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What is a Wondrous Wander?

A Wondrous Wander is a walk of discovery, of revelation… a meander with open eyes and mind through Brussels or across Belgium. It might take a couple of hours, a day or a weekend… it’s about finding beauty, inspiring images & intriguing anecdotes.

You can wander with your feet or just your mind. So a wondrous wander is also about discovering the hidden angle to a particular subject…looking at metaphors and stories that provide clues that help you better understand this country, its culture, and history.

I work with expats and visitors to Belgium, and Belgians themselves (because we often know more about other places than we do about our own city) who are curious or are struggling to enjoy their new city, who want to meet other people just like them — or totally different! — and continue to develop and flex their understanding of themselves and their surroundings in new ways.

I create and lead Walking Experiences of Discovery for individuals, groups and businesses to reveal hidden gems and fun facts related to Belgian culture and sights, weaving them together using metaphors and stories, which means that people learn about both the city/country and themselves so they see their Belgian experience through a new lens.

Billy & Me 2 on G-P Close-up Turquoise Polaroid w LOGO

 

What makes it a unique concept?

My trusty WondrousWanderPup, Billy, helps me scout out new locations and the best route from A to B!

When I decided to turn my passion into my business, Wondrous Wanders is the name that perfectly expressed my concept. It’s evocative of the reaction I love seeing on peoples’ faces when they wander with me — either on a walk or in a discussion…a look of  happy surprise at a new discovery or a new way of looking at a situation. That’s my definition of wondrous.

And wandering, well, it’s all about walking with a goal in mind, but being flexible enough to take the fork in the road if it looks more promising. Again, this works whether we’re out walking or discovering a fascinating subject during a discussion.

Wondrous Wanders invites you to take a journey of discovery in a place you already know or one that’s new to you. It challenges you to look at places, people and things in a new way, see them through new eyes and, hopefully, with a new appreciation.

Particularly in Brussels, a city that’s gotten the short end of the stick as far as I’m concerned. Do you think Brussels is dull, boring or ugly? I’m here to tell you that’s just not true. But you have to be willing to put some effort into finding the beauty, the quirky and lovable side of the city. That’s where I come in!

 

Who’s behind Wondrous Wanders?

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I’m Wendy, an inveterate wanderer (apparently that’s one meaning of my name…did my parents have an inkling of what was to come?) and I love to walk and take photographs. I’m an outgoing and bilingual Canadian who moved to Brussels for my job 18 years ago on Valentine’s Day — an omen of the importance of my relationship with Belgium!

I became a Belgian citizen, formed new friendships, showed off my new city and country to family and friends, unravelled a lot of red tape, learned how to drive all over again, took photography, salsa and wine courses, depended on my sense of humour to get through the tough stuff, and learned to appreciate the differences between Belgium and “home”. I decided there was no point in coming to a new place if I couldn’t be open-minded, learn from and enjoy the experience. And what a ride it’s been!

 

 

Who benefits from Wondrous Wanders?

I work with expats and visitors to Belgium, who are struggling to enjoy their new city and Belgians themselves (because we often know more about other places than we do about our own city). Poeple who want to meet other people just like themselves — or totally different! — and continue to develop and flex their understanding of themselves and their surroundings in new ways.

395 Group @ Viller Wall Logo

I lead Walking Experiences of Discovery for individuals, groups and businesses to reveal hidden gems and fun facts related to Belgian culture and sights, weaving them together using metaphors and stories, which results in people learning about both the country and themselves so they see their Belgian experience through a new lens.

 

 

 

 

Why a Wondrous Wander is the right choice for you!

1. Do you have your own Business or work for a Company? You’ll need team-building or business entertainment ideas, right?

A Wondrous Wander is an ideal solution to a variety of businesses needs:

  • benefit from a wander as a team building event
  • show the city to employees & executives visiting Brussels from other countries
  • entertain employees’ partners during company meetings in Brussels
  • entertain clients in a unique way
  • introduce a prospective or new employee to Brussels to support your recruitment or relocation efforts

 

2. Are you an Individual, a Family or a Small Group living in or visiting Brussels?

I can take you wandering for a few hours, a half day or a full day on a walk I’ve developed or one designed just for you.

You can wander once or buy a package of wanders.

  • Do you have visitors coming to town? A Wondrous Wander is a great way to show them the city…and you’ll enjoy it too!
  • Are you looking for an idea for a birthday or other celebration?
  • Maybe you want to surprise someone with a unique gift to celebrate a special occasion.

I limit groups to a maximum of 20 people to ensure a personal and quite intimate setting where you feel free to chat with me and ask questions as we walk. It’s no fun for you if I lead you like a herd of sheep from one place to another and then do a speech. I enjoy being engaged in a thoughtful discussion as we walk because that’s how I make sure you get the most out of your Wondrous Wanders experience.

Wandering makes us thirsty, so why not have a drink with me afterwards and get to know the others on your walk?

 

The time frame varies between 2 hours, a half-day and full day. We can include special drinks or a meal in a unique location to make it the perfect event.
 

Where will a Wondrous Wander lead you?

I tend to wander primarily in the historic centre of Brussels because there is such a rich cultural heritage.

The Wondrous Wall Wander will show you the vestiges of the 13th century wall around Brussels, allowing you to imagine life in medieval times while seeing the centre of Brussels as it is now. I’ll point out some hidden gems and we can consider the meaning of the walls we build around our own cultural and personal identity as we meander through history.

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The ’10 Secrets Even the Belgians Don’t Know About Brussels’ makes for fascinating wandering as well. We’ll enter a world of hidden gems and little-known tales about Brussels, its history and the often surreal Belgian way of looking at life by exploring 10 unique sights in the historic centre of the city.

This walk is for people who don’t know Brussels at all — or who know it really well. Believe me, I’ve tested it on dyed-in-the-wool Belgians!

412 Group @ Senne Lomo Polaroid Logo

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
How about a World War I Wander? We’re honouring the centenary of the Great War over the next few years, so I can take you on a journey back in time to discover people and places that were important between 1914 and 1918. Belgium was right smack in the middle of the action so we are superbly placed to wander this slice of history.

I’m always looking for special themes, so don’t hesitate to suggest a Wondrous Wander that would interest you!

 

What are the ingredients that make a Wander truly Wondrous?

The most important ingredient: a group of interested, open-minded people who are willing to look at local sights and cultural identity in new ways.

My own personal ‘tools of the trade’ include: comfortable shoes (preferably red!), passion, curiosity, a camera, map, a notebook and a pen. Oh yes, an umbrella is often handy — this is Belgium, after all!

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And a break is always advised — especially if it’s to enjoy some chocolate, a Belgian beer, frites or a glass of wine!