Visiting home for a weekend when you live abroad can be described perfectly in just one word: Busy. Or in my mum’s words “friend-speed-dating”, which I think is a pretty good explanation.
It’s go go go and the anxiety is real when I am sitting there trying to work out how I am possibly going to see everyone for a decent amount of time over just two or three days. Attempting to utilise every hour in the best way possible to ensure I spend quality time with my grandparents, parents, cousins, god-children and friends. Breathe.
So you know what, I don’t do it. Not because I don’t want to but because it’s physically impossible, and accepting that takes off a lot of the pressure. I arrange my visits home by leaving some space for flexibility but also making solid plans where necessary.
Think about your main reason for visiting home and make sure this remains your priority.
2. Quality over quantity
Prioritise the quality of time you spend with people rather than the quantity of people you see. Lots of rushed lunches, dinners and coffees can leave you feeling deflated.
3. Be realistic
Don’t hide the fact that you’re coming back but do let people know you might not be able to meet up.
4. Be spontaneous
Arrange spontaneous meet-ups. Sometimes it will work out, sometimes it won’t, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
5. Enjoy yourself
I once burnt the candle at both ends when visiting home and it meant I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I should have. Friend-speed-dating is definitely not the one. I don’t do that anymore so that I leave London on a high and look forward to my next visit.