It makes everything less far away, and easier to explain when you ask what I've been up to. "Oh, the usual," I can say, and you know exactly what that means.
Visitors also inspire the need to explore, to push me beyond my neighborhood boundaries and into that cafe across town that I've been meaning to go to for the last year. I visit museums, go for walks in the park, ride my bike along the Isar, and stop off at my favorite ice cream shop.
Okay, maybe I do all of that anyway, even without visitors, but there's something wonderful about sharing it with people from home. I always remember those days the best. When Chizuru visited, we went for an afternoon swim in the river and ate gingery chocolate gelato from Balla Beni. And when Eli spent the summer here, we would play badminton in the park. I took Paul and Liz, and later Cy, on a hike through the Bavarian forest to Kloster Andechs and spent a memorably afternoon eating Schweinshax'n and drinking Doppelbock. And Brenda may have gotten the best of them all, because she joined us for a lazy afternoon floating down the Isar, and that was when Anne popped her raft on a fallen tree and had to be rescued from the river.
Munich grows more wonderful every time I get a visit from afar and I get to build a new memory.