Four Years Abroad
Wow, here I am back at my keyboard to write in celebration of year four. I am in utter disbelief! I am feeling all the feels. I’m elated, thankful, heartbroken, joyful, overwhelmed, anxious, excited, sad, and happy all at once.
Rasmus told me he wanted to do this back in 2016, and I didn’t wholeheartedly know what I was signing up for, but I guess neither of us did. I want to thank Rasmus for being my rock through everything.
If you ever want to test your relationship, I highly recommend taking it on a trip around the world for a few years. I believe our time abroad is only further confirmation that we made the right choice in each other.
In the last twelve months, we have lived in four different countries: the USA, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand.
For anyone who thinks our life is an endless vacation, I’ve got news for you - IT’S NOT. There are so many tears, sleepless nights, and homesick moments. But at the end of the day, we are living our dream! So we won't be slowing down any time soon.
Some random photos from this year that make me smile:
Grief and the Hole in My Heart
Losing my mom in the middle of life overseas has rocked my world. Honestly, I feel like her loss has left me with a deep hole that I’ll never be able to fill. Since losing her, I’ve questioned everything. Who I am, what I’m doing, my goals, my beliefs, and most of all, my place in the world.
As we approach the nine-month mark since her death, I feel like I’m starting to get back on track. And other days, I feel like I’m lost completely. In an act of true transparency, I’ve been dealing with some debilitating anxiety.
Some photos from mom's celebration in June:
Lindley, anxious? Before her death, those two words could have never coexisted. But it’s changed me. Her loss has been crippling, and I’m currently seeking help from my doctors and support system.
I believe the hole she left speaks to her character and significance in my life and the lives of many who’ve been affected. She would have wanted me and us to be happy and go on living life to its fullest. So, I will try, mama! I know she loved the idea of New Zealand, and sometimes I think she called the stars to align on that one.
Video from Mom's Celebration of Life Ceremony:
Rasmus has been picked up for another year with the New Zealand Breakers. I think he had a knockout first season in the NBL; he took full advantage of all the opportunities he got and fought like hell to prove his worth.
From Breaker Nation News:
"Our NBL22 roster has started taking shape as today we take up our club option to retain versatile guard Rasmus Bach for a second year.
Rasmus played all 36 games during NBL21, averaging almost 16 minutes on court, and proved himself to be a clutch player in extreme pressure with memorable three-pointers in wins against the Taipans and Bullets during the NBL Cup.
“Rasmus is a five-star guy,” says Coach Shamir. “Teammates love him, coaches love him, the last season was definitely a challenge and a lot of people were tested. He was one of those guys I could always count on.”
'We expect him to grow, we expect him to develop, and the good thing about him is he’s a very low maintenance guy, so you can really plug him in a lot of different places, he will defend when he needs to defend, he’s a versatile defender, he can defend both wings and target players.'
'We don’t know exactly right now what the shape of our team will be, it’s a process, but that’s the advantage of retaining a player like Rasmus in that he’s a great fit for a lot of different situations.' "
For those who don’t know, we spent last season on the road. Due to COVID, our New Zealand team (including me) was temporarily relocated to Australia, as they compete in the Australian NBL League.
And thus, we lived in nearly every metropolitan city in Australia for a week to a few weeks. The cities included Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Hobart, and Launceston.
Quarantine and COVID Restrictions
New Zealand has had one of the most successful responses to COVID in the world, and it certainly took the strictest approach. To get into New Zealand or even out, you must have a good reason. It’s got to be work-related or essential business, and sometimes a compassionate reason can buy you exit.
Rasmus and I are looking at another two-week government-mandated quarantine at the end of the month. We spent two weeks in quarantine in Australia in January. Vaccinated or not, do not pass go, do not collect $200! You can read out my first experience here.
This time, we are quarantining together. We’ll be living in a 12x12-foot room, with a TV and three meals a day delivered. The windows didn’t open in the last hotel, and I thought I was going to die in there!
But you can’t knock the success that Australia and New Zealand have found with their method. COVID has been a minor threat since its inception, and Rasmus’s basketball games were at full capacity much of last year.
We know this next year will present significant challenges. We are not out of the woods yet with COVID, and I expect to be sent some nasty curveballs. Rasmus and I may be separated at long intervals so he can compete abroad in Australia while I stay in New Zealand.
But I feel like we can take on anything. I want to thank everyone who’s reached out to me and supported me in many ways - coffee dates, texts, emails, comments, flowers, calls, smiles, hugs, etc.
It takes a village!
The sentiment “it takes a village” has never rung so true to me. I have felt fragile in the last year and have had to ask for a lot of help. It does feel unlike me, but it does feel good to be taken care of every once in a while.
I’ve spent the last five weeks detoxing from our year abroad and the world at my parent’s property in the mountains of New Mexico. I’ve spent hours with my dad talking and drinking coffee, playing with dogs, seeing mom’s friends, and hiking. I’ve been trying to get off my screens, which turn out to be a huge source of my stress and anxiety.
I hope that wherever you are, you feel supported in your life. And also, I hope that you are taking the time you need to water your soul, nourish your mind, and move your body in a way that fills you up.
2020 and 2021 have been hard on everyone; I know I’m not alone in that. If you ever need some help or someone to talk to, I am always available.
With love and humility,