Bonus: Comment "Homecoming Game" under this Instagram sho rty I ger5 comments, I will post the highlight video of my family and I playing the trivia game during my trip back.hella'-- whatever. It's all about you at the end of the day so there isn't a wrong way to do it. If you are looking for some tips, below is a list of some things to consider.
Your party It's not just an opportunity to be celebrated, but it's also a chance to share with your family and friends some of your experiences. I used my recent return home as an example. I wasn't returning home for good (this time), Here's what I did if you'd like to recreate it with your own:
1) Find A Great Deal On Souvenirs.
I found so great deals on souvenirs. I got a variety of equally yoked trinkets for my loved ones to choose from. This took a lot of pressure off of me to find that perfect keepsake for my host of family and friends. Of course there will be a few instances that you get special items for certain people. But overall, you can get some small items representative of your time away and your loved ones can choose which one they like the best.
Even then if there are some souvenirs that are more highly coveted, you can offer them as prizes for participation in activities and games.
Not sure where to start shopping?: Key Chains, coasters, shot glasses, magnets, tea towels, pens good places to start. Unique items that are specific to that region are great too. Like a candy skull from Mexico, or a boomerang from Australia.
If you are able to bring games or toys back from your destination, it's a cool way to share that aspect of culture with your family and friends. Don't forget reason #4: Make new memories. No worries if your family and friends aren't the adventurous type. You could always have traditional games or make up your own.
I'm a fan of trivia, so it was a fun way to engage my family. Australia is a Eurocentric developed nation that speaks English. The adjustment curve for me was mild. But there were a few miscommunications along the way. IT was funny to have my family and friends share in my confusion. I created a list of moments that struck me while I was traveling. I thought it was a cute way to highlight the nuances of living abroad.
Let me tell you: It was hilarious watching my family compete, even more so when I asked them to define Kiwi terms like: 'Tramping' and 'Hokey Pokey'.
If you are going to a country that has more differences than language, you can always incorporate that. For instance if there is a special holiday or tradition observed you can share. For instance: Guy Fawkes Day or Holi festival. Geography is a good category. You'd be surprised to find how many loved ones don't actually know where in the world you have been.
3) Food Favorites.
Food is such a integral part of culture. One of the easiest ways to share cultural experience is by sharing a plate. Food is also a reason to have a party. I happened to have gone home during the holidays so I was able to get all of my favorites that I had been craving abroad. If that's not the case for your return, then a party is a great way to have all of your favorites cooked for you (especially while your family is still feeling the warm and fuzzies of you coming back. Milk it!)
Certain items you just have to bring with you because they are so hard to come by. I brought back Vegemite. It was easier and cheaper to simply grab some items from the grocer and pack them with me. If you don't want to carry extra luggage, a lot of items are available online and can be shipped if you plan it far enough ahead. It's a way to pack lighter and one less thing you have to worry about when clearing customs.
Another option is checking out international markets and specialty stores in your hometown that may carry the products that you want. Buy what you can when you get there. There were some items that could be recreated with items from your typical supermarket. I recreated the Kiwi classic of 'Fairy bread'. It's whitebread, butter, and sprinkles ('Nonpareils' if you're fancy, and '100s and 1000s' if you are a part of the commonwealth). I also brought back different varieties of Bundaberg, my favorite beverages. It was an act of love as Bundabergs come in glass bottles and weren't available in my area nor online. Due to liquid restrictions, they were in my checked luggage. That was nerve wracking in itself. SO yeah, my advice is to get it delivered when you can.
Disclaimer: Be sure to check with Customs before bringing back food items.
This is how it feels arriving in customs in New Zealand and Australia.( in the full clip, the woman has an apple.)
4) Music and Dance.
I know, I know. This one is obvious. Music is the soundtrack of life and essential to any party. As with the games, you can show your loved ones how it's done abroad. The key is to know your audience. Turkish hip-hop may be your new thing, but start your family and friends off slow. The whole playlist doesn't have to be from your travels but throw in a few bops for good measure.
5) Relax And Be Yourself!
Maybe you feel like you have been gone too long. Maybe you enjoyed your time away so much that you aren't sure how you will reacclimate. Maybe you hope they don't judge you for your new tastes... Relax. Your family and friends have gotten together to celebrate you. To welcome you home. They've missed you. Share your stories of all you done, catch up on what's happened since you've been gone, and enjoy.
Bonus: Comment "Homecoming Game" under this Instagram post. If I get 25 comments I will post the highlight video of my family and I playing the trivia game during my trip back.