Before I began my grand adventure in England, I planned out all of the exciting things I wanted to do. On my ultimate to-do list, towards the top, I put “visit the Tintin Museum.” For those who are unaware of my obsession with the character, Tintin is my first true comic book love. I began reading the comics during my first year of college, and I have been hooked since. Tintin took me on grand adventures, daring escapes, and espionage missions across Europe. Tintin even helped me through my darkest times; during a particularly rough patch, I would watch The Adventures of Tintin every single night for about a month straight. Eventually, Tintin took me to Belgium, a weekend trip I took with an English friend while I was studying abroad. Ultimately, Tintin made me fall in love with Brussels.

Since yesterday’s news of the tragic events that befell Brussels, I have held a heavy heart. Belgium is a country that, in the past, I never would have thought twice about. Had it not been for Tintin, though, I would have missed out on seeing a wonderful country. I remember the morning we arrived in Brussels; the air was chilly and crisp, and the streets were just beginning to buzz. My friend and I waited desperately for a cafe to open before we headed to the museum. Luckily, a little bistro opened just in time. Thanks to how international the city is, my friend and I were able to communicate with our server. What followed was the most magnificent breakfast I have ever had. After breakfast, we began to explore, discovering all of the gilded wonders of the town center. Little shops selling chocolate, handmade lace, and tourist garb lined the streets. Each step was cobbled, bright and shining from a morning shower.

When we ventured out to the museum, I saw a countryside that was lush and picturesque. And, of course, the museum did not disappoint. Never have I ever geeked out so much; this museum opened its arms and wrapped me in the rich history of Herge (Tintin’s creator). I’m not sure if I’ve explained in my Beginner’s Guide series how I got involved in comic books. In fact, it was Tintin that introduced me to that world.

Needless to say, I owe quite a lot to Tintin. And, in essence, I owe quite a lot to Brussels.

I can’t offer much, but what I can offer is the same kindness that this city once offered to me and my friend. If you have a few minutes, I suggest you do the same. Just thinking about how this terrible event has impacted such a wonderful city should put thinks into perspective. Simply sending love and positivity Brussels’s way can make an impact on someone who was affected personally. Whether it’s a kind word on Twitter, a shared picture on Instagram, or even a simple reflection of events can send waves. It’s time to give Brussels–and Tintin–some love.

Je suis Bruxelles ❤

Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for? 

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