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 extensive it never seemed like such a big deal. I had the (crazy) idea, started to prepare, and went for it.

People tell me that it must have taken a lot of courage, which always baffles me. Sure, I like to be called courageous, who wouldn’t…? But in truth to me it had nothing to do with courage. I just really wanted to do it. And so I did it.

But I think, in retrospect, it was bigger than I thought. It’s really not so easy to come back and just pick up where I left off. On so many levels…

There’s work. I pretty much went back to the same job. Slightly different topic, same department. It made it easy to come back as I knew more or less knew what to do.

The start has been OK, but I am still adapting to the loss of autonomy of my time, sitting in a cubicle, not being out….

I have to settle the general question: what do I want to do with my life, now. I’ll have to work. But is this it? Do I want to stay in Brussels…? Result: open.

There are friends. There’s still a whole bunch that I haven’t seen yet, which by now I feel a bit ashamed about. Well, I guess it’s understandable, I would have had a coffee or beer date very single day in the past weeks if I had set out to meet everyone right away.

But it’s also that I need the quiet. I want to think. I’ve been travelling alone with only myself for such a long time I am used to the silence. It’s good. I can’t be out all the time and meeting people. Then again at the same time, I sometimes feel alone. It’s paradoxical, it doesn’t make sense.

I also crave to meet some new ones, make some new connections. But then again sometimes I just feel powered out from meeting new people, which I have been doing at an incredible rate these past years.

And then there are the friends from the trip. I try to stay in touch. And I am so hyped when someone is in Europe and we manage to meet, be it in London, Paris or in Brussels. It keeps happening, and I am so thrilled about this, this new network of people…

What I miss the most by now I guess is the thrill of travelling again.

That moment when I stepped out of a plane, got through immigrations, got a new phone chip, found my airbnb place, went to the first supermarket, walked through the streets the first day, still slightly jet lagged, disoriented, processing what was happening, a new language, currency, new people…

The feeling of these first few hours in a new city was an incredible challenge to the brain and body and mind and it was like being high on travelling, as if I had smoked something. I actually sometimes felt dizzy for a moment.

It’s like a fix I need, a push of energy running through my system that I can’t really describe.

I miss that.

A new friend, who himself just moved back to Brussels after a stint abroad, recently said that he considers this time in Brussels as just another episode in his life.

That rang a bell. Me too. I can’t think beyond a horizon of a few years at best, then I would have to move on. Break out again, do something different.

I wonder if all this has turned me into a total, life-long vagabond.