Are you serious about lifestyle innovation? Collaborative living in Brussels

At the end of June Nadia and I will leave Strasbourg and relocate to Brussels. We are picking up good vibes about the city: it feels vibrant, it offers interesting professional and learning opportunities and – critically – we know quite a lot of people from all over the world who have moved there and have felt welcome. So why not us?

The thing is, we would like this relocation to be somewhat different from last year’s, when we moved out of Milan to set up camp in Strasbourg. In France, we are the typical migrant nuclear family. We rented a nice apartment overlooking the river, it’s great but we feel very lonely. Our families are scattered over two continents and four countries, none of which is France; many of our common friends are back in Milan, others are dispersed all over the globe. Our life here is simply too isolated. So, this time, we would like to rent a large living space and share it with others. We have been hosting people, on and off, for a year now, and we have grown to appreciate the company of our guests in our apartment, so we know having others in the living room does not feel like an invasion of privacy.

Now, this is lifestyle innovation we are talking about. We all shared apartments as students, or at the beginning of our working lives: that was great, but we now are adults, we have a greater need for personal spaces to balance with our need for socialization. We also have a bit more money than we did as students. So, ideally, we would want a 3-4 bedroom, and at least two bathrooms apartment to share with another person, or two. We would have one bedroom each (or two per couple); a bathroom per family unit; and share the living room, the kitchen and the terrace (if any). We would interact with our housemate(s) with the greatest respect and consideration, but allowing – and actually hoping – to grow closer to them as we live our lives. We have been looking at available housing in Brussels, and we have found several possible solutions.

There is no book to do this by: we were raised in a context of nuclear families, where adults simply do not share living space unless they are married to each other. But the world is changing fast, and we are happy and proud to try to break new ground, exploring living arrangements that make sense with our ever more globally mobile professional lives. If you feel the same, maybe you will consider moving in with us. We are a Swedish-Italian couple, no children, friendly and well-traveled. We speak mostly English to each other, but we are able to communicate in several other languages. If you are curious to know more, you can have a look at this Facebook page, where we post some interesting living spaces we have come across If you are interested, leave us a comment here, on the Facebook page, or just write to alberto[at]cottica[dot]net. If you think a friend of yours might be interested, please feel free to pass the links along. Brussels, here we come!

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