Dank u wel, Brussel
In high school, we went on a study trip to Brussels and Strasburg. We went to see the EU-headquarters and NATO as well as the famous Manneke Pis. It was really interesting and I learned a lot on that trip. Some academic and others not so academic. For instance, I discovered that getting drunk the day before a visit to the European Parliament is not such a good idea. Particularly when it makes you so bone deep tired that you end up snoring out loud to the great enjoyment of your peers.
But this blog is not a recount of embarrassing moments, as funny as that might be. Rather I want to ponder a bit on how I’ve ended up where I am today and at this very moment in time, and in many ways that fateful study trip to Brussels back in September 2001 (yes only days after 9/11) holds a lot of the strings.
The trip ended up, at the time, as a bit of a disaster with a major and over the top dramatic argument with two girls from class. It resulted in a major turn of events in my young life. I decided to change high school immediately following our return from Brussels and Strasbourg.
I am confident that I would not be the person I am now if I had not changed high school. I ended up spending two years amongst peers who seemed much more open minded and tolerant of others, and it was during this time that I began to fantasize about all the places I wanted to visit after graduating. My first travel on my own was a three weeks work camp in Plouaret, Bretagne, which got me hooked on thematic travels where I got a chance to meet like minded people.
Somehow, and adding in the teenage fancy for a stupid guy, my love for travel let me to Slovenia through a European Union sponsored programme. The idea of Europe and European cooperation became even more visual to me as I experienced the cross-culture connection to fellow Europeans both Slovene and non-Slovene (and the occasional non-European). Through this year, the idea of Europe had a distinct impact on me and my life, so much that when I left Slovenia I kept the idea of Europe as a central part of who I am.
And here I am, in Brussels once again though without any big arguments in the horizon or any meetings following drunken nights. I am visiting Meike, my roommate from Madrid. She is in Brussels to do an internship for Young Journalists.
Visiting her has made me think of not only the decisions that have made my life from the last time I was here, but also about decisions that need to be made in the future. Sitting in this fancy it-room used by journalists, I have come to the conclusion that Europe is a part of me and I am a part of Europe. I want to understand this piece of me and what makes up Europe. I want to study the system of the European Union and the history behind it. I want to direct my studies towards a degree in EU-Studies.
But for now I will enjoy an amazing visit to a beautiful European capital, which is so sadly underrated. I want to explore the European capital. I want to discover Brussels.
Merci beaucoup, Bruxelles