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Roy, Israel

I was born and raised in Jerusalem. I lived there until I was twelve years old, after which we moved to Modi'in. Before I could start my studies, I unfortunately had to do military service for four years from the age of 18. After a gap year to travel, I went to university when I was 23 years old. That age is quite normal in Israel.

During my gap year I went to New Zealand first and later also to China and Europe. That was good for me. I met many people, including Dutch ones. It was during this period that I developed an urge to live another life, to live in a different place. I wanted to move to a country where there would be relatively more peace and tolerance, and where public life is more pleasant.

I had that feeling again when I went traveling after finishing my bachelor degree, this time through South America. After completing my master’s degree and working for a couple of years as a corporate psychologist in Tel Aviv, I decided to move to Leiden to do a second master's degree at the university here. This time in clinical psychology. That turned out to be a good choice. I wanted to focus less on processes and more on people.

I have lived here for almost seven years now and I work in two practices, one of which is my own. I offer therapy in English, Dutch and Hebrew. During the pandemic the work increased. Many clients suffer from social anxiety, depression and mood complaints. That is understandable. For some people, Corona magnified conditions that already existed.

My main hobby is dancing. I do Lindy Hop, an American dance style from the 1930s and 40s. I go to The Hague for lessons every week, where I am a member of the 'Hague Hoppers'. In addition, there is always a dance party somewhere – at our club or in the other major cities. You will be amazed by the amount of people that practice this dance style. It's a close-knit community.

During the pandemic there were sometimes no dance classes. Later there were lessons, but only with a fixed partner. That while changing partners is at the core of Lindy Hop dancing. Now it's all possible again, luckily. I'm glad about that, because this hobby is everything to me.


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