Five months ago, when my boyfriend first raised the possibility of a move to Belgium for his work, I didn’t really see it happening. Having lived in London for the best part of ten years I’d made a home here; why would I want to uproot myself from my family and friends and go to a place where I’d know no-one and would struggle to order a glass of wine in a bar because I didn’t speak the language?
But sure enough, five months later here we are, on moving day, with all our belongings packed into boxes, about to embark on our new life in Belgium. It’s time to dust off my GCSE French and immerse myself in European culture; embrace change, waffles and moules marinière (that’s the easy bit as far as I’m concerned), and attempt to understand an employment system so complex the code breakers of the second world war would struggle to comprehend it.
I’ve no idea what the future holds, beyond our temporary accommodation in Ixelles and a nine month contract with a company that will show me what being in the “Brussels Bubble” really means, but despite a healthy amount of trepidation my overwhelming emotion is excitement. Change is an important driver in life, it challenges us and keeps us on our toes, and stops us from stagnating or taking things for granted. Without it life can disappear in the blink of an unstimulated eye.
It’s a big world out there, so why not explore it and see what it’s like to experience different cultures? That’s my view anyway. And I’m starting with Brussels.