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I skipped Brussels for National Day, am I a bad expat?

Sometimes, you cannot control what life throws at you. This week, mine resulted in a hop, skip and a jump 30 hour long trip back to London. I only left on Sunday last. This trip sadly meant that I missed my bank holiday and missed out on all the festivities the City had to offer – and I missed the sunshine too, gutted, especially as it is due to rain all weekend *cry me a river*.

Belgium’s National Day takes place on 21 July 2016, each year, to celebrate the date on which Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg became the country’s first King, following a rebellion, the Belgian Revolution and establishing the Kingdom of Belgium. There is always next year then, or the year after.

I really welcomed my little trip home, even though I was dying of a horrible cold *moan moan moan*. Last Sunday, when we returned to Brussels, I felt like I had arrived in a foreign City. It did not feel like home. At first, I suspected it was because I had never felt such heat or seen such sunshine in Brussels, the flowers were blooming marvellous and the streets smelt different.

Even our home, our apartment felt foreign. The sweltering temperature was something but I could not quite put my finger on it. Then I saw my childhood teddy and I realised, I was homesick. James and I had just been on a very lovely holiday with his family and either side I had two very brief trips or should I say “moments” at “home” (aka. My parent’s home, my family home, my real home), but it was not long enough, I did not get to spend much time with my family, my friends or any time to do anything, like visit the optician or get a Frappuccino.

Although, I did get to enjoy a quick cocktail at the Shard and a lovely meal at Roast in Borough Market… what do you think about these dishes… mmm scallops with black pudding, traditional roast and a chocolate fondant (I don’t think the last one is typically British but it’s certainly a staple on most menus).


On Monday, I took the tram to work, I followed a route that is now innate, but it did not feel familiar, I did not know my neighbours. I felt lost. I couldn’t shake that feeling, but my brief visit home has settled my emotions, I am glad it is the weekend now, with the scheduled rain it feels a bit more like home.

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