Our Move to Belgium
It has been quite some time, since I had the time to update this blog. Now, on an AirMalta flight to Malta, I am restricted to a laptop and my thoughts!
Every time, I am on this particular route, i.e., Brussels – Malta or Malta – Brussels, I always have the same thoughts: Our move to Belgium.
Throughout our childhood, teen life and our first year of marriage, we lived a happy life that came with sacrifices and change. To say that we had a blessed life is an understatement. It is also safe to say that we were comfortable. But we have learned that nothing stays the same and opportunities present themselves when you least expect them.
Nine years ago, following an opportunity to work in Belgium, hubby and myself had a talk. I felt that if I landed the job, we needed to relocate temporarily; for eighteen months to be precise, or so I thought. Chris, being the man that he is, laughed and told me that we are now getting used to our new life and will never move. Since the offer was for only eighteen months, he did not find it attractive. I laughed it off too and continued life as normal, until a couple of days later when I received the invitation for the interview and exams. At the time, he was not happy and I seriously think that secretly he’d hoped that I will not succeed! Surprisingly, when I called him to let him know that all went well with the interview and tests, he was over the moon! After being offered the job, we had another discussion, this time it was not about if we should move, but when.
I admit that I AM stubborn and felt that this is a great opportunity for both of us to grow. Thankfully, by now hubby was as keen as I was, or more, and together we took a leap of faith and started planning our departure from our safe, comfortable, warm home in Malta. But the catch was this: I had to leave in three weeks time and hubby could not join me for the first three months due to professional constraints. Moving house is already a hassle, let alone moving country!. In that month, amongst other things, we had to find an apartment, and this proved to be extremely difficult. We decided that in order to make a final decision to rent the right apartment, we had to visit Brussels. We went for a few days – an adventurous trip full of mishaps and laughter!!
Although, am writing this nine years later, I can still remember how sad I was. Leaving everything comfortable was hard. It was especially hard for our parents.
We began telling people and preparing for THE moment. That month flew too quickly and saying goodbye was SO hard. I knew it would be, but I did not think it would be so difficult. I packed up everything, left the house that we built and decorated together, and drove off to start a new adventure. I hugged hubby, my family and friends, got in the car, boarded an AirMalta plane and just like that, in a blink of an eye, the amazing Maltese chapter ended.
As I landed in Brussels, a new one began. It was cold. It was different. But, it was my new home. I remember thinking- that it did not feel like home… not at that time anyway.
I already missed Malta. I missed the sun. I missed the location of my memories. Our home. Our friends. Everything about it was perfect. I think to sum it up…. I missed the comfort.
Before we moved here, hubby and I never spent a day apart, so the first three months apart proved to be a challenge and a test in our relationship. During that time, hubby was studying for the first part of his ‘concour’, so he was occupied. On the other hand, I had a rigorous and defined routine: woke up at the break of dawn, showered, walked to work, grocery shopping after work and back to my studio apartment. Nothing exciting, except the prospect of living in a new country. I remember spending hours walking!!.
I am not saying this move and transition was easy. Far from it! To be precise, in these nine years we had to go through tons of exams and heartache. However, with the love of God and knowing that we are in this together, helped us to fight the waves and became great windsurfers.
In spite of the heartache incurred during the past nine years, we are happy and feel blessed to be working and living here. At times, I still feel it is an extended holiday, but grateful that at the same time, nine years later, Belgium feels home.
I close off this update by thanking our families, our Maltese friends in Malta and our new friends in Belgium, which we consider them our family in Belgium. In particular, I thank God, for the courage I felt to go ahead with this adventure. I still remember, packing and crying, but most of all I remember one Saturday, when I stopped everything, and sat down with the Bible in my hands. I did not open it, I just sat there in our bedroom, with my secondary school blue Bible. At that moment in time, I remembered a passage from the Bible: when God asked Peter to walk on water. The disciples, still on the boat became frightened and all exclaimed: ‘It must be a ghost’. When the disciples were faced with the unknown, they turned to fear. However, Jesus replied: Do not be afraid! It is I! Take courage!
In those few minutes, amazing but true, my fear and confusion turned to total peace and happiness. Do not be afraid! This was a command and not an idea or proposal.
To all our followers:
If you have a vision and want to live the dream:
our recipe and word of advice is:
hard work, determination, faith and courage are all important factors. Above all, believe in yourself and never underestimate God’s plan and His unconditional love!
Love you all,
from your fizzyaholicS