Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Spring Break in Belgium

To many it came as a surprise that, all of a sudden, I showed up in Belgium. It was only May, and I had “just” been there, eight months prior. At times, it even felt as if I never left. Usually, I visit my home country once a year, or every other year, based on my current location. Why was I going back so soon? Because I craved spring and it refused to arrive in Heath, MA! 🙂

In the past, visiting Belgium had multiple purposes, ranging from special events (like weddings and birthdays) to medical reasons to having been away too long already, in combination with needing a break from the challenging boat life. And, I always preferred to go to Europe during the summer for the nicer weather and delightful atmosphere of high-spirited people, fun festivals and sunny café patios.

This year, none of that played into my resolution to go. It wasn’t summer, there were no parties planned and I attended to most of my health business in the US. I was happy about the new house sit in Western Massachusetts with a comfortable bed and plenty of water, electricity, internet, space to move about and exciting outdoor activities. To be honest, the more I thought about my annual visit “home”, the less I found reasons to go. I postponed my decision and contemplated not getting on a plane at all. That would mean, however, that my next visit would probably be in the summer of 2017. A long time without friends and family…

So, one day, on a walk in a historical town with the husband, I discussed my dilemma and made the decision to book my flight that afternoon. May is the “real” month of spring and I always loved it when living in Belgium. The price of the plane tickets was much lower than a month later, I would be able to spend all summer – the best time of the year here – in New England and it would be so nice to see everyone again. I had found a new sole purpose for my annual trip to Belgium: meeting friends and family, and hanging out with my parents and their grandkids. And, that is exactly what I did and enjoyed.

Of course, a stop in my birth country is never complete without a visit to the dentist (all good), the doctor (Why is my left hand still swollen and painful after three weeks of hyper extending my middle finger?) and the hospital (X-rays show that nothing is, indeed, broken. Yay! The injured tendons might take months to heal. Argh!), and some or another unplanned event. This year, it was a job assignment that kept being postponed until the most inconvenient time… my only three weeks in Belgium. With everything done and over, I can only say that – as always – I was very happy to persevere flying out and to catch up with (almost) everyone on the home front!

14 Comments

  1. Sounds a wonderful trip! 🙂

  2. You never know when things might change at ‘home’, Liesbet, and friends/family aren’t there any more, so you have to make the time. I bet you’re glad you did! All Summer to look forward to now. 🙂

    • You are so right, Jo. And, one of the main reasons for each visit to Belgium, is to spend time with my oma (grandma) who used to be my best friend, before her old age took the better of her. I still enjoy every minute with her, even though, my mood easily switches between smiles and tears. Yes, I am glad I went back. And, the summer is upon us. Yay! 🙂

  3. Brilliant images! I am glad that you had a nice trip home and that you made the decision to go. I miss spring! You are making me homesick…not because Belgium is my home but because I have been away too long. Wish I liked flying, but if I did, I might never have taken up sailing. So I guess ‘home’ will just have to wait.

    • Home will (supposedly) always be there. And, wouldn’t it be nice to visit by boat? Or cruise ship. 🙂 Perpetual summer has its beauty as well. I miss my tan and bright sunshine. Luckily, summer is upon us soon now. The weather has finally made a turn for the best here in New England. I might make you homesick again in future blogs, as you will make me boatsick with your adventures to come…

  4. Liesbet good for you to head home and enjoy a time perhaps not so full of commitments. As Jo says one never knows what can happen and so good to reconnect when one can. I can appreciate the long wait for spring and the motivation to go and find it when it is unwilling to find us.

    • Patience is a good virtue, even when it comes to the seasons! It managed to finally arrive here in New England as well, while I was finding it elsewhere, so I managed to fly from spring to spring, which was very nice! The scenery looks so different now. 🙂

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful time – friends, family, good food and beautiful surroundings. And, of course, there’s the chocolate 🙂

    • I did. It was nice seeing everyone again. And, bringing back loads of chocolate. My carry-on was filled with it and weighed more than my checked bag. Not kidding. Now, stop drooling, Ellen! 🙂

  6. Lovely account of your trip Liesbet. I hope you managed to see a little bit of sunshine and not too much rain?

    • I actually lucked out with the weather, Denzil. Really. 🙂 Two out of three weeks had sunshine and temperatures in the 20 degrees!! I’ll be back. It is when my husband joins me that the weather is typically Belgian, rainy and dreary… I guess I better leave him here.

  7. We are really happy you decided to come !!!

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