Big News!

20140111-103810.jpgSo I have had some news to share for a while but wanted to wait until things were finalized. Now that they are, I can finally share that I will shortly be moving to Brussels to start a new job. While neither Alessandro nor I are keen on going back to long distance dating (something we were hoping we had finally put behind ourselves when I moved to Rome in 2012), it was unavoidable even before I was offered this great opportunity in Brussels as Alessandro has to move to Turin for work this summer. At least we are used to the long distance thing already, having survived years of it when I was still working in London and Alessandro was working near Milan (and hopefully it is only a matter of time before we are back to sharing the same flat).20140111-103446.jpg

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I have actually lived in Brussels before, working there for six months a few years ago (back when my sister Helena still lived there as well). Over the years I have been back there quite a few times for various seminars for work, usually extending my stay to spend the weekend with Helena. It will be interesting to move back to this city that I associate so much with her now that she lives in London. Either way I am quite excited – unlike most people, I really like Brussels. Aside from the weather (something I think I will struggle to get used to again after having been in Rome for a while), I love the architecture, the international atmosphere, the abundance of amazing chocolate shops etc. It is also a great hub for travelling and is only a 3h train ride away from home (and the high speed train just started stopping in my hometown!), so I am looking forward to more impromptu trips home to see my family as well.20140111-103608.jpg20140111-103355.jpgAs for the food, Brussels is certainly not Rome and Belgium is not Italy but rumour has it Brussels has more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris. In any event I am already looking forward to decent Asian food, something I have missed dearly in Rome, and not being frowned upon for ordering a cappuccino after 11am (and Alessandro is looking forward to the Belgian version of sausage and mash called ‘stoemp’ and consisting of mashed potatoes mixed with mash root vegetables, sausages and gravy). It will also be interesting to see how my French holds up given that the last few times I was there, I seriously had to fight back the Italian every time I opened my mouth, but I am sure I will get used to that as well (and thankfully it is easy to get by in English).

I have a few weeks left before I start my new job and am trying to make the most of it not only to get settled in Brussels but also to get in a bit of travelling. In between looking for (and finding!) my dream flat in Brussels I jumped on the train to spend the weekend at my parents and say hi to my grandmother. This weekend I am heading to Zurich to visit my dear friend Laura and finally have a good look around this city – despite plenty of transits in Zurich’s airport and spending an entire week in Zurich for work a couple of years ago, I have never actually walked around the city. And, most excitingly, Alessandro and I just booked a trip to Laos, leaving in just over a week! I have never been to Laos and it was quite a last minute decision (we had our eyes on Burma but could not get a visa at such short notice) so I have been studying guidebooks like mad, browsing the internet and speaking to friends who have been before to try and come up with an itinerary for us. I cannot wait for our trip to begin!20140111-103643.jpg

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9 thoughts on “Big News!

  1. Congrats! So excited for you!

    Hope you both enjoy your trip to Laos. I don’t know where in Laos you’re traveling to but the North should be great! My trip to Laos failed a few years ago… We were about to take a boat to cross the Mekong River when I fell off the stairs with a 10 kilo backpack on my back and almost broke my ankle. So, I’ve almost been there ;)

    • Thank you Sini! Sorry to hear about your failed Laos trip, how annoying! Hope the injury wasn’t too painful (although it does sound rather horrible) and you make it to Laos one day.

      Given we are leaving at such short notice our itinerary is still a bit up in the air but I think we will start in the North and then see how far South we make it before we run out of time (a friend of mine just came back from Laos and said the bit furthest to the South is also stunning with tons of tiny tiny islands where the Mekong is at its widest, quite tempted to head there as well).

  2. Congratulations on the new job! I’ve never been to Brussles, but it seems like a cool city from what I’ve read (and seen in pictures) – and in any case, having access to good Asian food puts any city in a good position. I’m looking forward to getting a taste of the culture through your blog and Instagram photos!

    • Thanks Sara – you will have come to visit! If you haven’t been to Belgium before, it is definitely worth a long weekend – Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp are really beautiful, the chocolate is amazing (and the shopping in Antwerp isn’t half-bad either!).

    • Thanks Kathryn! I will definitely try and show the nicer parts of Brussels to prove that Brussels isn’t all ugly 1960s buildings but has stunning architecture and cute shops and cafes too!

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