Israel as a westerner

I don’t usually blog about my travels, but i’m just coming to the end of a 4 day work trip to Tel Aviv and felt compelled to share my thoughts and experiences.

When I got the invitation in my inbox a few weeks ago, inviting me to Israel to speak at a conference and meet a number of customers, I was a little apprehensive. Why wouldn’t I be? As a westerner, the only things I see and hear about Israel in the media is around the troubles in Gaza or the rocket attacks near the Syrian border. After some carefully worded probing, my host in Tel Aviv assured me that it was safe where I would be visiting and I had nothing to worry about. Fears placated I booked the trip.

I’m so glad I did. Whilst, my free time in the city has been limited, I have managed to find time to explore and I really had nothing to worry about. Sure, the city has issues with crime and terrorism. In fact, it turns out there was a terrorist shooting on Weds night whilst I was in the city (I only found out about this on the news two days later). However, is that any different from any other major city? I visit London far more often and look at the problems there. At no point did I feel unsafe during my trip. I both ran and walked at various times of day to a number of place across the city. The vibe of the city is awesome. Constant throng of peopleĀ  and music. An overall great atmosphere. It has a real mediterranean feel about the place. The history, especially around the old town of Jaffa is amazing, with its small, cobbled alleyways and streets.

A nice shot from Jaffa looking back over Tel Aviv.

Everyone I met made me feel extremely welcome and my host couldn’t have looked after me better.

I just goes to show that you shouldn’t just rely on what you read and see in the media.

I really hope this won’t be my last trip to Tel Aviv as I look forward to coming back to this wonderful city.

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