I found out today that I will be going to Belgium—and I am leaving on Thursday. I am so excited! I’ll be there at least a month, and then hopefully I can find my way to prolong my stay in Europe into August. I think we’ll be mainly in Brussels, but we are also going to the North Sea, Holland and maybe Paris.
I have been to France, Italy (where I was born and lived for 11 years) and London, but this will be my first time en Belgique.
So, a little less than two months ago, I left for Europe and now I am back. I won’t say back home—I was in Italy, where I was born and spent my childhood, so I went from one home to another. Plus, there is school. University feels more like home now, or at least, I feel less distant from my surroundings when I am there. I feel more at ease, I suppose. Only three more weeks until I go back for my last year in Portland. Where home will be after that, I have no idea.
My trip was wonderful. I spent most of it, over a month, in Belgium, and took small day trips to Holland (Maastricht) and Germany (most specifically to Cologne). I really liked Belgium, especially the Flemish towns like Gent and Brugges, but I really feel in love with Maastricht and Holland. I could live in Holland, I felt so unusually happy and charmed the first time I went to Maastricht. My best friend joined me in Brussels for a few days, where we were pickpocketed and lost a lot of our stuff, including my camera, which was worse than losing my wallet. I can always find some more money, but I will never be able to see the photos I took, to relive those memories. The loss of those memories is what made that theft feel like a transgression or violation of my person.
Then it was on to Rome for a bit over 2 weeks (with my best friend). I have always loved that city, it is beautiful and awe inspiring in way that no other city can be. It was great to see some of my family and I did many things I had not done on my previous visits (mainly going to many of the museums there). One night, my friends and I stayed out in the city all night and saw the sunrise from the Spanish Steps, with St. Peter’s all lit up by the dawn on the horizon, and it was one of the most special and beautiful moments of my life.
Now, it’s back to suburbia and to the quotidian. Perhaps, this trip will continue to give me the inspiration needed to find the beautiful and sublime in all the places I call home.