This way to adventure!

Hi there!

I’m Emily. I’m a writer living an unexpected expat life fueled by coffee and adventure. Home is where my art is.

(Currently: Brussels)

Stepping into the new year.

Stepping into the new year.

I’d much rather get a good sleep on New Year’s Eve than stay up late for an anti-climatic ball drop or fireworks. Last year, while I was still in the U.S. and he was already here in Brussels, I got to wish Joe a happy new year from 7 hours behind. I think I could really like a 5pm “midnight” but much prefer being in the same timezone together. You can’t win them all I guess…

In the absence of anything better to do this year and with a scratchy throat threatening to turn into more, I convinced Joe that we should plan a low-key New Year’s Eve. I was hoping I could at least make our dinner a bit festive but it turns out that minute steak just isn’t terribly thrilling no matter how much green pepper sauce it’s covered with. At least the roasted beets and rutabaga were delicious?

After some Netflixing, I was asleep last night by 10pm. Joe stayed up to watch the televised Antwerp fireworks but was probably in bed by 2 minutes past midnight. Terribly, terribly glamorous lives we lead.

This morning I was up before the sun — not hard to do when its lazy butt can’t be bothered to rise before 8:45.

January 1st is my favorite morning each year. Both the day and the year stretch out in front of me with all their potential. (Pretty awesome when you think about it.) As is my tradition, I greeted 2019 with copious amounts of coffee and took some time to reflect on my hopes and dreams for the coming days.

Joe joined me at the breakfast table a bit later and sat down with his usual “what should we do today?” Unlike most weekend/holiday mornings, I had all the reasons not to adventure today: it was grey again, I didn’t feel 100%, my PJs were comfy… but he somehow managed to convince me that we should get outside. To be totally honest, I was firmly in the stay-at-home camp until I realized I could use a walk in the woods to break in my new wellies. (It’s amazing what I’m willing to do if new footwear is involved.)

We were only on the trails of the Forêt de Soignes/Zoniënwoud for a little while before I conceded that we’d made an excellent choice to get out of the house despite the typically-Belgian winter gloom. Fresh air, a brisk pace, and hitting all your Google Fit heart points for the week will do wonders for the psyche when the overcast skies have held on for days and days and days.

We even had a chance to wish all the animals at the Rouge-Cloître a bonne année (although now I’m wondering if perhaps the sheep would have had a more enthusiastic response to gelukkig nieuwjaar…)

However you started your year and in whatever language you started it in, may your 2019 get off on the right foot. (Preferably with cute shoes.)

Grey, Grey, go away.

Grey, Grey, go away.

A little December heat.

A little December heat.