Realizing that family Is important.
My last year of highschool was really tough, I was so glad when it was finally over. University was starting in the fall, and I was just excited for a fresh start. Brand new school, and brand new friendships. I am the oldest child in my entire family, and that meant it was a big deal to everyone that the first grandchild had graduated and was moving on in life. A lot of my family members were wishing me good luck. My now 19 year old younger cousin Laurent who I hadn’t seen since 2006 messaged me, asking me for advice about school, and from that day we started speaking everyday. I was never really close with my dad’s side of the family, as they all live in Belgium. My dad has 2 sisters, and 2 brothers. I met both his sisters (including Laurent’s mom) but only one time when we were little. Me and Laurent were able to form a really strong bond and he truly became my best friend. Us being cousins was just another advantage.
I soon also started speaking to my dad’s brothers who have also oddly but weird enough become my best friends throughout this journey. I decided that I wanted to go visit/meet them in Belgium. I planned a trip for myself, and a month before I left, my parents and the rest of the adults in the family announced that I wouldn’t be going myself, and that they would be joining me. This was a great opportunity for everyone. My dad was able to see his siblings, and his dad after 10 years, and all of us kids were excited to meet. I was especially excited to see Laurent. We traveled to Belgium on July 11th 2019, and since we were already in Europe, we decided to take advantage of the low travel prices. We then all went in our large group to Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Lisbon. I missed them all so much after we came back home in August, that my original plan of traveling to see them alone happened in December again.