It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in Brussels for a year now. I can clearly remember the lead up to our departure: quitting my job, packing up all our possessions, saying many goodbyes to friends and family, and spending our last few days in D.C. in a hotel room with eight suitcases and one angry cat. I can also remember our first few days in Brussels and how overwhelmed I felt as we explored our neighborhood jet-lagged and I tried to recall my high school French. There were so many firsts: our first trip to the grocery store (who knew you had to weigh your own fruits and veggies?), our first time driving in Brussels (our GPS took us through the downtown on a Saturday night), and our first trip to the dreaded commune.
A year later, I’m so glad that all that newbie stuff is over. And, while I’m not exactly sold on expat life and still really miss the comforts of home, I’m happy to feel more settled. Plus, I’m so grateful for the many travel opportunities we’ve had over the past year. We’ve seen so much of Europe and plan to continue to discover new corners of the continent over the next two years. So, when I’m really craving a burrito or a deli sandwich or a restaurant menu with more than one vegetarian option (Europeans love them some red meat!), I think about how much fun we had exploring Lisbon or London or Stockholm.
To celebrate our one year Brussels anniversary, we spent the weekend in Barcelona. The city had such great energy, and I think that if I ate pork products, it would be one of my top cities of all time. (I kid you not, most menus had maybe one option sans-pork, making eating a bit of a challenge.)
Here are some shots from our trip to Spain and other summer trips.