In defense of the Belgian staycation
La Libre Belgique
Feeling guilty about the climate impact of your air travel? Then stay home this summer, said Laurianne Terlinden. No Belgian really needs “a round trip to Milan for a day’s shopping spree, a weekend in Hamburg for a concert,” or a trip to Egypt’s beaches to learn about the world. We are fortunate “to live in a country where diversity is king, where we can discover a new culture on every corner.” Walk over to the next neighborhood, and you might find a thriving African community. Head to Brussels, and you can taste the cuisine of a world-famous chef from Aleppo, a refugee from the Syrian civil war. Or take a culinary tour of Belgium and sample home-grown delicacies like Liège’s lacquemants (waffles), Jodoigne’s famous almond-studded bread pudding, or a slice of Limburg vlaai (fruit pie). Plot out a brewery tour and you can sip “our collection of 1,000 Belgian beers.” If globe-trotting travelers ask themselves what they really want from a vacation, they may find there’s no need to spew jet exhaust into the atmosphere. If you’re desperate for sun and simply must go to a French beach, you can easily get there by train. What progress we could make “if everyone, before clicking the Confirm Booking button,” just paused to think twice.