local language. In Israel there was an additional challenge of adapting to a work culture which was quite significantly different despite being part of a large multi-national that prides itself on its strong corporate culture.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Yes there are loads. There are also lots of social activities targeted at non-native Israelis in Tel Aviv.
What do you like about life where you are?
I love the culture, the food, the weather.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I don’t’ really ‘miss’ anything but the British sense of humour is much better than the Israeli! The worst thing about living in Israel is the cost of living – apartments, groceries, clothing… nearly everything is significantly more expensive than in the UK and the salaries are lower.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
People in Israel are direct and very much into your business. This can be disconcerting for a Brit and can seem rude and intrusive. Often, it is. But…it also means that they are much more likely to tell you the truth (which is actually quite useful once your ego can get over being a little bruised) and they will happily help you at any moment you need it.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
Love it. Love too much of it to list. There is an amazing food culture here – an immigrant society that’s brought great food from all over the world. Very fresh and full of flavour. Food is expensive here (everything is expensive here!) but you can eat cheaply and well without blowing out at the fancy restaurants.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Moving with a job makes life a lot easier. Make an effort to learn Hebrew – it will radically affect your experience here.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m not going anywhere – I’ve married an Israeli woman and we’ve just had an Israeli baby! I’m looking forward to building our life here and continuing to welcome tourists to what I think is the most fascinating country in the world.
You can keep up to date with Samuel's adventures on his website, My Israeli Guide.
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