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The whirlwind of visitors

A while ago I wrote down some great tips to think about when you have people come visit your new home. As I was talking to my good friend today, I realised that it’s not all about what you do, but also the different phases of feelings you go through during a visit.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  1. The preparation: Planning activities, making up the guest bedroom, food shopping. This phase is usually somewhat stressful for many as it needs to fit in with the rest of your life (& work) as well. This phase can be frustrating as some visitors have a clear idea about what they want to see and do, whereas others have no idea whatsoever.
  2. The anticipation: You’re getting ready to head to the airport, so excited to see your loved ones and almost bouncing up and down. They’ll be here soon! An awesome phase (that can be somewhat annoying for the accompanying driver!)
  3. The catch up: Talking, hugging, laughing and sharing. A great phase that can be quite emotional for some.
  4. The exploring: Showing them around your new hometown and exploring the area together. This sometimes includes visiting all those must see tourist attractions you have not had a chance to see yet. Or you might have seen them a few times already, but choose to politely come along. An exciting and challenging phase, as people can have very different views on what exploring is!
  5. The everyday: People now living in your guest room and the shower and meal schedule has been worked out. This phase can be very challenging, as you have not seen them for so long you might have forgotten about some of those cute (?) little habits people have in the comfort of their (or other peoples) home! This is when new habits are also created (statements such as ‘we always go there for coffee’ even if you’ve only been somewhere twice).
  6. The countdown: They are leaving soon and you silently can’t wait to have your home back, but at the same time you really don’t want them to leave. This is the phase when the doubt, tears and questions start to grow internally. Why did you choose to live so far away? When can you see them next? This can be a very challenging phase, as you’re trying to enjoy the last few days of the visit at the same time as you’re overthinking some past decisions.
  7. The farewell: Airports and train stations are places of movement, but right now you’d rather be anywhere else. You might be a crier (I am!) or you might put on the brave face and bury yourself in the big hug instead. You know you will see them soon, but saying goodbye does not always get easier with time. Sometimes it actually gets harder!

With all these phases there are so many nuances and changes. It remains true for most that it’s certainly not easy to have people come visit. Because it brings up old and new emotions at the same time. But if you are aware that you’re not the only one struggling with these things and have the awareness of the phases, then you’ll be able to plan and enjoy a visit that is as much for your visitors as it is for you!

What are your best tips when it comes to having people from back home coming to visit your new place?