• Bastille day, Eiffel Tower
    Belgium,  France,  Netherlands

    Immerse Yourself: Top European Festivals

    As someone who lives by carpe diem, my goal while stationed in Belgium was to participate in as many cultural festivities as possible. Whether it be celebrating the slaying of a dragon or the memory of a deceased poet, I wanted to experience it all.  Traditions are not taken lightly here in Europe. They are deeply ingrained in the culture and are celebrated with passion year after year. To make the most of your time abroad, dive in headfirst. Perhaps you will find yourself dodging oranges in the midst of a parade or picnicking at the Eiffel Tower as fireworks dance in the sky. Next time you…

  • Belvedere Viewpoint
    Belgium

    Tips for Day Trips: Durbuy Edition

    Recognized as the “smallest city in the world,” Durbuy has more to offer than I originally imagined; so much so, that I made the trip three times in one month. Located in the Ardennes region of Belgium, 2 hours from Brussels and 90 minutes from Mons, the drive there is gorgeous and that’s when I first fell in love! The timber architecture, quaint atmosphere, and artisanal shops make Durbuy a dream destination. Not to mention there is an impressive Chateau appearing in the skyline.     Old Town Durbuy Old Town is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Spend time wandering the cobbled streets and admiring the ivy cascading…

  • Belgium

    Tips for Day Trips: Chillin’ in Mechelen

    Have you heard of it? I hadn’t, until a friend suggested checking it out. Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, nestled between Brussels and Antwerp, it’s the perfect day trip destination. Cute and compact, you can explore at your leisure without feeling the rush of “I have to see it all.” The Grote Martk is an ideal place to start. This historic center is a pedestrian zone lined with cafes, perfect for sipping an Aperol Spritz and admiring the impressive facades. Each building is ornately designed, showcasing architectural characteristics of its time. You could easily spend an hour or two people watching and absorbing the ambiance of this vibrant square. Next stop…

  • Urban Therapy, Brussels
    Belgium

    Brussels: Beyond the Grand Place, Delirium, and Manneken Pis

    Looking for a fun day in Brussels that doesn’t involve the typical tourist destinations? Below is a walking tour that goes beyond the beaten path. One of my favorite places to start is St. Catherine’s Place, a 10-minute walk from the center; it is a vibrant square full of life on a sunny Belgian day. St. Catherine’s Church, the focal point of the square, is surrounded by restaurants featuring Belgian and international fare. From sushi to crepes, any palate can be satisfied! My top choices are Noordzee, a famous seafood counter where you can get fresh oysters, shrimp, mussels and more. With no indoor space, it’s best enjoyed…