Category Archives: opinion

The Saisonniers #4

That same evening I meet Tine, at the bar of a hotel. She’s working as a receptionist and offers me a conversation, a cocktail and a big smile. When she shares her life story I become so engrossed I lose all track of time.

Tine, 32, is a hotel receptionist and bar tender in Val Thorens. Picture by Arno Van den Veyver.

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The Saisonniers #3

When I drive up to my friend’s house that evening, I meet his roommate. Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my accommodation with 28 year old Max. It’s his second season as a ski man and his eagerness to learn and climb the ladder strikes me above all.

Max, 28, is a ski man in Val Thorens. Image by Arno Van den Veyver

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The Saisonniers #2

Why leave everything behind to please tourists for 7 months?

The next day is my first day on the slopes and so I pick up my gear at a snowboard and ski shop Prosneige. Conveniently, they also offer classes to a newbie who is clueless as to what to do with two sticks and a bunch of snow. I get the chance to have a chat with Eric, who is a boot fitter for the shop.  Essentially, he examines and measures people’s feet. Boot fitters match the shape of the foot to a specific boot shell, volume, and flex pattern that will correspond to people’s skiing ability. They’ll then scan your foot to create a custom foot bed that will help align your stance.

Eric, 35, is a boot fitter in Val Thorens. Image by Arno Van den Veyver.

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The Saisonniers #1

Why leave everything behind and please tourists for 7 months a year?

That question came to my mind when I first visited Val Thorens. I could never imagine why anyone would agree to a shabby wage, working ‘flexible’ hours (which means practically 10 hours a day) and not being able to spend time with family and friends for months. I drove 11 hours to Val Thorens in France, the highest ski-resort in Europe to find seasoners or ‘saissoniers’, to ask what about life here is so special they would come back every year.

Nina, 18, works as a ski woman in Val Thorens and as a life guard in New Zealand. Image property of interviewee.

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #5

when religion gets in the way

When I was first introduced to Izat, I was expecting to be faced with different cultural customs and habits. I had however not expected to live with someone for whom religion is such an important part of life. Call me naive, but I simply hadn’t considered it. Izat is an avid follower of Islam, but it took me a while to figure that out. Because we only talked about basic things such as housekeeping, school and work, I had no idea how important being faithful to his God was to him and how much that would end up influencing our living together.

flatsharing with a refugee, on religion

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #4

on sex, love and relationships

I have never asked myself so many questions about the subject of relationships, as since I began living with Izat. Never before have I had so many problems expressing myself and explaining things to someone else when talk turns to the Belgian view on love and friendship. And to be honest, it’s the cause of a fair amount of frustration because our views on these themes are so vastly different.

flatsharing with a refugee, on love, sex and relationships

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #3

if not today, then surely tomorrow

Time is precious. For most of us probably so much so that it takes up a large amount of our lives. Making and planning our time for all sorts of things such as work, appointments, social occasions, ourselves and our partners, can be quite frankly, exhausting. Like no other people, the Flemish are masters at explaining why we really can’t meet for at least another three weeks because, well, our diaries simply won’t allow it.

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Top Communications Trends 2019

on digitial disruptors, social stories and other influencers

How time flies. It’s been three years since ReLocate last explored the key communications trends for businesses. High time to find out what’s changed – and what hasn’t – in a world defined by disruptors and advances in digital technology. We’ve ploughed through endless white papers and trend reports to uncover what we should be talking about in 2019 and how we should be doing it. We delve into the biggest driving forces of the decade and talk about some of the most important communications trends today. For your business, your clients and your team.

communication trends relocation global mobility industry

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Pathways to a Competitive Future

for Brussels and Antwerp

Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each has its own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that is it that makes a city competitive?

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM – June 02, 2017: Night view on the illuminated Port House building designed by Zaha Hadid architect in 2009 in Antwerpen city, Belgium

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Pathways to a Competitive Future

for Brussels and Antwerp

Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each have their own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that makes a city competitive?

left: Antwerp
right: Brussels

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