It’s been a while and I am overdue for an update. I find it’s easy to write when life is going well, but when it is not quite matching my expectations the motivation plummets and negativity seems to seep into my writing. Don’t worry I think I’ve managed to find a good balance here, so continue reading…
Before venturing on my trip I was warned about this period athletes face at the almost halfway mark in the season. Once the busyness of settling in subsides, there is suddenly time to miss things from back home. Some of the fresh athletes are able to make it through unscathed – for others it is too much.
Now if there is anything I have learned from being a traveling baby is that you don’t have to be okay with being displaced, but you will learn to appreciate the moments when you are settled.
The initial adjustment of moving to Spain was smooth (I can thank my preparation in the months’ prior) and up until now I believed I was the exception, that all my life experiences had contributed to this moment and I would not be affected by the struggle of living away from home.
Essentially my childhood can be summed up in two words: constant movement. As a family we moved several times across Australia from Newcastle to Darwin – Sydney to Brisbane and later, in and out of South-East Asia. I guess you can say we were quite cultured children.
To this day my family set up is quite unique. As some may know my parents relocated to South-East Asia in 2014 – dad continuing his work abroad and Mum taking her never ending studies with her. My sister is currently balancing her internships/ jobs with studies in Australia. And my fur baby (Lulu) is living between my sister and her adoptive mother Trudy. My opportunity has taken me across Europe, residing most of the time in Spain. Somewhere in the world I will bump into a family member!
Despite my circumstances and previous life experiences I have recently come to terms that I am like any other 21 year old – who are in my position – and I am no more equipped to deal with challenges of living in a foreign country. And it is likely to be an ongoing learning experience.
I have been given many words of advice (which I am always open to hearing) on how to make it through the season. Some opt for the treat the year like a training camp by breaking the season into manageable pieces with others choosing to set up their new residence like home, replicating a familiar lifestyle – is anyone aware of any more options!?
I went for the latter option, because I personally don’t want to feel like I am on an Italian team training camp for eight-months.
Regardless of which option is chosen living in an unfamiliar environment provides opportunities to break out of comfortable routines, sometimes whether you want to or not.
Recently I was pushed to unlock a new level of independence by taking a 4-day holiday to the coast – alone. I figured it was well deserved to have some down time after surviving racing in China, and I needed a bit of a morale booster.
At first it was a little uncomfortable, but early in the week I made the decision that I would not get caught up in little side comments people would make and I would embrace my exciting new adventure. I refused to let my superficial worries hold me back and once I did let go – I found I was having so much fun.
Living abroad pushes you further into the unknown – into unfamiliar environments, new social groups and I don’t want to get all the-universe-helped-me-find-myself but you do learn a lot about yourself. You can either be intimidated by this or use this as a platform of opportunities to embrace.
Even though I have found myself in a bit of a rough patch, I will continue to take hold of my opportunity with both hands and expect the challenges of living abroad (and push them just a bit!).