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The art of having people come and visit

The other week we explored the art of going back home to visit and have a lovely holiday at the same time. This week I thought we’d explore the other side of living overseas – to have people from back home come to visit you in your new country.

The basic step by step guide to have people come and visit:

  1. Know your audience – before you start writing endless lists of all the things you want to show them, really consider who is coming to vist. What do they like? Beach, shopping, hiking or something entirely different? Do they like to travel and live in comfortable hotels or do they not mind sleeping on the couch? Often than not your visitors will say something like “We’re coming to visit you! Everything else is a bonus!“.
  2. Make a brief list of the ‘must see’ and ‘maybe see’ When you have worked out what kind if things your visitors like to do, make a short list of the things in your new city/country they can’t miss. Factor in their budget and the time they have with you to make sure these things are realistic to fit into this time. All the other things can go on the ‘maybe’ list that you can have a look at together when they arrive. Things don’t always go according to plan, and it most certainly is not your fault if they don’t. Relax, have fun and enjoy your time together!
  3. Book the key activities ahead of time – when you have agreed with your visitors on the key activities, book the accommodation, rental car, domestic flights or anything else ahead of time. It’s good to be prepared for the bigger activities to avoid them selling out and your visitors missing out on a great experience.
  4. Plan things that you would like to do too! If you can’t secure holidays for the whole time you have visitors, or your finances won’t allow for you to come along on all the activities your visitors want to do, just be honest upfront and let them know. Last time my mum came to visit, I had just started a new job and could take very little time off. But she and her husband had a great time here anyway and we made the most of the time together.
  5. Less is more. You don’t need to do things all the time. Sometimes chilling on the beach, strolling in the park or watching a movie together on the couch can be just what you both need!
  6. Live in the now. Enjoy the visit and how great it is to see them. Don’t focus on what happens when they leave or how much you’ll miss them. That’s a problem that tomorrow’s you can manage just fine.
  7. Keep an open mind and manage your own expectations. You are the person who chose to leave, and you most likely have changed a bit since they last saw you thanks to your new experiences. Just as your visitors lives have continued back home without you. Sometimes people change a lot and sometimes not at all. Don’t get upset if things feel different when you meet up in your new country. Have an intention to spend time together and catch up on what’s happened since you last met rather than very specific expectations on what the trip is going to be like.
  8. Enjoy the visit and choose to be happy to have people in your life who love you so much that they’re happy to come all the way to your new country to visit you!