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Overseas Basketball Day 1

It’s been a little over a week since I made my intro post welcoming people to my blog. The responses have been very positive, and a lot of people have reached out and shown a lot of excitement for this! Since then I have made my trip from Cincinnati to Tbilisi, Georgia with a few flights throughout Europe in between. For my first official blog post I wanted to talk about what has been going on with me during my first week overseas.

My first flight took me to Iceland where I had a 19-hour layover! It was by far the longest layover I have ever had. I got there around 11 AM and didn’t have to leave till the next morning at 6 AM so I decided to make a day trip out of it. I checked into my hotel and took a shuttle to the city of Reykjavik. My first impression was that it was a very beautiful city! On my way to the city I walked past the famous church, Hallgrímskirkja which is the largest church in Iceland and is 244 feet high. You could do a tour and take an elevator to the top, but I decided to just keep walking around the city. As I walked around there were a lot of stores where you could buy clothes and also many different food spots.

I decided while I was there I wanted to try a traditional Icelandic meal and stopped at a restaurant and got a dish called Iceland’s Traditional Plockkfiskur (which is haddock and cod mixed with potatoes, onions, spices and herbs in a casserole, topped with Bernaise Sauce and served with sweet potatoes, broccoli, Icelandic sweet bread, basmati rice and in-house sauce.) It was pretty good and actually very filling! I’m glad I decided to try something different and get a traditional dish while I was there. I toured more of the city, took many pictures and overall enjoyed my small trip to Iceland and hope I can go back again one day and see more.

After a few more flights I made it to Tbilisi and was greeted by the team managers who then took me to my apartment. The apartment is very nice, and I was grateful that I was taken care of. They took me to the store and helped me get some stuff to get settled in and then I had some down time before our first practice. Because of the all the different time zones I had been in from flights my sleep schedule was very messed up. Tbilisi is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Time so that has been an adjustment, not only for my sleep schedule but for communicating with people back home. Although it has been tough I still make it work!

We have a driver that takes us to and from the gym which is about 10 minutes away from my apartment and it was nice to see the area I’m living around and what else is in the city. The first practice was good, and it felt good to be competing in a team setting again! The Georgians were very friendly and the owner and coach all made sure that we were good and wanted to make sure they could do anything that would help our transition be as smooth as possible. It is a little difficult to understand them and they speak ok English, some better than others. A lot of times the coach will have the captain of the team translate what he is saying to us. The first couple practices have been good, and we should have a really good team and season this year!

Next to our apartment we have a mall and a couple of grocery stores and shops. It has been a little difficult to communicate with people sometimes, so Google Translator has been very helpful, but we have been able to figure out a few of the basic things to eat and how to get around.

We had an off day on Sunday so Saturday night we decided to go out and explore the downtown city which is about 15 minutes from where we live at. Traveling and getting taxi’s is very cheap here and you can catch a taxi almost anywhere. The downtown area was very nice! We met up with some other Americans that played on a different team and went to a spot called Fabrika Tbilisi which is set in a former sewing factory but now has a lot of shops, places to eat, lounges/clubs and has a nice vibe. We stayed there for a little bit and then went to Shardeni Street which was more clubs and restaurants. Shardeni Street had very nice scenery around it as you can see in the picture below and I look forward to exploring more of the city again.

Playing overseas you have a lot of free time. You might only have basketball activities for 4-5 hours a day, so you have a lot of time to yourself. There is a lot of time to read, watch Netflix, play video games, explore, or catch up on sleep. I look forward to not having to worry about school and classes for the first time in a long time and being able to just have basketball to worry about and nothing else to focus on. I also look forward to being productive with the free time I have by working a lot on this blog as well as personal development by reading and continuing to learn on my own.

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned more about what I am doing now that I am overseas!

Next week I'm going to talk about 7 Tips to Accomplish Your Goals so make sure you come back and check it out!