We are finally here in the beautiful city of Brussels. Thanks to jet lag and a seven hour time difference (and because I’m a fifty-five year old woman and there is no air conditioner in our room) I am lying here awake and thinking through our first day. Already so much to process about the gifts of travel.
I love being in the melting pot that is a large European city, surrounded by people of all nationalities, hearing many different languages being spoken all around me. Such a different perspective from being home in America where everything feels comfortable and routine. I am fascinated by the history and the culture, always pausing to think about who has walked these worn cobblestone streets for the past hundreds of years.
Travel has the power to open our minds and our hearts, shifting our perspective. For me, it also pushes me out of the nest of my comfort zone, forcing me to try new things- always a positive! I find ultimately that while we may have different life experiences, travel teaches me that we are all really the same. It helps me to understand other cultures and viewpoints, to see them as not strange but only different. I don’t want everything and everyone to be the same; I am grateful to expand my world view by immersing myself into the wonderful chaos and hustle and bustle of far away cities.
Because our first flight was cancelled, we lost day in Brussels; we leave this morning for Ostend on the coast and ClarinetFest. However, we’ll get to spend another day and night here at the end of our fifteen day adventure. So much to see and so little time, but we will make the best of it all. So far, Brussels has impressed us with gorgeous and varied architecture, amazing art and cuisine, and most importantly, interesting and friendly people/ from our first cab driver, who took the time to write down her picks for things not to miss, to the restaurant owner who proudly talked us through his menu, to the fellow Americans who sat next to us at dinner and shared their happy experiences here. We are doing our best to be sponges, soaking it all in- jet lag or no. Belgian chocolate helps!Much more to come!