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  • James Spiro

Shalom From The Other Side

Hello, old friend. It’s been a while.

Much has happened since I last touched base about our impending culture war which seems to be spearing its ugly head toward NFL Football. I have neither the knowledge nor interest to comment on such a matter, so I shall briefly explain a change that has occurred in my personal life.

After much thinking, thinking, rethinking, and finally deciding, I packed up my life in London and moved to Tel Aviv, Israel. Not to travel and not on a visa, but as a fully-fledged Israeli citizen returning home (More on this later)!

It was not an easy decision to leave the town I once called home. When I returned to London from three years in New York, it never felt like a return to home. It felt like a distraction of the development of my personal and professional life.

London has it all: a mix of people willing to embark on exciting adventures, the history that spans thousands of years, and enough culture to fill a teapot to the brim. It was difficult to realise why I did not feel entirely comfortable or satisfied there. I had grown up there, been educated, first fell in love, and became an adult, apparently?

My decision to leave London wasn’t made this Summer, but in the Winter of 2012. I remember it well: approaching my final moments studying Broadcast Journalism at the University of Bedfordshire, I decided I wanted to experience living away. In part, I wanted to live in New York, but more importantly, I wanted to live outside of England.

So, after a year of my return, I realised none of that had changed. Nothing drastic or significant happened to me to lead to this decision, but I felt I had completed my sentence in London for good many years before. I didn’t even want to return to New York, but I wanted to leave my comforts again. I wish London and the UK the best of luck, and everyone in it all the success they deserve.

Israel has all the things I want in a life and is void of all the things I despise. To list trivial examples, there is no underground system here and I can enjoy many walks along the coast. Two major pluses which increase my well-being and standard of life.

Israel also contains an incredibly special group of people who have all travelled the world and share a deep love and respect for the country they live in. That certainly can’t be said about London, either.

As a natural citizen of Israel (my father grew up there, and so I am considered Israeli), all I had to do was buy a one-way ticket. I trusted that I was doing the right thing. I quit my job in London and I jumped off the bridge into the unknown.

In the two weeks here, I have secured a wonderful job in Public Relations and managed to find a lovely home in the centre of the city. Life is good.

Certain culture shocks are not always welcomed – must Tahini be put in EVERYTHING? – but every opportunity has been taken with optimistic enthusiasm. I feel myself finally fitting on the tracks of a career path that will direct me to a professional life I will look forward to. I feel my energy and spirits rise.

I will have many ups and downs here while I acclimatise to a new country and job. I expect, between my political and cultural musings, that I will be filling you in on a few great moments.

Here’s to all the things we jump off the cliff for: and that we may all be so lucky to pursue the journeys that life presents us.

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