Monday, February 15, 2010

Leaving Brussels

As mentioned in an earlier post, the countdown has officially begun: I leave Brussels and move back to Washington, DC in only eight days. Like many of you, I've been here before. I've reached the end of numerous long-term stays overseas, and have fought through the hassles of packing, unpacking, and reorganizing a life somewhere else so often I practially have it down to an art. So I know that this is normally the time when I start to get a little sad - sometimes even a little distraught - about having to leave my current home, even if I'm excited about the new one that awaits. But this time feels different. There's no sadness here, and certainly no distress. This time, I'm ready to move on.

I don't mean to say I don't enjoy living in Brussels, or that this hasn't been as amazing of an experience as any other time I've lived abroad. I do enjoy Brussels, and how could six months in the Capital of Europe be anything but an awesome experience? Between the mouth-watering local specialties (chocolate, French fries, beer), the weekend trips to nearby cities (London, Amsterdam, Paris), meeting new people (including a fellow Minnesotan!), and simply living life in my adorable neighborhood (the cheese shop down the block is pure heaven), I couldn't have asked for a better trip. So what's with the ambivalence towards it all coming to an end?

Maybe it has something to do with my attachment to this city. I enjoy Brussels, but I don't love it like I love Paris. If I never lived in Brussels again it wouldn't bother me in the least, whereas I'm constantly thinking of ways to get back to my beloved City of Light. It could also be that I don't see such an enormous difference between living in Brussels and living in DC. When it was time to leave Cannes, France for St. Joseph, Minnesota, I knew I'd be in for a shock. But going from one government city with crappy weather to another government city with crappy weather? Piece of cake. Or maybe it's precisely because I've been here before. Maybe after you have so many moves under your belt you become immune to their more drastic emotional effects. Yes, there are plenty of things I'll miss about my life in Brussels, and I'm sure the day I fly to DC will be more than a little bittersweet, but history has taught me that life will go on. And that my next international adventure is probably just around the corner.


Lola said...

Heard about the horrible train crash in Brussels. Checking in to make sure you're safe!

Tanya said...

I'm ok here. So are my colleagues from what I've heard. Terrible news, the crash.

Zhu said...

Has it been six months, already? Wow, time goes by fast.

I've been there and I understand... I remember at one point I was so sick of traveling - that's what pushed me to settle in Canada.

Will you keep on blogging?

Tanya said...

@Zhu, I can't believe it's been six months either. Feels like I just got here. The blog will definitely go on!

Nisha said...

So soon? It got over?

I have been to Brussels many times and I am attached to this city.
Hope you come back again.

Nomadic Matt said...

wow it's that time already! it only seems like yesterday you still didn't have internet!

hopefully ill see u at tbex...and like u i am constantly looking for ways to get back to the city of light

also, glad ur safe. i heard about the crash and thought of u!

Lou said...

You'll just have to visit Eleventh when you miss Brussels! They even serve frites in paper (except they are super good sweet potato frites)!! Have a safe trip back to the old hood;-)

Adriana said...

moving can be extremely stressful - having to sell stuff, pack, say goodbye... we have to focus on what´s on the next destination and be excited for novelty!