Our transition is like… jogging

Recently nothing really surprising or funny has happened over here. However I have started to pickup something new over here: jogging. Let me tell you what I’ve learned from jogging as a way to look back on the first 5 months here.

I started jogging, I have done so now for 3 weeks. Every Sunday morning I run as soon as I wake up (twice 7.30 now and once 10.30 ;-). As I was running along the Seine river, looking back at our first period here I realized some parallels between jogging and our transition. Let me share some of them here with you.

It looks great when you plan to do it but…

Whenever I decide to go jogging I realize in advance what satisfaction it will bring after I have done it. When I start running, my body starts protesting and I think: “O no what have I started? My bed was so nice and warm etc”. However, then I think again of the satisfaction I will have when I am done, that keeps me going. The same goes for the transition. Before me moved I was in a state similar of the moment right before I start jogging. The first week I felt absolutely terrible here. I wasn’t able to speak the language, we knew no one. We didn’t know where to find what and how to get things done. Like jogging I started feeling great about the move but when we begun everything in me started protesting.

Keep going…

After my body has begun protesting, I decide to keep on going. I can still go back but I keep focusing on the fact that it will do me good when I continue. I get into some kind of running rhythm. I find a comfortable way of placing my feet and syncing my breath. My body accepts the fact that I am running. I can start enjoying my surroundings and start thinking. I start to set goals, like where I will have my first break etc. The same goes for our transition. After our first week we got a lot of things arranged, bought the necessities, I got into a normal daily rhythm etc. This is the first period of enjoying the fact of living abroad. Experiencing all the new things and the culture. It is a great period.

The first break down…

After the first long period of running I become short of breath. My body starts protesting. Looking at the scenery has starting to become “normal”. All of a sudden I realize what I am doing. That there is still a long way to go before I am back home. It is the moment where I need to have a pause. Stop running for a moment and start walking. This has been the last week and will probably be the next weeks. Everything that used to be new about living in France is now normal. I start missing the “normal” things of the Netherlands, but also friends and family. The new daily rhythm seems a lot harder than the old one. I start asking myself the why questions: why have I done this? why France? Why haven’t I taken the more easy way of staying in the Netherlands?

These questions are the same as what happens when I start to run again. After the short walking break my body starts protesting even worse than before. However knowing the satisfaction of it that awaits me when I come home I keep going. After a couple of hundred meters I start enjoying again… until the next pause.


These are just some similarities I see. Even though I know that end benefit to me as a person, as professional. There are times when this transition is hard, and they will keep coming. I just need to take the proverbial break, and then start going again. But along the way, I enjoy the run very much!