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When I announced I would be moving to Europe and living in Amsterdam for a year more than a few people expressed interest in coming to visit. But when it comes down to it flights aren’t cheap and most people I know aren’t rolling in piles of money or their schedules just won’t allow for time away. Fortunately there are a few who are able to make the journey and bring me a smiling, familiar face from home.

You already know my mom was here in May for a couple of weeks. It was great to spend time with her and she found comfort in seeing where I live and having a better sense of my life here.

Over the next few months I have more visits to look forward to which is exciting. In a couple of weeks I’m meeting a former colleague in Belgium for a weeend – one day in Bruges and one day in Brussels. August brings my grandparents who will be arriving in Amsterdam at the end of their river cruise. They’ll be spending two days here mostly just to catch up with me. The unbelievable and inspiring part is that my grandfather has just celebrated his 90th birthday. Ninety years young and still traveling the world. I want to be like them when I grow up.

Then comes September and a couple of friends I’ve made through our mutual love of Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. (The RCPM community is similar to Grateful Dead – traveling all over, seeing tens or hundreds of shows, fans becoming one big family – but not quite as hippie.) They’ll be spending two weeks in Italy between Rome and Florence and have invited me to meet up for a couple of days.

I’m still holding out hope for a few other people to make plans or find the resources to visit, but these few visitors through summer should keep me quite busy. It takes a lot of work to start a new social life from scratch though I do feel I have already made a couple of great friends here. Even so, it’s nice to have visitors who have known me for some time and with whom I can just pick up where we last left off.