11 reasons your friends coming to visit the best thing ever

Vianden Castle; Luxembourg 
If you've ever lived overseas, I'm sure you will agree that getting a visitor is the best feeling in the world. Recently we were so lucky to have not one friend, not two friends, but THREE friends make the journey across the pond to spend a week with us. We spent the week galavanting between Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Belgium, and needless to say it was one for the books. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why seeing your friends is 1000x more exciting when you live abroad. Maybe its because after being this far away for so long you get 1000x more excited about anything reminescent of home. Or maybe it's because living abroad makes you feel a little bit insane every now and then and, as always, your friends help bring you back to earth.  Here's a top 11 list (because I couldn't fit all the awesomeness into 10) to help me articulate all the reasons why visitors are the b-e-s-t!

1. They bring you American things you've been missing for months

Anyone who has lived outside of the US for an extended period of time knows how hard it is to find your favorite things when living abroad. Specifically, snacks, and more specifically, junk food. I mean, who knew Ranch dressing literally does not exist outside of the US? When you are deprived of these things you crave them even more. Then your friends come to visit and unpack a suit case full of heavenly, sugary, fattening, goodness, and you start to feel like your right back home.

2. Someone to talk to

A little late night girl talk
The life of an expat is not always a social lifestyle. Its hard to strike up a conversation or make new friends when most of the people around you don't speak English. Now, I adore my husband, and there is no one else I would rather be "stuck" over here with. But, that being said, we were both ecstatic to have new people to converse with. People who understood every single word we said, laughed at the same jokes, and understood our sarcasm. Things that are otherwise often lost in translation.

3. Everything is always more fun with friends

In front of the Vianden Castle; Luxembourg. 
Period. The end. 2 is better then 1 and 5 is better then 2 and friends make the world go 'round.

4. You get to do awesome things together, like jump on castles, and climb in caves

Climbing down the Casemates du' Boc; Luxembourg 
The top of the Vianden Castle; Luxembourg
And who else would you want to do that with?

5. You have someone to reminisce with

The Heineken Experience; Amsterdam
I could talk for days about the amazing experiences we've had abroad. But I don't because I think my friends and family would eventually threaten to throw me through a window if they heard the word "Europe" one more time. But you know who won't get tired of talking about it? The friends you shared it with. I'm sure one day when were old we will all sit around reminiscing about "that one time, in Amsterdam" and all our other friends will just roll their eyes.

6. Once in a lifetime photo ops

Famous "I AMSTERDAM" sign; Amsterdam
The Vianden Castle; Luxembourg
It's cool to have a picture in front of a famous landmark, but its even cooler when you're with 5 of your best friends!

7. Not having to awkwardly ask strangers to take photos for you

You just can't trust a stranger to capture a moment like this. 
Alright, this one is a little selfish, but every traveler knows that dreaded feeling when you really want a picture that does not involve you holding the camera backwards at arms length. You look around and notice everyone else avoiding eye contact. You need to find a person who 1) speaks English 2) knows how to work a camera 3) doesn't look like that will run away with your camera 4) is not in a hurry. And you have a split second to decide all of those criteria or your potential picture taker will have passed you by. I've encountered this enough times to know that having a few extra picture takers around is always a good thing.

8. You get to share a part of your new life

Looking out over Luxembourg City; Luxembourg
I think half of our friends believe we live fancy, celebrity worth lifestyle complete with drivers and paparazzi. The other half of our friends believe that we do nothing except sit and twiddle our thumbs all day. Regardless of which side you're on, its nice to prove to at least a few people that neither are true.

9.  And for once you're not the most confused person around

As foreigners, a lot of ordinary tasks feel like uphill battles. We constantly struggle with language barriers, transportation obstacles, and currency conversions. Not to mention a constant flood of stares and gawking. Seeing our friends deal with these same challenges made me feel an overwhelming sense of normalcy (a rare feeling as an expat), and also slightly entertained.

10. It's kind of like going back to college for a week

The Heineken Experience; Amsterdam 
Our room for 5 at the White Tulip Hostel; Amsterdam
There are really not enough opportunities in adult post college life to hang out with your friends everyday for a week. Also, because a hostel is kind of like a dorm (a really creepy co-ed dorm where you have to lock up your stuff.) and there are exactly zero opportunities in adult post college life for week long sleepovers with your friends.

11. They make you miss home a little less

The bottom line is that we are really lucky to have such amazing, crazy, hilarious, and supportive friends in our lives, and even luckier that they are willing to ride on a plane for 9 hours to come see us.  I whole heartily love anytime we get to hang out, and the week we spent over here is one I will absolutely never ever forget!

The Casemates; Luxembourg
Travis and his favorite ladies; Amsterdam 
In front of the cathedral; Brussels, Belgium
Chillin; Amsterdam 
Canal boat ride; Amsterdam
Brussels, Belgium


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