This quarantine we have enjoyed lots of family time! We have played monopoly (sometimes for hours), we have read many books, we have trained our dog, and we have cooked new recipes. We have enjoyed our backyard projects, that we'd put off due to other priorities, and the occasional trip to the grocery store!!
The quarantine has taken longer than we expected since we initially thought it might only last a couple of weeks. We understood from the beginning that our compliance with the stipulated regulations, would help us and everyone else stay healthy and avoid infection.
As time progressed, many of us have felt caged in our own homes. We like traveling and the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 causing virus have been hard on us, even with the joys of being together with our loved ones. Europe is perfect for people who like going out and exploring nature, architecture, or simply experiencing new things. You don't have to travel far to find incredible places, rich in history and beauty, to explore and immerse yourself in. Most cities in Belgium (where we live) have great history, war monuments, World War II battlefields, and historical sites from the middle ages. Most Belgians know their history very well and want to share it with visitors.
We have not been able to enjoy the routine travel that we have become so accustomed to. However, the local government has given us a way to deal with it. Belgium continues to allow us to go on walks, as long as they are in the immediacy of your home and that you go with people who live with you. We have welcomed the concession and followed the rules, so we can continue to stay, healthy, safe, and sane during this time.
The ability to go out and walk around our neighborhood, has opened our eyes, again, to find beauty in our surroundings. Each stage of our walk brings up different views that we neglected before, because of its familiarity.
We are very blessed to live in a beautiful area, where a canal that traverses Belgium, from The Netherlands to France, unveils different landscapes along its course. We have walked, ran, and biked along the canal many times before, but it never seizes to impress us. The canal and its views seems to change along with the seasons, transforming it with the arrival of seasonal birds, rain, snow, flowers, or whatever grows or travels throughout the year.
I have grown to appreciate the local sites because they have given us a respite from the monotony. Experiencing the trails and their sights under the new rules have brought up the beauty that we, many times, forget is surrounding us.
I hope that you stop and observe around you and look at the beauty around you. I hope that you and your family and friends are doing well. Stay safe!
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