(Pictures are from across Belgium, including my weekend adventures)
Belgium is hard to unpack. I can best describe it like eating a roast chicken sandwich after a bag of Doritos. Bland after blowing your pallet out. On its own Belgium is a satisfying and worthwhile place to stay. When chained between The Netherlands and France, it felt more like a filler.
(Antwerp Rail Station - https://goo.gl/maps/Mf37XkxwEgynE3gp9)
I visited to feel Europe at its most quintessential. For that it was excellent. I loved each city’s historic atmosphere. Visiting wasn’t expensive at $10 for a round trip train ticket. Bruges was true to the pictures - small, charming, and like a fairy tale. Antwerp mixes its historic monuments with modernity quite well. Brussels is rough, almost American city rough. But when compared to American cities it’s still far more beautiful and humanitarian. Ghent, the city I lived in, seems to be up and coming on the nomad map.
(Bruges Gruuthusemuseum - https://goo.gl/maps/VUi4zUmwmfnwVkvx5)
I’m not sure why. Technically it’s the most affordable city in Belgium, but the price difference isn’t enough to be attractive. To have found an Airbnb for $460 like I did is very rare, when most go for over $600. It has an outstanding city center, but so do many cities. It has good places to work from, but nothing that’s world class. The coworks aren’t cheap either with the most affordable costing $317. I felt Ghent was a nice city to live in, but not a place to come for on its own.
(Ghent Frites Atelier - https://goo.gl/maps/ZFzws9Qt6zymLgi37)
Maybe it’s growing in popularity for the reason I visited. As a rest stop where you can enjoy a normal pace of life, make friends with locals, and still scratch that travel itch. It’s a great hub to stay and explore the surrounding area. Because it has the affordability, the social scene, and novelty we all crave.
(Ghent city center - https://goo.gl/maps/oNY9p5sri1mK7FUM7)
English Level - Great, folks voluntarily spoke English. When hanging with coworkers they would switch between Dutch and English to keep me included.
What I Do - Short answer I'm an operations consultant. Long answer I help small businesses with their logistics, customer service, and CRM development.
Pictures are from across Belgium. I was able to visit all these places thanks to staying in Ghent.