I am doing this blog for several reasons. Probably the most important is that it will be a permanent archive for our family memories and it will be enjoyed by my children and our descendants. It also is a chance for me to consider and reflect upon my life and that of my family. Time passes so quickly and the blog helps me savor my experiences and perhaps through reflection, slowing down the pace and appreciating the full range of thoughts, emotions, relationships, etc. that make us human.
Below are “official” family photos taken through the years. I’ve chosen a life abroad and a slightly nomadic lifestyle. One sacrifices stability, some material possession and roots in a place, but gains much more. In my opinion, our intercontinental journey has given us roots within our family and making many places on the planet our “home”.
Recently, I discovered my biological roots in Pennsylvania and combined with working on my doctorate at Lehigh University, have come to see the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos Mountains as one of our “homes”.
We currently live in Minoh, Japan and are taking delight in the distinctive Japanese culture. I appreciate the freedom our children have here to go on their own like I did in the 1970s. I also treasure the change of season and the outdoor beauty of Japan. Below is a picture with my sister-in-law and nephew in the snowy Hira Mountains on the shores of Lake Biwa.
We lived in Belgrade, Serbia for 6 years. Balkan culture is similar to Latino culture and we really loved our time in Eastern Europe. I felt the appeal of belonging to a tribe and understanding my ancestors, who came to America from Central and Eastern Europe several generations ago. I will never forget the warmth of the Serbs and the beauty of the Tara Mountains.
The next photo is from Urubo, a growing section of the eastern lowland city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Both sides of Nadia’s family were early settlers of Santa Cruz and we have visited the city many times over the years. The city is my Paris, the most romantic city in the world. It is where I met Nadia and so many places remind me of when we first started dating. We get much of our family practices from our time in Latin America and the influence of Nadia’s parents. Owen and Ocean were born in Santa Cruz.
I am grateful for the travel opportunities working in international education has afforded my family. One Christmas break, we visited Nadia’s sister when she was working in Bahrain. They say you can’t understand someone until you walk in their shoes, well, wearing their robes gave me a different perspective on the Arabs.
We lived for almost six years in Eastern Venezuela, working at a small oil field school. This is where all three of our children were born. It seemed Nadia was pregnant the entire time we were there! It was the perfect place to have babies because we lived on campus and had a lot of domestic support (maid, nanny, right-hand man). Oliver was born in Anaco. Venezuela will always have a special place in our hearts and I hope the Venezuelan people can overcome a really bad leaders and build a just and compassionate society.
I was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My hometown of Caspian has 900 inhabitants. The Upper Peninsula is a sparsely populated land of forests, lakes, granite and snow. I developed my love of wilderness there and my adopted parents, Charles and Yvonne gave me and my brothers a wonderful childhood. I wish they are alive to see their grandchildren and I miss them. The photo below shows all of the Kralovec men together, three generations. We had just come back from the annual Fathers’ Day breakfast at our home parish St. Cecilia’s Church in Capsian.
I will always be a Yooper and am proud to have grown up there. “Yoopers” are the residents of the Upper Peninsula (UP). Being the size of Maryland, but with only just over 300,000 people in it, the remoteness of growing up in the pre-internet/cable tv era put a distinct character to my personality.
Below is a picture of my son Oliver on the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. Lake Superior and the pine forests are in the background. The UP will always be one of my favorite places on earth. The experiences of your childhood and adolescence are very emotional and form who you are as a person.
Profile: My name is Bill Kralovec. I am 51 years old and an international school administrator. I am the Head of the Osaka International School of Osaka, Japan. I am originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA and have lived and worked in international schools for the past 26 years. My previous posts were Barranquilla, Colombia, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Perth, Western Australia, Anaco, Venezuela, and Belgrade, Serbia. My wife Nadia is originally from Melbourne, Australia. She is a dual citizen of Australia and Bolivia. We have three children, Owen (age 15), Oliver (age 13), and Ocean (age 10). We are a multinational family with citizenships from the United States, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Australia.
To contact us, you may email me at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org