Unfortunately, I haven’t watched the film “In Bruges,” though every person told me to do so before I went. Maybe I’m not a huge Colin Farrell fan. However, I loved this city. Town. Magical place. It was a 23rd birthday I’ll never forget.
Seeing as it was a few months ago, I don’t really recall every last detail. However, I wanted to blog some of my favorite photos from the trip. Just to relive the warmer summer travels while I’m freezing my arse off in England. Granted, I’m currently sitting by the fireplace in my parents’ house with a glass of wine, so life isn’t too shabby. I’ll admit that the main reason I’m blogging now after so many months is that I have a few papers to write for my MBA and I need a bit of a warm up for my fingers and brain.
Let me just start with some background. My 23rd birthday was on August 27th, 2016. This is the same day me and two of my good friends, Gillian and Lauren, left for Bruges/Brussels on the Eurostar after work. The Eurostar is such a delight to travel on because it leaves from St. Pancras (just a tube ride away), there’s barely any security/lines and your luggage isn’t weighed. Just be sure to book a seat facing the direction of travel! We arrived in Brussels after chats/naps on the train and we immediately made our way to Bruges to check into our hostel instead of sticking around.
For the most part, we roamed Bruges (crossed the main square multiple times) in search of fries, chocolate, beer and chill coffee shops. We avoided paying a bunch of money for touristy things because we knew it wouldn’t really make us happy. We talked to the chocolatiers/shop owners. We made some friends in our hostel who were on a 6 month travel sabbatical with a tour group. Actually, our hostel bar was pretty inexpensive and we spent a good amount of time talking to the beer tasting man and bartender there. That’s my favorite part about traveling — the random people you meet and conversations you have. Everyone has a story and they’re itching to tell it.
In Brussels, we did more of the same. We went to Delirium Cafe and drank a few pints, stole a few pink elephant glasses and met some very sweet young Swiss-French guys who were biking home from Amsterdam. So adorable. I drew the two of them in their journal. And they left us French notes of appreciation. We had to use some Google translate, but now we’re all Facebook friends. If you’re reading this, you two perfectly rounded off my birthday weekend. Thank you!
There we are. I would tell you detail by detail what we did (vegan food, windmill picnics, walking tours, Pokemon Go watching in the square at night, Dille & Kamille, aesthetic coffee shop, boat tour), but I want to wax sentimental a bit instead. It’s rare to find people in this world who will travel for/with you and make sure you feel at ease. August had been a bit of a hard month for me emotionally and mentally. I felt lost and alone and wasn’t looking forward to my birthday. However, Gillian and Lauren knew about these issues and they made sure that I didn’t feel judged and showed me a good, light time in Belgium. No expectations. No complaints. Just roaming in the sunshine, laying in parks, eating gelato and drinking some light beer. I am forever grateful to them for turning around my summer at the literal end of it. Not sure how I got so lucky, but I love my friends. So much. And I tell them so whenever I can.