I procrastinate when it comes to packing every season. It's no surprise that this year wouldn't be any exception! It's quite difficult to pack my whole life in two bags under twenty three kilos! After getting to the airport and checking my bags just in time, I hopped on my flight. Ten hours later, I landed in Italy. It's my fourth season living overseas with my husband, and this time, we're in Venice! My life as a wife of a professional basketball player and living abroad has been quite the journey, and every year I learn something new. I've previously posted Overseas Basketball Wife 101 and Overseas Basketball Wife 102 from my first two seasons, so this is all about all I learned in my third season. Just like you level up from introductory courses in college, I leveled up in this WAG lifestyle. So let's begin!
1. Explore Your Passions and Build Your Brand
In OBW 101 and 102, I mentioned how important it was to make good use of my time and find activities I enjoy doing. Now, it's time to take that a step further and build my brand/business plan. If you are a full time mom overseas, I understand your hands are already full. But if you do have the time, take advantage of the opportunity to explore your passions and skills that can blossom into business. Even if you don't want to start a business, you can research the skills/education you need to transition into the career field of your choice. While I was in the states during the summer, I attended a few influencer/blogger networking events, worked with some great brands, and got some work experience in social media managing. Don't worry so much about the pressure from other people who expect you to have your life all figured out.
2. Gucci Bags are Nice; So are Stacked Savings Accounts
I feel there is a lot of social pressure when it comes to the term "professional athlete." You are expected to make a certain amount of money, wear certain brands of clothing, drive a certain car, and live a certain lifestyle. Everybody does not sign the same contract! I'm not against having nice things AT ALL, but it's so important to manage your money wisely! Do you have an accountant or financial advisor? Did you know you still have to file taxes in America even though you make money in another country? What will your finances be like five years from now? You might be able to afford a Burberry bag now, but will that apply five to ten years from now? My husband and I closed on our first home last summer in part due to money management. So, these are all important things to consider as a wag of a overseas basketball player. Just think "lavish longevity."
4. Injuries Can Happen Anytime
Everything is all good, until that sprain or that broken bone. It can happen in the heat of a game or running a play in practice. Some require a couple of weeks of rest while others require surgery and several months of recovery. This highlights my previous point about saving your money because an injury can prevent your significant other from signing to another team. It can also lead to signing a contract for a lower amount of money. On top of that, the quality of healthcare and treatments vary from team to team. You can only hope for the best and be as supportive as possible! I applaud, respect and admire my husband and his ability to bounce back from any injury he's had. That man is TOUGH!
3. Starting a Family Will Be a Journey
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me about a baby!! I think any newlywed can attest to the questioning and pressure to start a family after marriage. My husband and I definitely want to grow our family, in due time. I'm not sure whether or not I would want to have a baby in America or overseas, but I've had many friends that have given birth to healthy babies while living abroad. I've gone to doctor visits in Turkey and Greece and had positive experiences both times, so we will cross that bridge when we get there. When the time comes, I will be happy to share that journey on my blog!
6. Travel Outside of Your City
This past season, we lived in Thessaloniki, Greece at the beginning of the season. I took advantage of this and raveled to Athens, Greece with some friends to visit the Acropolis and taste lots of authentic Greek cuisine. We also lived in Pistoia, Italy the latter part of the season, so we traveled to Florence and Pisa. Sometimes you just have to jump on a quick flight or take a drive and explore the country you're in! Or if you've kept in touch with other WAGs, visit them throughout the season. For most countries in the European Union, it's much easier to travel from city to city or country to country without the hassle of customs or border control. For Turkey, well, that's a whole different story.
7. Hey Girlfriend!
I used to be apprehensive about making new friends. Now, I anticipate making genuine connections and friendships with other women. I always ask my husband which teammates have wives or girlfriends that will stay or visit because I'm already looking up places to visit and restaurants to try. I really love to eat by the way. This past season, I met some amazing and beautiful ladies! We really had the opportunity to support, encourage and inspire each other. In a perfect world, we would all be on the same team again this season. Our group would be called the Keeper of Rings! Haha ;)
BONUS: EMBRACE YOUR JOURNEY
I remember feeling insecure because I felt a little lost in my role as a wife and living so far away from my friends and family. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn't getting a promotion or working on a master's degree. As a matter of fact, I wasn't working at all! But that's the thing about purpose. It's not tied to any situation, job, city or country. Your purpose can change and evolve just as you allow yourself to do the same. Your experiences are special. The good, the awkward, the uncertain, the difficult...all of them are unique to YOUR life. Focus on self-love and being your best [authentic] self. The rest will work itself out!
After one week here in Italy, I'm adjusting pretty well. I've already got my gym membership, but there's still lots of exploring that I really want to do! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for vlogs about my life overseas and other great content to come! Leave a heart or comment to let me know what you think!