Published: October 16th 2011October 9th 2011
Exactly 15 years ago, my parents brought me to the airport of Brussels for my own little adventure. I had a 6 months return ticket to Hong Kong, and I was going to try my luck in Asia. I still remember the question of my Mum...for how long do you think it's going to be? My answer....it will be between three weeks and twenty years! Guess what, I believe it could be well over twenty years.
A little background first...I'm born in Luxembourg and have grown up in this lovely, if not a little boring country for my first 22 years. Not 100% true as I have spent all my schooling right on the other side of the border in Belgium. Early years were spent just across the border, high school in a boarding school in the middle of the Ardennes, and University in Louvain-la-Neuve south of Brussels.
I could have stay in Luxembourg, good job, good life...may be just too easy on the tracks for me. While at University I fall in love with Asian culture (precision, at the time, nothing to do with the women). So after finishing university, after few months working for Club Med saving
every single cent, I took my ticket and I went to Hong Kong.
Took me three weeks to find a job. And the guy who was my first boss is today one of my business partners....15 years later!
So why not writing this blog within a location in Asia. Answer is simple, roots are what make a man what he is really. My roots and my education are what dictate my everyday life, because I'm simply proud of it. I haven't become asian, I just fall in love with the continent and feel more at home here, simple.
The last week-end was the opportunity of some school and university reunions. 15 years ago I left Louvain, 20 years ago it was St Roch, my high school. On Saturday we share a meal back in our "local cafe" in Louvain with the friends with who I had share a flat for few years of young adulthood (meaning a lot of parties...). On Sunday, it was back in the middle of a beautiful green countryside, my High School St Roch.
Five years ago, while coming back on numerous opportunities to Europe I was shocked on how my pairs
were only concerned by their car and the size of their home/flat. Today I'm happy to witness that they have all grown up. Who cares about your job, who cares about your car, it's all about love, families and children...and that's beautiful.
It's funny on how those around thirty simply need to prove their success by how far they have moved in the executive scale...and ten years later, the most important is to show the picture of your love ones. Funny also to witness that all my male companions are all happy dads...while few of the girls are still on their own. They are trying to explain to you how happy they are. I guess it's just a sample, so you cannot make a rule out of it. But it's fun how guys can be pragmatic, while women still try to find the prince charming, losing their own charms month after month...
I was happily suprised to come back this week-end. In these days of crisis and economic uncertainty, my friends were simply building their families, sharing smiles and frustrations. We may get older, but the future of our planet still lie in our children....
spent some time walking around Brussels. Belgium has now been for nearly 500 days since the elections...and not yet a new government. Things could change though, as an agreement has finaly seen the light the last few days. The country hasn't done too bad without a government, will be interesting to see what is coming next. Will belgians be more happy with a formed government...or without one?
What will the next fifteen years be? I have no idea? If somebody had opened me the book of my life 15 years ago, I would have signed straight on, including all the ups and all the downs.
In these insucered times, I'm like many, I want my kids to live in a safe and nice environment. I want to make sure they have a nice education...and than we'll see what life is made of after. Imagine, in less than 10 years both Leslie and Tiffany will be living out of home...time flies...fast...
You work every day on your happiness, but life has taught me that it can only be achieved through love...and I'm lucky, I've got Mari, Leslie and Tiffany...surrounding me with as many cuddles I could have ever
We are back on the road in the next few hours!
PS I know, not much in terms of travel in this entry, but this long week-end in Belgium and Luxembourg was all about going back to my youth...time travel too...
There are more photos below