Monday, October 14, 2013

The Zagreb Marathon and Family

As the countdown began I got a little emotional...osam, sedam... Here I am, one of  thousands of runners listening to the countdown in Croatian. tri...dva...jedan... Then Olympic gold medalist Sandra Perković shot the pistol. We slowly walked forward, then began to jog, walked, jogged, and then...freedom. I was off!

But where in the world was I?  The last time I was running in an individual effort to achieve a certain time was 12 years ago as a U.S. Marine qualifying for my PFT in South Carolina. Now, here I am, on my way towards a lifelong goal of running a marathon, but fully settled down in a foreign country. And now there are five more Bohalls - all of who came to Zagreb with me to support me as I ran the half-marathon.

That's when it hit me. Living in a foreign country would be much more difficult if it weren't for my family. Obviously, most credit goes to my wife whose help has been invaluable. She has done her best to help me flourish in Croatia - yesterday being a perfect example of her support.

There have been times I've thought twice about including my family on this blog as much as I do. But they are a major part of why I keep this blog going. My family has done more to cure the symptoms of culture shock than anything else. 

I have one piece of advice for anyone hoping to live in a foreign country: Make sure you have a support team. It's virtually impossible to know what life is going to be like when you get there. But if you're with someone with whom you share mutual support, adjustment will be infinitely easier. There's no more important way to blunt the effects of culture shock than having someone to share your experience with. 

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Love hearing about your thankfulness for your family! The facial hair looks good on you too! :)