explore: to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery
I started exploring at age 17, when I swapped my hometown in Belgium for a little town in the Argentinean countryside. For a year, I lived in an Argentinean host family, drank mate and fernet, went to high school in Spanish, danced cumbia and became a carnivore. I fell in love with this incredible culture and couldn’t wait to start exploring others.
University brought me back to Belgium, but I didn’t plan on staying there. After two years in Leuven, I spend a semester at the Singapore Management University. Not only is Singapore an impressive city to live in, it also turned out to be the perfect hub to explore Southeast Asia. In between rooftop parties and group assignments, we rode tuk tuks in Bangkok, a motorcycle in Bali and the night train in Vietnam.
I signed up for a second university exchange in Montréal, Canada. Five months were not nearly enough to discover this beautiful country, but it did make me suspect that Canada might be heaven on earth. Which I am not afraid to advocate, as proven below.
An internship at the United Nations landed me in New York City. I left from my previous visits to New York City feeling there was so much left to do, so waking up in this city for five full months was another heaven to me. Especially waking up to boozy brunches in the weekend.
Work life had to start at some point, but that hasn’t stopped me from exploring. On the contrary; since 2017, I’ve been living and working as an expat in the American South. Brisket, kolaches and bacon bloody marys are part of my (not so effective) diet these days.
Not even ten years after the start of my exploring career, and many details of these adventures abroad are fading already. Since I plan on adding many more, I started this blog to help me keep track. So I can relive these amazing adventures whenever and wherever I want to. To inspire any readers along the way would be a bonus.
TOP 5 TRAVEL HABITS
It should be clear by now that food means a lot to me. I love to discover a new place or culture through its cuisine. This comes with the habit of reading too many Yelp reviews and starving my company till I find the perfect spot for dinner. I also love to cook, so I often take a cooking class when I travel.
To compensate my travel diet I like to hike. Nature and mountains in particular cannot be bypassed in any of my bigger trips.
With less time on hand, I love to go on a short city break with friends. Which usually comes down to eating and drinking our way through the city.
Recently I’ve developed a taste for road trips, which might have something to do with living in the ultimate road trip country. In a country as vast as the US, a road trip holds many great surprises.
I tend to meticulously plan most of my trips. Because I want to get the most out of it, but also because it extends travel time. Nothing beats the Monday blues like some travel planning.