Preparation & return to Brussels

Over a year ago

It’s been over a year ago that I returned from my journey around the world. In fact, I totally forgot the anniversary. Which is a good sign, I guess. The fact that I was just back in Melbourne, half way around the globe again, probably helped, and I forgot it. When I came back in March 2015, […]

Half a year

I just realized that I am back for half a year now – a kind of a landmark. And I completely missed it. Maybe it’s a good sign. Or maybe I was too pre-occupied with the two-year landmark: it’s been two whole years that I left on this trip. I really can’t believe it. Every […]

The things I have learned

What have you learned….? In Santiago? In Melbourne? in Mexico? All over your trip…? It is one of these questions people will undoubtedly ask at one point when talking about my trip around the world. I can’t really tell (yet) for sure – some things I realised early on, some are evident, some only materialize […]

Adulthood

I have a feeling like I’m growing up again, just faster. If the sabbatical and the trip around the world was like a huge time out to live as a kid, carefree, doing what I wanted, whenever and wherever I wanted, then coming back feels like a fast track to responsible adulthood. I always thought […]

The boy with the red shoes

Today I took the plane home, to Lake Constance. We have a class reunion, 21 years after High School (we didn’t make it last year…) I was looking forward to it – seeing old friend again… some I see every time I’m back at the Lake, some I haven’t seen in what might well be […]

Three months later

I’m back for three months. At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll keep updating the blog on how I feel, returning… People still ask me about it daily, and I am still really busy sorting out my feelings and memories. I guess this trip has been a life changer. Funnily, even though the preparations were […]

Paris Air Show

I have a weird relationship with planes and flying in general. On the one hand I am fascinated by it. The technology, the sheer power behind a plane weighing a few hundred tons to lift off and carry me safely around the globe…. Then again I am afraid of it. Sitting in a plane, and […]

Jeu de Balle

One of my favorite spots on a Sunday in Brussels is the Jeu de Balle Square in the Marolles neighborhood. Ducking under the towering Palais de la Justice, in the lower part of town, the Marolles have always been a poorer, worker’s neighborhood, deemed somewhat unruly. It’s precisely for that reason that the Palace of […]

Antwerpen

In the nearly 12 years that I lived in Brussels, somehow I never got my sister Sabine to discover Antwerp. Even though it is possibly one of my favorite places in Belgium. So we were set for a day trip to the city which is only some 40 kilometers from Brussels, due north, just before […]

Flagey

My sister Sabine’s job involves frequent trips to Brussels, so we always have at least lunch, or, if she can make it, add a weekend to one of her business trips. It was time she got to see my new place…

To rent or to buy?

Since I moved to Belgium in 2001, first as a student in a residence, then working here, I always rented. I shied away from buying, for several reasons: the thought of chaining me to a bank for decades, the thought of signing a contract, in legalistic, financial lawyer’s French I would not understand (I hardly understand […]

City trips

I was mailing with my friend Paul, whom I met in Tokyo, about the inevitable frustrations of coming back, being enclosed in an office, being in the same spot…. He answered in his kind way and proposed I organise maybe a few side trips, to have something to look forward to. This opened a window […]