Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Next Big Adventure

Back in January 2015, I embarked on what could confidently be called a journey of a lifetime.  Over the past eighteen months, and especially during the first twelve, I've had the fortune to explore exotic corners of our planet.   This endeavour has left me with both greater enlightenment on humanity in its whole and a renewed understanding of who I am as a person and what direction I want to go in my life.  I realized, amongst other, perhaps more personal findings, that I'm not ready to stop.  

The world is ours to discover and the journey, not the destination, is the ultimate reward.  Therefore, after much soul-searching and deep reflection, Nathalie and I have decided that the next phase in our lives will take us from Brussels to Barcelona.     

There are a few reasons behind our decision.   For one, Europe has a special place in my heart and even though I've lived on this side of the world for nearly fourteen years, I have only experienced but a tiny fraction of what this ancient continent has to offer.   To be able to live in her southern half in a city that is so iconic to European idiosyncrasy will no doubt prove enriching beyond measure 

We've both to improve our language skills, and Barcelona provides us with an opportunity to learn Spanish in an environment that's both close to family and in the comfort of the European Union.  As a bonus, we're also looking forward to learning a bit of Catalan.  From a linguistic perspective, this language sits somewhere between French, Spanish and Italian, but with a lot of X's thrown in for good measure.  

Finally, from a tourism perspective, Nathalie and I are going to experience what it's like to live in one of the most-visited cities in the world.   Throughout our lives, we've both been very passionate about the travel industry.   Nathalie holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in tourism science and I've been following air travel and tourism news closely for years.    Coming from Brussels, which is one of the least visited major cities in Europe, we are looking forward to learning what local tourism in Barcelona is all about, and sharing it with our readers.   This brings me to my next point.  

I've greatly enjoyed writing this blog.  During my time in Southeast Asia, it was very easy to find material to write about and I take great pride in the stories that I have transcribed.  Since we finished our trip, the frequency and style of my posting has changed.  Indeed, in recent months, I haven't had too much to write about in terms of travels (as I was mainly dormant or in the US for personal reasons).  I have, though, written opinion pieces and reviews that have not only been personally rewarding, but have received positive and objective feedback as well.  

Nathalie and I have discussed in detail about how we can put our love of tourism, pragmatic living style and years of experience into better use.  We've decided that we're going to create a new website that will focus on practical travel advice, product reviews for goods and services we believe in, and posts giving guidance to those who shun the Lonely Planet's off-the-beaten-path-but-not-really faux allure.   Look for this new website to come on line within the next couple of months. 

In any case, I want to thank all of you, my readers, for your support over the past year and a half.  It touches me deeply that my writing has been well received and that visitors keep coming back to see what I've been up to.  I'm still going to keep posting here in at Go Go Global Gringo!; it is still an important outlet for me and my writing.    

In the meantime, I'll be enjoying the sun, the food, and probably most importantly, the wine; three traits that Spain is no doubt renowned for, and are in plentiful supply here in Barcelona! 

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