One month in Belgium seemed more than enough. To surprise friends, enjoy family Christmas parties, visit people all over the place and in the mean time I would stuff my face with chocolates, waffles and mama's food. That was the plan. Little did I know last December would be one of the craziest months of my life. Days and nights were so much fun, I never wanted to sleep.
I was in a constant limbo between dreams and waking life, jetlagged and voiceless. And then Toni Braxton's Unbreak my Heart came up on a karaoke night. That was the end of me. With even less voice and even bigger bags under my eyes, I scraped myself together for one last night of dancing, laughing, hugging, kissing before I curled up in a ball on the plane and slept my way back to Canada.
After three months of working and living in Toronto, my body started to ache for new adventures. Getting out of the freezing cold big city life to hide under blankets and listen to stories on friends' couches sounded like the perfect soul soothing holiday. So I booked tickets to my homeland without telling anyone. I would do it all again, just for the looks on friends' faces.
As much as they were surprised by seeing me walk through their doors as if it had only been a week instead of a year, I surprised myself with my reaction to Belgium. Usually it's something like going to an ugly cafe filled with staff I love. I go there for the people, not so much for the place itself. Oh, and for the chocolates you get with your coffee. This time, things were different. I didn't seem to have control over one specific facial expression as I walked through streets with my mouth and eyes wide open. Totally in awe of the beauty I saw. I didn't take anything for granted. Not the views of endless fields through train windows, not the cobblestones under my feet, not a second I spent with my friends and family.
For the first time since my travelling life, I came back to Belgium and really felt at home. The community I long for wherever I go, I already have it. A tribe of the finest kind, the reason I will always go back home, even if it's just to kiss their gorgeous faces.