Updated: Jul 18
When I went home for the first time after my travels abroad, I was fortunate enough to have had a large network of people waiting for me. It was simultaneously heart-warming and overwhelming. This time was just a visit, but there would have been a lot of hurt feelings and awkward moments if I didn't at least try to see everyone. Between their schedules and mine, it was hard to imagine fitting them all in. The last thing you want to do when you are the closest you've been in a long time is to allow scheduling conflicts to prevent you from seeing each other.
Champagne problems, for sure.
If you are returning home after being away for an extended period of time, you should have a welcome home party and here are 5 reasons why.
The proper etiquette of returning to town can be tricky. Once everyone knows that you are in town, you can avoid stepping on any toes by inviting loved ones to the celebration. If you are an extrovert, even better, you can really have a ball with all of your loved ones. Introverts, be not you dismayed. A party may seem like a lot to deal with, but it will minimize the number of outings you will have to do.
...And you can use the guests to deflect each other if ever it gets too much.
Life is busy. You've been away. Your hometown friends and family have jobs, school, kids, and community engagements to maintain. There's been time differences and conflicting schedules. It's understandable that you may have fallen out of touch with some people. In my experience, people who really care about you won't begrudge you. The love is still there. Having a welcome back gathering is a great way to build a bridge and reestablish a connection.
In the event that you don't have a blog that has kept your loved one abreast to your adventures, everyone will want to know what you have been doing. Instead of relying on the grapevine, you can inform everyone at the same time. They get to hear straight from the horse's mouth: where you have been living, how you like it, what you do for a living, and what your next plans are.
At my gathering, I brought back souvenirs and food items from Australia and New Zealand. I hosted a little game themed around my experiences abroad. My family happens to be full of characters so there are a lot of new laughs and memories from the gathering.
It may be hard to remember, but when you left you didn't really know what was in store for you. You have lived away from family, friends, and the home that you know. Since you've been away, it's been emails, and video calls, and social media messages. You have tried new food, seen new cultures, maybe even learned a new language. You have done what most people haven't, and now you are able to return. Why wouldn't we celebrate your homecoming?