I had been waiting for summer in Belgium basically since September last year but it was, sadly, very disappointing. The month of July especially, since we had rain for days, so much that the country was hit by disastrous floods. However, I was lucky enough to have some days off of work that I used to escape the cold weather and rain and go to warmer places with a lot of sun. I also took a bit of a break from this blog, so this monthly review will be a two-in-one that includes both July and August!
My favourite things about these months:
- Sea, summer and sunny days: I will talk about my adventures a bit more in detail later and in other blog posts, but my favourite thing this month by far was being able to enjoy the sun (and the sea) in three different countries: Croatia, France and Italy. After weeks of rain in Belgium, this was much needed!
- Visiting islands in Croatia: during my trip to Croatia, which was amazing, one of my favourite things we did was hopping on a boat to visit some islands around Dubrovnik. We could walk around and explore the islands as well as relax by the beach with turquoise water. The views were spectacular, the sea was absolutely beautiful and the whole day was just perfect.
- Small towns in the South of France: I have talked about some pretty towns in the South of France on this blog before, and this time I came back to some of them again with my boyfriend, including Roussillon, but also Gordes, a small town that stands on a cliff that I had never seen before. There were not many tourists so walking around the small streets really felt like we were in a movie!
- Food in the South of Italy: something that I literally miss every week of the year and that I have already mentioned in this post. I didn’t go to the South of Italy like I usually do last year, so this time, even though I only stayed 5 days, I tried to make the most of it food-wise! There were lots of relaxing with family, reading, sun-bathing and eating fried food and ice cream!
- The Brussels “Brunch Club”: in Brussels, there is an online restaurant guide called Brussels’ Kitchen, where you can find recommendations for delicious restaurants in Belgium. In the summer, they also organise something called The Brunch Club: a seven-course and seven-drink picnic brunch in a beautiful location. It is a bit pricey but the food is prepared by Belgian chefs of different restaurants so it is absolutely worth it! I had booked a “table” with some friends, but due to the weather, they couldn’t do it outside like they planned. Instead, they offered us to take a takeaway box at home and eat it inside. They provided a playlist, the drinks and some instructions, and we set up a very cute picnic in the living room, so that we could still get the vibe of it. It was truly amazing! The music was great and the food was delicious. Now, I can’t wait for next summer to try the “real” one!
My latest trips and adventures
- International travels: between the end of July and the beginning of August, I got to travel to 3 different (and gorgeous) countries. I will definitely talk about these trips later this month and in different posts, so I will keep it short: me and my boyfriend went to Dubrovnik, Croatia for 3 days, then to the South of France to visit my family and then I went to the South of Italy to visit another part of my family!
- After coming back to Brussels from the South of Italy, where we basically spent our days outside, I felt like I very much missed being around nature, especially in the centre of Brussels, so my boyfriend and I went to a nearby forest, the Soignes Forest for a short hike. It is located a bit outside of Brussels so it was extremely quiet and almost empty, perfect to recharge our batteries!
- A weekend away with friends: at the beginning of July, my friends and I went on a short trip to the Belgian Ardennes (a region located in the South of Belgium). We rented a cute house, went kayaking and swimming in a lake, then visited a very cute town, Durbuy, on the way back. We usually always do the same thing in Brussels so it was really nice to have a bit of a break from the routine and move around a bit!
Hobbies and distractions:
- Reading: summer, especially when I am visiting my family in France and Italy, is definitely a “reading” time for me as I have more free time and don’t want to spend so much time in front of screens. This summer, I finished two books that were both really good, but different:
- the first one was Dance, dance, dance by one of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami. It is, as usual, a bit weird and very much “his style”, but I really liked it. The main character is this weird guy that you kind of get attached to, and the plot revolves around this mysterious feeling that he has. Some things in this book are really strange, but I think it is also what I liked about it.
- the second book was The truth about the Harry Quebert affair by the Canadian author Joël Dicker. This is definitely a page-turner and I can safely say that I have never read a book so fast: 800 pages in three days, basically. It is sort of a crime/mystery novel. I will not say more except that you have to read it. You are hooked from page one and every person that I know who has read it has really enjoyed it!
- I bought a sewing machine! Because I already have way too many hobbies that I barely manage to dedicate myself to, I decided that I will start another one: sewing. I have always wanted to be able to sew my own dresses and, inspired by my sister, decided to start this project. So far, I have only made a small pouch out of fabric that I randomly had, but I can’t wait to start other projects!
With the easing of COVID restrictions thanks to the vaccine, it was much easier to travel and I definitely felt safer everywhere. I was lucky enough to be able to go to different places (something that I know not everyone can do), and a lot of friends came to visit me in Belgium as well.
The only awful thing for me was the weather: my mood really depends on the amount of sun I can get, so some weeks were pretty rough, because I usually get more energy in the summer and feel motivated to do more, but it just wasn’t possible this time. Despite this, I managed to go on a lot of different adventures, and I gathered so much content for future blog posts! This break from writing and blog-hopping was also necessary I think, but now I can’t wait to share all of these beautiful experiences in here!
Looking forward to:
- Warmer days: here we go again, Juliette hoping for warmer and sunnier days all year round! It’s not my fault, but I really hope we get more of these in September!
- Going back to the office more regularly: I am still teleworking most of the weeks, and I have only been back to the office 2 or 3 times a month. Even though I find it quite hard when I’m there, I know I am much more focused and productive when I don’t have all of the distractions that I have at home. I am also looking forward to seeing my colleagues a bit more!
- Going to Malta: Yes, I just came back and I am already leaving, but only for a few days this time. I will be going to Malta with my friends, for a short relaxing trip in this island that I have always wanted to visit. It is the first time that we are travelling all together so I am very excited but also a bit anxious haha! Let’s see how it goes!
How was this summer for you? What are you looking forward to?
Published last year in the summer:8 Things to do in Linz, Austria
– 10 days in Japan: Tokyo and Osaka
– Short getaway in Osaka
– Book review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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