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!