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I’ve been in a funk lately, and it’s only now that I’m coming out of it that I notice. Between the cold weather, short days, friends moving away, too much travel, and time spent thinking about home the odds have been stacked against me so far this year. This time last year everything was so new – the city, the job, the people – that it was all an exciting adventure. This time around I’m all settled in and traveling 2-3 times as much as before meaning I’ve had some long days and have to fight to find personal time for errands or dinner with friends.

My hope is that with spring on its way and my travel schedule getting a little more organized my mood will brighten with the sky. I think it will. Spring and summer in Amsterdam completely changes the city. People are outside from the early morning to late in the evening. The canals are full of boats, the parks are covered with picnic blankets and the narrow streets are crowded with people and bikes. The warmer months will also bring home to me and me to home.

April will bring friends from the US who are coming for their first visit to Amsterdam over Queen’s Day weekend. That alone will be quite an experience for them. In May my mom will be back for another visit. This year we’re going to Venice then catching a week long cruise to Croatia, Greece and Turkey. A slightly different view of the Mediterranean than I had last summer. A month later, I go back to the US for 10 days to spend time with family in California, then to meet a group of friends for a few days south of the border for a weekend music festival of sorts. It’s Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers’ annual Circus Mexicus celebration, an annual event I’ve participated in for 7 of the last 8 years. After missing out in 2011 I vowed it wouldn’t happen again. (See the short video at the end of this post for a small taste.)

The weather is already significantly better than two weeks ago and I’m hoping it stays on this track. It’s time to get back into a fully positive state of mind and be ready for all of the wonderful things the warmer months have to offer here because I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be this time next year. And while that may sound scary to some, I spend (too much) time thinking about all of the wonderful options that affords me.