11 Questions for an Expat in Jamaica – Neta Galeen-Malcolm from Israel

Expat in Jamaica – Neta Galeen-Malcolm from Israel- Israeli in Jamaica
Neta Galeen-Malcolm from Israel has lived in Jamaica for 4 years and is an operations manager for a Jamaican company.  She has a vlog about living in Jamaica.  Neta tells us about her experience as an Expat in Jamaica, including advice to others who may consider moving to the island. What are her likes and dislikes about Jamaica? Find out in our conversation with Neta.

Where are you from originally?
I was born & raised in Israel in the middle east.

How long you have lived in Jamaica and what do you do?
I relocate to Jamaica almost 4 years ago and I am an Operations Manager for a company in Jamaica and also have a travel vlog about Jamaica called ‘Why Jamaica’.

Why did you end up living in Jamaica?
I relocate to Jamaica after several long trips to the island, what made me move was the culture and the music. My story with Jamaica start when I was 15 and heard about this amazing island for the first from a friend who relocate here with her family for her parent’s work opportunity.

Since my first visit here I knew would like to live here, but it took me some time and planning to make the move I did 4 years ago.

What do you like the most about Jamaica?
The culture and music, the raw and real reality, The creativity & confidence of the people.
It often says ‘Jamaica is not a real place’, and I totally agree, the amount of talent on this land is just incredible and it’s defiantly something that represents what is Jamaica for me.

What do you like the least about Jamaica?
The inequality and injustice between different classes in Jamaica. The power of Jamaica really stands because of many entrepreneurs, hustlers, surviving people who have big ambitions but not even a bit of help from their government, or even the opposite. Jamaica is often seeing as this beautiful paradise by visitors, but really for locals, living can be very hard and hopeless sometimes. There should be more opportunities for young people, more help, and taking responsibility…

Expat in Jamaica – Neta Galeen-Malcolm from Israel- Israeli in Jamaica 2

What are your funniest experiences in Jamaica?
Funny experience I had in Portland, I went with a friend to do the Rio Grande rafting, we arrive at the area pretty late and it was almost getting really dark. We end up going anyway, the raft took us to the other side of this wide river and the rafter invited us to climb up to start the tour…

We hiked for a bit until but it started getting dark, so we decided to turn back, and as we did that it started raining, and if you know Portland that when it rains – it pours.. so we end up trying to make our fastest way back, and we had to walk thru banana plantation that was full of mud… it felt like a movie but was really funny. We reach safe to our raft and sail back to the other side… now that was an experience.

What was the biggest adjustment you had to make living in Jamaica?
Coming from Israel there is a pretty big difference between the lifestyle, but the Jamaican and Israeli people are actually pretty similar in some ways… Both nations have this expressive happy and welcoming culture, hot temper, and gangster attitude.

So, for me, the real adjustment was mainly in getting used to the distance between Israel to Jamaica and not seeing my family & friends often.

Your favorite Jamaican food is…
I love Jamaican breakfast, ackee, callaloo, boiled food… I Love the blue mountain coffee, Jerk chicken, and basically most of the local dishes that are vegetarian…

For meat & seafood lovers this place is a real haven, I personally don’t eat these…

And I also think Jamaica snacks and biscuits are great, I love them as well.

Your favorite Jamaican attraction is…
There are many places that I love visiting in Jamaica, no necessary attraction but just authentic local places. Mainly I love the Portland area for just relaxing beautiful nature vibes, Kingston for party and nightlife, and Treasure Beach for a chill on the beach…

Jamaica is just beautiful so it is hard to choose one place – but I recently visit Treasure beach and I truly think pelican bar is an amazing spot, also I think that Portland is full of rivers and beaches that will blow your mind away!

Expat in Jamaica – Neta Galeen-Malcolm from Israel- Israeli in Jamaica 1

What is the thing you miss the most when you leave Jamaica?
Well of course the food, especially if you are away on pear season… but for sure also the unique vibes of Jamaica, the free and relaxed feeling, the tropic weather, and the nightlife…

What advice would you offer to an expat moving to Jamaica?
Travel to Jamaica for a long period of time, at least 1 month to do the necessary research and preparation before you move to Jamaica. Try to make an arrangement before you actually move and most important finalize your employment or income before you move, even though things can always change it is super important because Jamaica is not an easy country to live in, it’s very expensive. And employment for foreigners can be changing as you have to prove that you are able to do a job that locals cant…

Make your plan, get the information you need, save money and try to come prepared as you can. Jamaica can be super stressful if you don’t have any stable income.

Any closing thoughts?
Thank you for the opportunity and the interview. Make sure that you follow my Jamaica Travel guide for more content bout traveling and living on the island. You can find me on YouTube WHY JAMAICA or Instagram WHY_JAMAICA and also my blog website.

Follow Neta Galeen-Malcolm & WHY JAMAICA

About the author

Xavier Murphy