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It’s Saturday morning in Amsterdam. Early morning judging by the clock, but late morning considering the time the sun rose. The days here in the far north hemisphere are getting longer and longer. The sun rises somewhere around 5am and doesn’t fully set until 10ish. I don’t mind the long nights as much as waking up at 5am to a light, bright bedroom. Thank goodness for sleep masks. Even still, the long days are a welcome change from the six hours of sun we got when I arrived here in December. Those days were bleak and cold while the spring and summer are cheery and warm. I should appreciate it while it lasts!

The past week since Mom left has been fairly mellow…intentionally. Travel has been light, so I made a point to enjoy a quiet week at home. It’s been nice, but now it’s time for the schedule to get crazy again. Despite the fact that Monday is a compulsory holiday at work I volunteered to go to Denmark. Fortunately I am once again flying in early to get a half-day in the city and am taking Friday off in exchange making for a four-day weekend next weekend as Thursday is a bank holiday. After working in Denmark Monday, I’ll be back in the Netherlands and in the office Tuesday then fly to Sweden Tuesday evening. Again, I was able to extend the trip and after working Wednesday will spend the Thursday holiday in Stockholm. That reminds me…any suggestions for places to go, things to see/do, food to eat in either city?

And that’s just the first week of June. I already have four more trips planned and at least one other on the way…to Moscow. My fingers, toes, arms, and legs are doubly crossed that this trip comes through. And you’d better believe I’ll be scheduling more than just one extra day around that trip. Plus the fact that it’ll likely be somewhere very close to my birthday. Not a bad present!

It has been almost half a year since moving to the Netherlands and starting up this crazy schedule. It doesn’t feel quite so shiny and new and exciting as it did in the beginning, but I am definitely still loving what I’m doing, where I’m going, and the people I’m meeting. Maybe I’m starting the slight downward fall from the peak of the honeymoon phase, but I’m not yet ready to stop. In fact, I’ve recently started thinking about the future and hoping that maybe this isn’t just a one-year gig after all. It’s still a bit too early for that so I’ll keep enjoying what’s in the near future and not worry too much about anything beyond that.

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