home or away


Going on holidays versus going ‘home’

06 August 2020

For people the world over coronavirus has thrown holiday plans into disarray. Travel restrictions, flight cancellations and uncertainty in relation to future local government confinement, have resulted in holidays being cancelled or rescheduled.

Like the general population, the expat community have encountered the same disruption to their holiday plans. This year in particular the expat community may have keenly felt the loss of their annual trip’s ‘home’, longing for a physical connection with loved ones and the comfort of the familiar.

However, international travel restrictions have made a perennial expat dilemma less complicated. Every year expat families must make the difficult decision between spending their vacation on a traditional ‘holiday’, either in their new homeland or further afield, or going back ‘home’ to see much missed family and friends. For many expats and their families the resources, both financial and in annual leave, may not be available to fulfil both options.

This dilemma is further complicated in families where both parents are from different regions or countries originally. Twice the trips ‘home’ to be accommodated.

Of course expat families miss their loved ones back ‘home’ and of course they want to visit them, see old friends, let the children and grandparents reconnect. However, for many expats there has often been a slight resentment which accompanies the return ‘home’. Calls to loved ones often weave their way to ‘when will we see you?’, leaving expats with a feeling that it is their duty to visit ‘home’, to do the right thing. An ensuing guilt accompanies any decisions to the contrary. The return ‘home’ may be at the expense of an expat’s own desires and travel ambitions, or at odds with what their children or partner would choose, causing family conflict.
For many expats the solution has been to make the return ‘home’ more of a holiday in the traditional sense. Choosing a location in their home country, where family and friends must also travel to meet them. This allows expat families to meet their requirements in terms of the activities and interests their family enjoy, as well as allowing some immediate family time and allowing for a little self-indulgence, a must on every vacation. It also saves the expat family many travel hours, meeting the packed schedule necessary to ensure some face to face time with the long list of family and friends who are due a visit.
So perhaps this year fate has made the decision for you. The intended trip ‘home’, is no longer an option, and the possibility of a guilt free staycation or much longed for trip is now yours to explore.
For many expats the appeal of their chosen destination was great weather, fabulous lifestyle, exciting culture and abundant sun, sea and sand. Work, family and general life commitments may have curtailed opportunities to explore these resources. Now is your opportunity to explore all that your new home has to offer.
You’re a local now. This summer season, why not be a guilt free tourist.