I have not seen enough of the world to tell you what the most gorgeous place on earth is.
The beaches of the Bahamas? Maybe.
The hustling, bustling Times Square in New York? I could make a good argument.
Could it be the peace and serenity that awaits you in Maine, or perhaps the deep history you’ll find in London?
I can tell you that one of the most beautiful places I’ve been is Belgium — which is shocking to me, since it was scheduled as a brief sidebar in a trip that largely focused on France and Italy.
Growing Bolder graciously allowed me to take two weeks away from the office, during which I traveled to Brussels, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome. It was, to use a cliche, the trip of a lifetime.
And it all started out on the right foot when I found myself lost and in love with Belgium. The waffles may have contributed to that, of course.
What was it about Belgium that so touched me? I’m not sure. I’ve seen more beautiful buildings in other countries; I’ve eaten better food. I didn’t have one overwhelmingly memorable experience or trip, and I can’t say that the culture struck me as particularly amazing.
Maybe it was the people — a group of people who welcomed me and my fumbling French and Flemish — who so entranced me. I met men, women and children who seemed happy, peaceful, helpful and proud of their country. They helped with directions, currency exchange, offered easy smiles and seemed to truly appreciate my presence.
That’s kind of what I hope for in all my experiences, I guess, whether at home or abroad. The comfort in knowing that just being there is enough. And I was reminded once again how beautiful humility can be. Belgium and its people didn’t try to impress or showboat; they just celebrated what they had to offer, and invited me to do the same.
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been and why?