Going to live in a new country can be a daunting feat, especially when you are not familiar with that country’s customs, language, and way of life. And because of that, there will be things that you won’t prepare to bring with you because you won’t even fathom that you would need them.
If you’re planning on moving to Israel, here is my list of things that I think you should prepare to bring with you. Some might be quite obvious (such as bringing an adapter or travel documents), but others may not be.
*Please note that these are the things I’ve realized are necessary based on my living in Haifa, Israel. There are other parts of Israel that may be different, but I am unable to speak for those parts as I have not yet experienced them or lived there.
Not much more that I can say other than: if you have electronics that have a different voltage and have a different outlet, make sure to grab an adapter and converter before coming to Israel! To note: they can also be found in Israel if you do not have enough room to bring them with you or just wish that you want to buy them here.
* * *
Yes, there is medicine in Israel. Yes, there are doctors. BUT you may already know that there is a certain kind of medicine that works best for you from back home and there is a big chance that Israel will not have it. For example, I have yet to see Tylenol Night and Day pills or Gravol in Israel even though they are very common in Canada. If you have a specific medicine that is prescribed from your doctor back home, I would bring 3-5 months worth of it with you (ideally 5 months if possible). That way, you will have enough time to settle in and find a doctor that can give you a similar prescription before your medicine runs out. Bring the information about your prescription with you so that your new doctor may prescribe you the same medicine (even if their brand names are different, they will still have the same contents).
* * *
3. Travel documents
The border control is pretty strict, and for valid reasons. But although they are strict, they seem to be quite fair in the way they treat others. I never feel as though I am being “randomly” searched or “randomly” questioned, because I know that every single individual is searched and questioned. In order that your flight and travels to and from Israel can be much smoother, always have with you all necessary travel documentations (such as your itinerary, boarding passes, etc). That way, when border control wants to know the reason for you entering or exiting the country, you can show them.
* * *
4. Water Bottle
Before arriving in Israel, buy a water bottle that keeps water cold for 24 hours (e.g., a swell bottle). Mainly for two reasons. The first, being the obvious one, is that you want to remain hydrated at all times. The second is because Israeli heat
makes you want to peel your skin off is intense, so having a water bottle that keeps your water cold for 24 hours is one hell of a life saver. Believe me, when it’s 30+ degrees Celsius outside with 90% humidity, you’d rather have cold water to drink than hot water.
* * *
5. Bring notebooks
I love jotting down notes, writing stories, and coming up with blog ideas in journals. So one of the first things that I noticed when coming to Israel is that their notebooks open from right to left – this being the case because that is the direction in which Hebrew is written. As I am from Canada and write English, our notebooks open from left to right. Because Israeli notebooks open from right to left, I feel odd using them since it feels like I am starting at the end of the notebook instead of the beginning – and hence, I don’t buy notebooks (but I do stock up when I go back to Canada).
As an aside, you can order notebooks off of Book Depository (free shipping) – they don’t have a huge range, but it’s better than nothing. They can also fulfill all of your dreams of reading as many books as you want in Israel. As well, you can get notebooks from IKEA in Israel as well and they open from left to right (again, not a huge selection).
* * *
6. Rainboots are a must during winter (i.e., December/January)
The rain here gets intense. One second you’ll think there are no clouds in the sky and the next there’s thunder, lightning, and so much rain you might as well take out your shampoo and wash your hair outside. Interestingly, Haifa is not well developed when it comes to their drainage systems – so the rain here causes the roads to be flooded with water. And boy oh boy, believe me when I say that your shoes will become soaked through-and-through. I don’t know if this is the case for other cities in Israel, but it’s best to be safe than wet and sorry.
* * *
7. External battery/charger
I would highly recommend an external battery or charger. This may sound a bit extreme, but during my stay so far in Israel I have encountered one air-raid siren. When this siren goes off, you need to go to a safe place (such as a bomb shelter). I was only in the bomb shelter for a little under 1 hour, but my phone was at 50% and I realized how it would have been smart to bring an external battery or charger with myself. That way, if I had to be in the shelter for a long time I would still have had access to my phone and been able to communicate with others or keep up-to-date with the news.
For those of you living in a foreign country, was there something that you realized you should have brought with you after living there for a while?