I distinctly remember that when we had been in Tanzania for 2 years, we all of a sudden had a wave of visitors. I guess everyone was politely (maybe even unconsciously) giving us some time to settle and as soon as we appeared to have established a life (and were staying?), they decided it was safe to book a ticket and count on our spare room. And for one year, we almost literally went from washing the sheets of the last visitors just to welcome the next batch. It was good timing also, because the girls were small and grew out of clothes and toys like crazy and I was allowed to send my online shopping to these guests’ addresses and they brought it. Since we were still relatively new to the country as well, I researched and discovered some destinations with and because of guests. Win-win.
After that, in the years that followed, there were ups and downs in number of visitors but since I never skipped a year in going to Belgium, the annual friends lunch and the family get-togethers were a consistent thing and so the most important people stayed in my life. Some people never came to Tanzania, and I do realize that Africa might be a required taste. (And let’s not forget: not cheap, especially with a family.) And funnily enough, I was told by 4 families they would be coming in the summer of 2018 and even though they were all coming for their own reasons, it would have been very nice to catch up – but unfortunately I missed them all since I left in June.
Since I am still a tourist in Santiago with a capital T myself I have not stopped to think about visitors yet. But I already sense there is a bigger interest and many friends have already put a flight alert for when prices drop. So I guess that means I definitely need to stock up on spare sheets and towels for year 2! In the meanwhile I am thinking about visiting people I know in other regions of Chile or neighbouring countries, and I have put some flight alerts of my very own.
It can be tricky to stay in touch, and sometimes you have to make an effort of course. (The time zone still throws me also.) But with people that matter, no score is kept. And I have had my fair share of Skype calls these last weeks, and some were totally unexpected. Some stand out because I was so grateful to hear from that person. Positive vibes all the way. So when those people are ready to exchange Skype for the skies, I will have those sheets ready. In the meantime, thanks for reaching out 🙂 You have to love technology, bringing people to my new living room with ease.