The great thing about knowing people you like who live in places that are not your hometown is that when you visit these other places, you get a familiar and local face to spend time with. You can hear their perspective on the place you’ve chosen for your vacation/holiday. You can hear what they think about your “tourist” perspective on their city and get their feedback on whether you’re an idiot or not.
My colleague who is based in our Amsterdam office (who is also Dutch) and his girlfriend met us for dinner during our first night in their city, and it was a very warm welcome. After a red eye flight, a day of walking over 24,000 steps on streets, over bridges, and passing canals, Chris and I were both quite tired. It felt nice to sit in a warm restaurant over an Indonesian rice table and see a familiar friendly face and have familiar conversation. The food varied across the table from mild to very spicy, and they were not lying when they said it was hot!
The only downside of having friends in all these other places is that you will only see them sporadically, if at all. And he’s likely leaving the company soon, so who knows when I will see him again.