In Love with Belgium

In Love with Belgium

By: Tiana Nguyen

I’m not quite sure why I chose to go to Belgium for this mini month-long adventure. I mean really, I’m just little ol’ me – a 25 year old who just graduated from the University of Oregon in Psychology and is perhaps a little too obsessed with consuming sweets and embarrassed by my French speaking skills. But I spent the past year working as a tutor and many more learning French, so therefore I chose the Greenheart Travel teach in a homestay program to fulfill my summer activities. To be honest, I picked a location within Greenheart Travel’s choices almost at random – I figured that I’m still young and I might as well let fate take me where it may, right?

Well, I know now that I couldn’t have chosen a better way to spend my summer. The family I’ve ended up staying with is thoughtful, fun, and friendly to say the least. The first thing they said was that they planned on treating me like I was their daughter, which is more kind than I even expected. The family consists of a son one year younger than me named Gautier who is head down in the featured photo, a 20 year old daughter named Danaé who is in the photo wearing sunglasses next to friend Guillaume and me, and the parents Josine and Philippe (not in the photo).

Every day I take this peaceful walk through the countryside alongside Gautier and his dog, and it couldn’t be a more perfect way to begin a summer day.


On a side note, let me just say that if God were to create a commandment that said something along the lines of ‘thou shalt not consume chocolate,’ me, along with many others in Belgium would be committing some MAJOR sin. What can I say, though? When in Rome, you do as the Romans; when in Belgium, you eat lots of Belgian chocolate! And truly, their chocolate is good in any form: drizzled over, cooked with, or baked inside of any food… such as the famous Belgian waffle. And then perhaps you can top it all off with some Belgian beer, like the local’s favorite brand, Juplier.

Now that I think about it… how in the world are they all not 100 pounds overweight?!

Oddly enough, while I do have the raging need to eat chocolate with every meal, at the same time fast food doesn’t really seem to be a thing. In the past two weeks, I have only spotted two fast food restaurants – one of which was a McDonald’s because, really, is it possible to go anywhere in the world and not find one? I’m thinking not. Combine all this with the superb friendliness of everyone I’ve met, their charming attempts at communicating in English, and all the adorable pets everyone has in their homes… And I am loving Belgium.



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