Until about a month ago, I had never been in a place miles away from home where I didn’t speak the language and I didn’t have my parents to lean on. And up until a month ago, I didn’t know exactly how thrilling an experience like that could be.
For Spring Break, my best friends and I decided to travel to Brussels, Belgium after scoring a great deal on a flight and an Airbnb. We’d been planning this trip- and other side trips to Paris, France; Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Bruges, Belgium- since the first week in October 2017. Finally going on it felt like a dream.
There were some rough moments. One of us had never been on a plane before, so the idea of being on a seven-hour long flight- among others- frightened him. One of us got sick halfway through, so it was hard for her to fully enjoy the trip when she also had to worry about taking medicine three times a day. Oh, and only one of us really knew how to speak the language.
There were times when we wanted to do different things. Some wanted to go to a museum when it first opened in the morning in order to maximize our time, while others wanted to sleep in because we did so much the day before. Some wanted to eat local foods, while others were more comfortable with American style burgers. And some wanted to enjoy the nightlife these other countries had to offer, while others just wanted to stay in and talk. These were the times when it was hard not to snap at each other and remember why we wanted to do this in the first place.
We learned a lot about the countries we visited. And a lot about each other- how to deal with strong personalities and opinions, and how to make sure everyone feels included in activities.
And yes, these times were hard, but they’re so small now compared to all the amazing experiences we shared with each other. We had to figure out public transit on our own. We got really good at mentally splitting the bill at a restaurant and paying each other back later (Europe doesn’t do the each-person-takes-part-of-the-check thing; they also don’t the tip-your-servers thing, so). We almost missed our bus from Amsterdam back to our Airbnb in Brussels. We tried escargot, sang bar songs with strangers, walked 30,000 steps a day, made friends with our Airbnb host, and had the time of our lives. So here’s to Spring Break, friends, and Brussels!
I tried to keep this short (ish) and sweet so I could let a certain video do most of the talking. Check out the highlights from my trip at Around the World in Eight Days (VIDEO ONLY). Use the code brusselsbunch to access it. And as always, I hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!
Oh and if you’re interested to read about how I packed for this eight day trip, living out of only one suitcase and tote bag, check out The In’s and Out’s of Packing Light!