Beste reistijd



Gent image



It's always best to start at home

A lot of people think they have to be far from home to discover the world and new things, without realizing they can start just right at their doorstep, if you only open your heart to it. Put on those running shoes or those hiking boots and walk out the door. Stretch your legs and just start walking. Take that camera with you, because I'm sure your city has a lot to talk about. I was definitely surprised what I discovered. It just heartened me and made me fall in love with my city all over again.

It was a pleasant day, birds chirping, the sun beams shining through my window, but a lot a things going on in my head. (That monkey in my mind was unstoppable that day) I needed to get out of my house, to ease my mind. So I put on my running shoes and walked out of the house, before I could change my mind.

I just start jogging, no direction, no plan, no goal. I'm not even 5 minutes on the road when a lonely poppy catches my eye. A bright red against the brown grayish brick wall. It reminds me of the rich Belgian history, World War I. The poem "In Flanders Fields" by the Canadian soldier John McCrae pops into my head. A long time ago I had to learn it by heart (history class) and I'm still surprised how much of it is still left somewhere in my memory.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I don't notice that my shoe lace is loose and almost stumble . I look up and my gaze is drawn to a giant house. It appears to be a renovated Art Nouveau house, not uncommon in the region. The frivolous hand-rails swing along the stairs. They are abundantly decorated with curls and flowers. The round window on the upper floor is definitely an eye catcher.

When I pass the train station, a teenager picks up his grandmother. She is talking uninterrupted while she is passing on one of the two giant suitcases she is traveling with. I see the teenager hugging his granny before they disppear into the crowd. Next I see a man standing at the drugstore. I can just see his back, huge and broad-shoulderd, his arms all covered with tattoos, as well as his right calf. He greats the cashier and turns around. On his front hangs a tiny baby. It's hanging so fragile on his fathers belly, putting all his faith in that man. The image is so endearing. Tears trickle down my face... I just presume it's the wind to blame.

When I walk through my front door again, not only have do I have a massive amount of energy, I also have a smile on my lips and a full mental photo album. Isn't that what traveling is all about?