Whenever you plan a trip, there are lots of resources in print and online for all the various things you might want to see and do. As I prepared to travel to Belgium, I did a lot of reading about which attractions were worth visiting, where I could eat the best frites, and how to make the most of my time there.
But then there’s the stuff the guides leave out. Here’s my list of 14 things no one tells you when you’re planning a trip to Belgium:
- You might hate it and wish you’d stayed at home.
- You might have to pay to use the public restrooms.
- The letters on the computer keyboards have a different layout.
- The panhandlers are incredibly persistent and creative.
- Dutch doesn’t sound the way it looks….except when it does.
- You’ll feel like a schlub because everyone will put your fashion sense to shame.
- You’ll drink more beer than water.
- Ketchup will take second place as your favorite condiment to eat with fries…
- …but just don’t call them “French” fries—someone will correct you.
- You might get run over by a bicycle.
- You might develop an addiction to street waffles.
- You’ll get lost constantly.
- You’ll feel like you’re completely out of control…
- …but you’ll eventually love (almost) every minute of it.