Somewhere I call home doesn’t need to be my birth hometown, doesn’t need to be a beautiful or fancy place, but it’s where I want to come back after all my journeys.
I’m leaving my hometown, Hanoi, to come to Europe first for my master and now for my PhD already 5 years. I did an Erasmus Mundus master, which required me moving around. So, I stayed only few months in one place, maximum 6 months then moved again to another place. Six months weren’t enough for me to get used to the environment, the people there and really deep into the culture because I had my study and needed to settle down. When I moved to Liege for my PhD, which is my first time to live really years in one place, other than my hometown.
I passed my first year of my PhD in Liege really to settle down, to know people, to engage in some activities and to enjoy my life in this small village. This town isn’t big, isn’t magnificent, isn’t model like many towns in Belgium and in Europe, but it was my home for 1 year till that time. My second year of my PhD offered me many chances to go abroad for conferences, courses, summer schools or secondments. It took me like 6 months moving arounds living some days, months in many places. During that time, I know that, I really missed my ‘home’ in Liege, where I put my heart into the people and the nature here.
Liege is a small, old mountain town in Belgium, but also near to the Netherlands and Germany. The nature here has the typical mountain views with lots of green, and the Meuse River goes through the town. The houses here are quite old, like it already fixed for hundred years dating to the medieval era. Most people here are really heart-warming. Although I don’t know French, but still able to communicate with them somehow.
Doing a PhD is quite a big task for me. So, I need to find some sorts of entertainment and relaxing. I usually run along the Meuse River or walking or biking to the forest near my Uni. Those activities are the ones I like most. I’m living in a small studio, near the main road but surrounded by green, three big parks around me. So, I also like reading in the park when the weather allows, giving us some sunshine. I love trees and green so now I have for myself a small garden at home.
I make lots of friends here. It is also important for me to have some activities with them. Drinking a beer in a hot summer evening in the riverside of the Meuse while talking with some friends is my favourite. By somehow, my memories about Liege is building up and Liege becomes my ‘home’, where I don’t want to leave for a long time and always want to be back after all my journeys.