I have found that our time here has flown by. It's hard to believe that in just two months we will have lived in Barcelona for 3 1/2 years. And to think, I didn't think I would make it for the initial 2 years and thought it was going to be the slowest, longest 2 years of my life. How wrong I was.
Part of this is that aside from every day life. we have things to look forward to, differently than we did at home. That's not to say that we didn't have fun things going on at home, because we did. But here, we have almost monthly travel and occasional visitors to look forward to. And it makes the time just whip right by us.
Believe it or not, Josh and I both have our weather apps on our phones set to not just here and home, but also to whatever upcoming destinations we have. Part of the anticipation of an upcoming trip is to check the weather and see how it compares to here and to home. Sadly, right now, I have nothing in there beyond Attleboro and Barcelona. I almost get a panic feeling when I don't have anything planned. But given we just got back from a trip on Thursday, less than a week ago, I'm going to cut myself a little slack on that one.
But having a trip to look forward to does really make the time go by. And given that Josh and I have had trips planned just about every 6 weeks, if not more often, over the last few years, which has given us many things to look forward to.
However, there was a reason I wanted to write this entry regarding anticipation. It's the anticipation of visitors. Now let's be realistic for a moment and take a step back to when we were getting ready to move here. EVERYONE said they were coming to visit. The reality... very few have actually done so. Now, we aren't resentful of this. We get it... it's expensive to come here and if you have a family, which many of you do, it's even more expensive. It's actually cheaper for us to come home.
That's not to say that we haven't had visitors, they have just been few and far between, and we appreciate every single one of them coming to see us. Last year we had... um... two. My cousin Meghan visited us in March and Josh's parents were here this Christmas thru the first part of January. Though we did meet friends in Munich so while they didn't come here, they still count... and we had a friend that stopped here for a night on their way to southern Spain. Ok, so you can up that to 4.
This year we are getting an influx of visitors which makes up for the lack of travel planned in the next few months. And I'll take it. I will take having friends and family here with us over travel any day. And I didn't realize just how much those visits meant to me until people started booking flights. Suddenly my outlook on life was just a little bit brighter. I miss home. I miss my friends. I miss my family. And if I can have an opportunity to see them more than once a year, I'll take it.
Not to mention, it's nice to be able to share with those you love, the new life that you have built in a new place. So they can experience some of what you experience on a daily basis. This life is so different from that of which we lived back in the US. I can write about it until I'm blue in the face, but you won't get it until you experience it from the eyes of a "local". You can go on vacation anywhere and assume it's not all that hard, but living somewhere outside the US is a completely different animal than just visiting. And so to have an opportunity to share that experience with my friends and family is one that I absolutely do not take for granted.
And so the anticipation begins. Josh's parents were here in January and now we have my two best college friends coming for a girls week in June, my best friend in July and another amazing college friend also in July. Not to mention the fall which hopefully includes Meghan making a return visit and if all works out, finally a trip by my parents (it will be their first)! I can barely contain my excitement as we start to finalize plans all around.
I think when living abroad you really need positive and fun things to look forward to in order to get thru the time until you return home. Whether that is travel, exploring the region you moved to, or enjoying visitors from home - it's all a part of the process. I, for one, appreciate my friendships on a very different level than I did before we moved. We're getting excited for the upcoming months!!!