I feel good at home abroad

Would you live here? It’s a question I always ask my travel partner after a couple of days in a new destination.

Would you deliberately leave all your belongings behind, pack the irreplaceable, choose the most important souvenirs, and let go of everything else? Does this new place here worth it? How do we choose if a place is worthy of us living there?

I cannot recommend any hotels in Brussels, since I had a friend generous enough to host me during my whole trip. Honestly, I felt like I was living in an apartment in Montreal. Same kind of divisions, same kind of decor, everything at the place where I left it.

Belgium made me think about it more than any other destinations.

My Own Little Chaos

I realized that to feel home, I need a place I can find in the same state I left it. Nothing annoyed me much than room attendants making my bed every morning and putting everything in well-organized piles. It kills creativity and personality. I like to create my own little chaos.  I guess that’s a reason why I always choose friend’s apartments and AirBnb over hotel rooms.

Market at Place du Jeu de Balle, Marolles neighbourhood, Brussels

Market at Place du Jeu de Balle, Marolles neighbourhood, Brussels

Our Common Conflicts

It may sound negative to talk about conflicts that make us feel home… but we all have family stories where our grandma shout « Don’t get him started about that! » Does it sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say all Flemish are this stubborn, nor do I say all French Canadians are too. I just could not avoid comparing both discord about languages in Quebec and Belgium. I won’t take a side. My trips told me that the message is more important than the language we use to tell it.

The ability to understand conflicts is for me a big indicator to tell if a place feels home. If you can understand what a misunderstanding is about, it means you share a part of the value and culture.

So when a Flemish judge me for a few French words pronounced while I was in a restaurant in Gent (« Here, we don’t say ‘oui’, it’s in French, we say ‘Ya’. Don’t speak French here ».), I kinda hear a French Canadian talking to English people in Quebec.

The Accessibility to Our Addictions

I think I couldn’t live in a place where I don’t have access to coffee. Of course, we should overcome all of our addiction and meditate 3 hours a day and blabla… but let’s be honest, we won’t do it. We better find a place where we have access to what we crave.

Reliable wi-fi is also in this category.

Street food in Brussels

Street food in Brussels

The first picture has been taken in Gent, but I would totally live in the little white house.

An you, what makes you feel home?