And just like that, another year has passed. The transition of one year to the next is always a fine time for reflection. Where am I? What am I doing? How does it feel? Right now, with a glass of wine and a blanket wrapped around me, writing in the cold of Belgian winter nights, I must say it feels kinda gooood.
It feels good to have lived this year to the fullest, not in my usual habitat being the wide world, but on a small island I created for myself. A cocoon of a home named Brussels. Back to where it all started, when I used to chase dreams of working in a music venue while serving rich people expensive pastries. Where I spent long mornings sipping coffees writing poems between the bobos (bourgeois bohemians) of Saint-Gilles, late nights dancing until the birds started singing. Brussels will forever be the place I call home, and the place I will never really be able to call home.
When you’re a traveller, you know the next place your itchy feet take you will be the one you will turn into your home. Wherever I put my backpack down, I pitch my tent, I see the stars from a different angle. I’ve been coming home all along. For me, home is not a doorbell with my name on it. A key that fits a lock. It’s the people, familiar faces smiling until my heart warms up. Home is where anxiety doesn’t live. Where I feel I can belong, be myself ,grow every day. For now, it’s Brussels. But who knows for how long?
Things are changing fast. There is some kind of curse that must be resting on this age of mine. 29, the last chance to get your life organised before you hit the scary, serious 30. Babies are being made, houses bought, career ladders climbed. Is the end really near? The end of life as a playground, of dancing naked in deserts, living off coconuts in Australian jungles, waking up to Canadian mountain views? Life is definitely different when spent in the same place for a time longer than just a little while.
The sweet part is, I get to do all the things I missed while travelling: riding my bike to friends' places, impulsive house parties, visiting family whenever I please, feeling grounded so I can finally realise the projects that have been living in my head. The one thing I have to remember, is to keep travelling. In my new hometown, to faraway lands and within. Lots of work still needs to be done, that's why I will always need to travel.