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Travel safely by bus

Traveling by bus is safe and comfortable. The bus sector has invested in many different measures, including transparent screens inside the bus, upgraded filter and ventilation systems and adapted procedures. Here are the seven most important ones.    1. Masks are mandatory on board Just like in public transportation wearing a mask is mandatory for all passengers of 13 years and older. You are expected to take one or more yourself, but we of course always take a few extra with us.   2. Near full bus capacity can be used Except for the first row behind the driver all seats can be used in the bus. This way we keep 1,5 meters distance from the driver. Buses that we use have capacity from 40 to 78 persons. While boarding we ensure that groups and couples board first and that single pa...

Loving Vincent: 5 Van Gogh trips

For years I was following the incredible project to make a fully hand-painted movie about painter Vincent van Gogh. Whereas the old-fashioned cartoons were made out of drawings, this movie would consists of actual paintings. It took a team of 125 artists from around the globe several years to paint an astonishing 65.000 paintings in the style of the Dutch Master. The results are simply spectacular. Telling the story about Vincent, and especially his final days in the village Auvers-sur-Oise, just Northwest of Paris, the film was received with great reviews around the world. It won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the European Film Festival in Berlin and was nominated for an Academy Award. As a Dutchman myself, needless to say that we are very proud in the Netherlands of such a b...

8 Blooming Destinations

The choice for our trip destinations are anything but based on objective criteria. Coming from Holland I must totally confess I’m terribly biased towards putting certain events on the calendar. As a Dutchman, I’m namely born with a total love for flowers. It should therefore not come as a surprise that our very first trip on 1 May 2013 went to the number 1 flower destination in the world, the Keukenhof Spring Gardens. The Keukenhof is a must-see destination when you’re an expat in Brussels, or when you live somewhere else and you visit Holland in the early Spring. It is by far our most popular trip in terms of people that are joining us every year. And since 1 + 1 is still 2, meaning my bias towards beautiful colours, shapes and scents on the one hand, and the enthusiasm ...

Corona measures

We always inform trip participants beforehand about the updated agenda and other things that make the day more enjoyable for everyone. Needless to say that due to the current corona situation we also inform everyone about the measures we put in place together with our travel partners and welcoming destinations.   We travel only if allowed A total no-brainer, but the most important rule is of course that we only travel if allowed by the Belgian and foreign governments. So if we go to France, we adhere to the national and local rules there. If we go to Holland, we follow the Dutch national and local governments. We don’t travel to red zones.   We never travel to red zones As you may know, countries are either green, orange or red. The red destinations are out of the question,...

Trip review: Stargazing

On Saturday evening 15 August a group of expats gathered hundreds of free wishes during our annual stargazing trip to the dark Ardennes. Every year we visit the Brussels Planetarium, followed by a visit to the observatory in Grimbergen. That local event is great to learn about the stars and still be able to see some deep celestial objects. However, Brussels is not the most optimal places for some serious stargazing, certainly not when Earth is moving through a particular field that causes the most famous meteor shower of the year: the Perseids. Our stargazing trip was the first trip since we learned more about Vincent Van Gogh in January on a lovely trip to Holland. That’s seven months later… :-(.  Anyway, there we were again, gathering around 17h00 at Place Schuman on Saturday...

While in Brussels

So now and then I am hired to meet with a high-level incoming expat manager to talk about “daily expat life in Brussels”. This service comes as part of their transition package organised by their company or organisation, which also involves some intercultural training and relocation services (offered by specialists). Literally the first thing I always say during those meeting is to go out there and explore their new city of residence. Brussels is not like Paris, Amsterdam or London, it’s less lively, less homogeneous, and it’s sometimes a bit hard to know where to go to. But at the same time, I make the promise there are many hidden and not-so-hidden corners, bursting with live or beauty, just waiting to be discovered. If you don’t follow my simple advice, you...

Must-see destinations in Belgium

Brussels is a great city with lots of things to do. We’ve written several blogs about this, like this one with a few great ideas to (re-)discover the city. We always recommend newcomers to go out there and explore as much as possible. Not everything at once, but to take some time every weekend to visit yet another part of town. It’s hard to imagine, but once you have had enough of Brussels, there is an entire country out there to discover too! At Expat Club we are experts in discovering new things. By far most of our trips go out of Belgium, and for daytrips especially the surrounding countries. We do have a few trips in Belgium, such as our kayaking trips and the war trips to Bastogne and Ypres. For the latter ones, we feel it is essential to join our group, simply because we ...

Expat Club & UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Since the foundation in 2013, Expat Club visited countless destinations in Brussels, Belgium and other (surrounding) countries, either by bus, train, flight or (overnight) ferry. In fact, the flags on our destinations map keep keeps on increasing month after month, including farther places. Whether near or far, we think that all the places we visit are totally worth it. Some destinations, however, are extra special because they have been named an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have written an extensive blog about that that we continuously update whenever we visit a new UNESCO site. But there is more than just monuments and physical places. Expat Club travels to a wide variety of places in Belgium, surrounding countries and other places around Europe and the world. We have already ...

Tips for expats in Brussels

One of the main guiding principles for Expat Club is to bring people together. Our diverse and open-minded community guarantees a relaxed and safe atmosphere in which you can share beautiful moments together. Another great aspect is that you can endlessly learn from other expats. Questions I hear all the time are: “Where should I find a house?”, “How does it work with social security?”, “What are the best hospitals, internet connections, mobile phone operators, etc?”. The suggestions for the nicest coffee bars and restaurants are shared royally during our get-together. And so it should be! Sharing is caring, as the saying goes! This made us realise how much knowledge about Brussels expat life actually exists in our community. So we put our heads together...

Expat Club & UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Since the foundation in 2013, Expat Club visited countless destinations in Brussels, Belgium and other (surrounding) countries, either by bus, train, flight or (overnight) ferry. In fact, the flags on our destinations map keep keeps on increasing month after month, including farther places. Whether near or far, we think that all the places we visit are totally worth it. Some destinations, however, are extra special because they have been named an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. And the best thing is that a few of them are literally just a few minutes walking from our office at Avenue Louise! UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s pro...

Top 15 must-see Expat Club destinations

After six years of organising Expat Club trips, I am quite happy when I look at our destinations map. We’ve been to well over 100 destinations, including cities, museums, regions, mountain tops, beaches, Christmas markets, waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints, castles and many more famous and less-known landmarks. I believe all places we visit are worth seeing, but now I put my brains at work to really think about what are the absolute must-see destinations we have been already and will definitely return to.  While compiling this list, I must admit that I feel doing injustice to many wonderful places we visited before but that didn’t make it to their list. In fact, all places we’ve been before deserve to be visited. There is a history to each and every one of them. There are storie...

12 reasons to not join Expat Club

There are a 101 reasons to join Expat Club. Maybe it has something to do with the amazing number of destinations, maybe because of how we bring people together, maybe because the trips are always well organised with interesting programs. Who knows! But today we want to be honest with you, there are also a dozen reasons not to join. We wanted to share them in case you have some doubts, too, and allay your fears. Reason #1 – I don’t like clubs You may be making assumptions about Expat Club based on your thoughts about clubs in general. We are not a fancy, exclusive, high-flying community of jet-setters. We don’t focus on one nationality. We don’t requiring members to show up at least x times per month to our events. We simply bring people together, regardless of their (internatio...

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