After discussing the idea of going back to the UK last time out, how about discussing the experience of having visitors to NZ?
There have been a several now, mainly family, and there have been a number of things I have observed…
- If you communicate using FaceTime or Skype the euphoria of seeing someone again is lessened because you basically only saw them last week. You certainly realise how marvellous technology is nowadays.
- With each new visit, it gets increasingly difficult to play the tour guide as you want to try to keep it fresh for yourself while showing the popular best bits too. Surprisingly, some visitors give little thought as to what they want to see and do after flying to the far side of the world and instead want you to think of things. Showing folks around your new home is a real pleasure for a few days but is not something you could really do for the same person twice (unless you also want to do something yourself of course) so anyone planning a second visit should be prepared to get out there and explore more on their own!
- How long until you outstay your welcome? It doesn’t really matter where you live or who your guests are because you will eventually run out of things to do and talk about and at this point it is can be challenging if you can’t fully relax because of the constant task of hosting. I think that a week at most at both the start and the end of their holiday seems like plenty of time for visitors to stay with you – that way you get to hear about their trips too in the interim period in addition to any shared adventures.
- Accepting that visitors might want to chill out a bit (and recover from jet lag) while on holiday, it can be awkward if they are content to stay in your house all day for several days in a row. When you run out of tour guide options this can be frustrating, especially as it feels a tad impolite to go out on your own. A run of poor weather won’t help with this either – especially when NZ TV is so bad.
- Going away from your house and staying elsewhere with your visitors is a good plan as it is fresh for all but definitely consider multiple vehicles otherwise you could end up being a tour guide again when you really want to relax. A group of people generally doesn’t all want to do the same things at the same time…especially if there are niche interests involved. Best to work out if one car works for everyone beforehand.
I will need to note my own points when I eventually return to the UK for sure because I want to see people but not outstay my welcome, respect their space and try to find activities to make it feel like a holiday for all (host and visitor alike). It is of course great when people make the effort to visit, but everyone needs to be realistic, pragmatic and respectful of each other…especially where family members are naturally abrasive and prone to argument.
Anyone have any creative ways to approach this kind of thing?