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How traveling changed my life: part 3

My life with travels began at the age of 19. First stop was Portugal and since then I have been diagnosed with an incurable state of wanderlust. But why is traveling so important for us as human beings? And what have I learned so far? Read along to get the answers. 

Of course my travel adventures didn’t stop after Switzerland. Anyone who have traveled and experienced the uniqueness of other countries and cultures know how hard it is to finally settle in one place. It lasted for approximately 3 years and then I had to go again – this time to Belgium accompanied by my boyfriend.

I couldn’t wait to experience a new country and say hello to my new lifestyle, which would also introduce me to the wonderful world of gastronomical delights such as Belgian chocolate, waffles and Belgian beer. The Belgians even claim to have invented the French frie, but that’s another story. Culinary pleasures plays an important role in Belgian culture!

We were to settle in the small yet world-famous town of Bruges, which is still one of the most picturesque places I have ever come across. For my part I arrived between Christmas and New Years, and it was clear that festivities – and especially the religious ones – means a great deal in this country. Bruges was shrouded in a beautiful atmosphere, and I got to attend my very first Catholic service (Belgians a divided by Christians and Roman Catholics), which was a very beautiful experience.

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it”

 

Our stay in Belgium was educational in many levels. The country is divided between two regions; the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders and the French-speaking region of Wallonia. The differences between the two are quite distinct – first and foremost due to the language, but also in customs, traditions and manners. And my wanderlust took me to cities like Gent, Antwerp and Brussels.

Belgium is perfectly located with access to all of Europe, for which reason a road trip is almost inevitable when living there! And like that I came to experience early spring in Paris, cosy autumn days in London and endless summer nights in Holland and Germany.

As usual I didn’t take long before I settled in our new home, and sometimes it felt like we have lived there for years. The cobbled streets and charming market places filled with tourists suddenly meant home to me, and it still amazes me how easily people adapt in other cultures if they have to. Nevertheless I decided from an early stage that I didn’t want to be a tourists, so I became a traveler instead. For me this was – and still is – the driving force of traveling and exploring the world from a different perspective.

An ancient philosopher once said “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”.  Of course this is objective, but I truly believe that traveling is fatal to narrow-mindedness and pettiness. Encountering other cultures makes you strong and you don’t have to move to the other side of the world to experience that. Sometimes the small steps are the most important ones.

So where will you go next? I know I surely can’t wait for my adventures to come.


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