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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother, not a grandmother,I don't know if I'll ever be, but I'll let you know in due time! Oh and um ... I am a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!

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Heaven is in Belgium

Monday, October 19, 2009

Counting the days …

It's still very early on this Monday morning.
I’m having coffee with the cat on my lap. It’s still dark, I always enjoy these moments alone in the wee hours of the day.
This is my last week before I leave.
If I can find enough time, I might want to write a little column each day, a diary…
… random thoughts? Bear with me then, I’m not much of a writer.
You know what?
Ask me questions in the comment box, and then I’ll answer them in my next post, how about that?
Some of you have asked if I’m excited about my trip.
I think excited would be an understatement. Today, I’m all kinds of feelings.
I’m excited and thrilled. I am a little bit anxious. And a little bit nervous.
Like a kid who is going to school for the first time.
In a way, I am, because I’ve never travelled alone before.
Oh well, I’m not a five year old anymore, but I guess that’s why I know I’m heading for a roller coaster of new experiences and emotions.
To think I only started blogging in English two years ago when I entered Nablopomo.
Blogging HAS changed my life.
I would never have imagined then I would get to meet so many friends,
let alone meet some of them in real life! I’ve come a long way since then.
Exactly two years later and I’m getting ready for the journey of my life.

That reminds of my favorite quote from Forrest Gump,
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”

You know, when I first started blogging I once said that blogging is like writing a letter
to a friend and meeting new ones along the way.
I still feel that way. When I was a young girl, I used to have pen pals overseas.
I remember there was a girl in Illinois I used to write to, and then there was Karen.
Karen stayed at my parents home when she was touring through Europe with a choir.
And now I am going to be the one touring overseas.
It’s a pity I lost contact. That’s life I guess. But it’s still a pity.
The world can be so big, and then the next day you find it’s so small.



Dawn is breaking.
A new day is about to begin when I finish this post.
There's still a little bit of pink in the sky.
I think it's going to be a beautiful day.

24 comments:

quilly said...

I am getting excited for you to be here! I have planned nothing because I want you to choose, but I have far too many options to offer for just one week.

Avril said...

That's so exciting!! Travelling on your own is daunting but fun!!! I used to travel all the time back to Zimbabwe (ok it's not that far - 2 hours flying) and now I go quite often to Cape Town (also 2 hours flying) At first I was nervous about not finding the right gate, getting into the wrong queues etc etc but there are always lots of signs and people to ask.
And meeting up with new friends is the best!!
We're back from our wonderful Ireland holiday and I see I have lots of catching up to do!!!

ROSIDAH said...

What a beautiful post, Jientje! I believe that all of you will have a wonderful time together. Let the adventures begin :).

Wanda said...

So enjoyed your thoughts Jientje, here just before my dawn 6 hours later.

Kristi said...

I can tell you are so excited for your upcoming trip! All this time you've been waiting and now it is almost here!! I hope you have an amazing time with your friends!

Jacki said...

As you know, I love traveling and loved traveling by myself before settling down and getting married. :-) You'll do fine..I only wish you could visit us here in the DC area. :-)

Where did you get your monitor? We have the exact same one.

Bientje said...

You'll do fine sis! Although some of us are secretly wondering if we'll ever see you again? Hehehehe, that was a naughty joke ofcourse! You'll manage, you're a big girl! I am excited for you! I wish I could come with you!
Big hug,
Your little sister

moneythoughts said...

A little advice when you go out on the streets in the States. Know where you are going and act like you have been here before. Unless you are with friends, don't be looking up in the air like a tourist in the big cities. Like the big cities anywhere, you have to be in control of yourself and be aware of the people around you. You will be fine as I am sure your friends will look out for you. Hope I can get away to Chicago for a day to meet you.

James said...

This is a really great post. I'm not sure where you are going but I'm sure that you will bring fun with you.

Maggie's Mind said...

You are going to have so much fun! I'm so excited for you. Traveling alone can be really liberating, too.

Mar said...

How exciting!! I am used to traveling alone, going over the pond either to the US or down to Chile. You will have a wonderful time, it's a great idea to keep a dairy of all your activities, so that you can look back and remember all the details of your exciting trip.
I was 16 when I left to the US for a year to live with an unknown family... we are family now, with strong bonds!!
How long will you be away and which cities are you visiting?

kaye said...

I'm so excited for you. What part of the states are you traveling to?

Gattina said...

That's what you were wearing when we talked together, this morning, lol ! Of course I am soooo curious how it will be ! I send you over like a guinea pig and if everything goes smooth, then I will also make a tour, I have only to wait that somebody invites me, hahaha ! I am really bad ! I should hold your hands and comfort you !

Thom said...

Well I'm looking forward to you coming over. And by the way, that's a great weekend reflection photo my friend :) What an exciting trip this is going to be for you. I'm so looking forward to it. You like to fly? LOL. Let's hope so :)

Jientje said...

@ quilly : I KNOW. Never enough hours in a day, ESPECIALLY not in Hawaii' !
@ Avril : YOU4RE BACK!!! Awww, I'm glad you had such a good time. Seeing your post brought back so many beautiful memories!
Yes, let the adventure begin! SOON!!
@ Wanda : Reading blog posts before dawn. Nothing can beat that. Are we addicted?
@ Kristi: Yup, I can't believe how fast time is flying right now! I'm SURE I'll have a good time, I feel very very welcome!
@ Jacki: So do I. I'm in the DC area for four days, who knows eh?
@ Bientje: Yeah yeah SIS. I've copied the paperwork, I'll take care of my handbag, I'll watch my wallet... ???? Any other advice?
I cn't take you in my suitcase. I would. You KNOW I would. But I can only take 23 kg. :-(
@ moneythoughts: I don't think you've seen all my pictures yet. I ALWAYS look up, even in Antwerp. Don't tell me I have to kick that habit? I'll have to rely on my guardian angel then eh? And good friends of course.
@ James : Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Honolulu, and Chicago. A mini tour ( yes well, three weeks is not THAT mini, is it? ) around the States!
@ Maggie: Yes, I think it's sad you're in Japan. I would so have loved to meet you!
@ Mar: I will keep a diary. At least I'll try. And then there are always pictures of course!
How nice you have family there now. That student exchange is something I would have loved to do too. I'm going to be traveling for three weeks. Washington DC, Portland Oregon, Honolulu and Chicago. Not bad eh?
@ kaye : Washington DC, Portland, Honolulu and Chicago.
@ Gattina : Uh uh, it wasn't! I thought I had made you jealous! LOL!!
@ Thom : I hope I still like to fly. I used to like it a lot. I hope I will be comfortable, and then I'll be okay. Looking forward to it a lot too. Counting the days, like I said.

Linda Higgins said...

Wow! Giant leap of FAITH. You will do just fine. Everyone is excited for you and ready to relive your adventure with you! Be sure to at least keep in touch every other day or so. If visiting friend, even without pics you can post on their computer! Can't wait to see where your adventure takes you in the Great US of A! hugs.

Betty said...

I would be soooo excited too! I´m so happy for you and can´t wait to read all your updates from over there.
I love the picture you posted. Neat!

lisaschaos said...

I can imagine that you're thrilled and excited! I can't wait to get to meet you!!

Melli said...

I think that coming here (from there) will be a GRAND adventure - and you already have what would be MY biggest fear, under control! You SPEAK our language! If I were to come to Belgium - or ANY other country really - traveling alone, I'd be a bit anxious about the language barrier! I think you will do very well here though! oh! And Thom mentions my other problem! Flying! I'm not AFRAID to fly - but I do NOT like it. I'm claustrophobic and being confined for any length of time is misery!

Geert said...

I am not a daily reader of this blog. Just now and then I drop by. It seems you're about to cross the ocean ? Meeting some blogfriends ?

mizzD said...

Of course I didn't forget you! But where is my other reaction to this post gone to?????

mizzD said...

Oh...djeezzz...I know already...I scrolled one post too far down! hahahahahahahaaaa!
Sorryyyy!!! :-)

Nessa said...

I am so excited for you.

Jientje said...

@ Linda Higgins : I promise!
@ Betty : Thanks!! I promise I'll do my best to make an update!
@ lisaschaos : Me too Lisa, I'm SOOOOO excited about us meeting!
@ Melli : I will be fine, I know I will.
@ Geert: Yup!
@ mizzD : I'm so glad you didn't.
@ Nessa: So am I!!

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