Family are the most important people in our life. Whether they are of blood or chosen, these persons make our tribe. And, sometimes our tribe members become spread across the planet.
One of the perks of those we love living in places around the world is we can travel to visit them. This is a twofer in that we visit our family member and in doing so, we see other parts of the world. This works both ways though, and at times we will have to play host to others. Being quite the wanderer, I have been on both sides of this – I have been the visitor as well as the host.
Being a gracious host takes a good amount of energy. I have come up with the perfect formula to make your hosting role a bit more enjoyable for you.
“R-E-L-A-X” Relax/Rest, Enjoy/Energetic, Laugh, Adventure and XOXO.
Here are some tips on how to easily host a well balanced and bond-strengthening visit with your company (tribe member). One you will all remember with great joy.
Recently company, two of my cousins and their friend, visited with me for five days. My grandparents came stay in my town for four days as did people from my “chosen” family throughout the week. So, I had to play quite the hostess.
I applied R-E-L-A-X
Prior to your hosting, it is nice to have some sort of plan – just to relieve some of the pressure. This may take a little research, especially if you are new to your city or town. Get to know where you live, the little secret gems, adventures and good restaurants. With all the available and easy to use technology, this will be a fairly simple process. You can use Google, Pinterest, Groupon, Living Social, Facebook groups and much more A little preparation goes a long way and will prevent unneeded stress.
Chat with your guest ahead of time and ask if there is anything particular (or even peculiar) they would like to do. Research different adventures you might like to do or suggest. For me, this particular time was zip lining with my cousins and we made sure to book that in advance.
First “R” this one is simple – RELAX. The first day or night your company arrives, I believe, should always be a mellow bonding kind of night. This is where you lay the foundation for the rest of your visit. You never know how exhausted or jet lagged your company will be from their travel and it is important to take this into consideration. I always ask if they need a REST or give them time to unpack and unwind and become familiar with their surroundings.
After some time, I suggest you all get together and sit somewhere comfortable or beautiful and have some wine (if you drink) and consume a few good appetizers taking time just catching up. Food holds the ability to bonding persons together, so try to have plenty of good healthy snacks around along with items your company enjoys to eat or drink. Also, I find it a good idea to stock up with BPA free water bottles, saving on dishes, and your guest never go thirsty .
“E” – Enjoy and be Energetic. Since it is your time to be the host put a little pep in your step. You are going to have to play tour guide so it’s your time to shine! I suggest taking your vitamins and getting yourself pumped up. No need to pressure your guests to do anything they don’t want to do however they can always be encouraged to try something. Help your company to enjoy their day by planning something in which they will experience beauty and nature and be together.
During my families recent I wanted to get my them in the water because I live in San Diego. I decided that the four of us girls would take a peddle boat and found a different option for my grandparents. For them, I reserved motorized boat so everyone could enjoy the open water. The day was so beautiful. You are invited view my video below. What we saw as amazing! It was the perfect scenario to do something all together and allow them see and experience the beauty of the water. I also took them on a nature walk which was easy and fun and we got to see sea lions. Just little memories to cherish always. Jellyfish in the water!!
I am firm believer in being outside and experiencing the beauty of nature. I also encourage bringing a camera or go pro to capture special moments. Do this rather than using the camera on your phone. Your phone should remain put away during these moment.
“L” – Laughter. One of the best things you can do together is laugh; this should be easy to do with family. Keep things light and make sure to take time to just enjoy each other and laugh. I like to incorporate funny board games or even card games. Also you can do something like take them to a funny interactive restaurant, or even rent a funny movie. Most likely there will be tons of laughter with reminiscing on old times and just being together, so this one shouldn’t be too difficult. Straw Braiding
“A” – Adventure. Incorporate an adventure! Have you ever heard of team building exercises where you have to do something together as a team? This is a little frightening for some. These exercises are meant to help you learn to trust each other and work together as a team. An adventure, in a similar way, can bring you closer together. It is a shared experience that you should always remember. I took my cousins zip lining and it was their first time, as nervous as they were they were so stoked after and it is a memory we will always share. Zip lining in La Jolla Indian reservation
“X” – xoxox . I know this might sound silly but make sure to give each other plenty of love, hugs and kisses or in whatever way you share it. The older we get the more we realize how fast this life passes. People start leaving our lives and any expected time you think yo may have, is taken in a moment. This can be surprising and a difficult thing to face. You never know when someone will be gone or if there will be next time to see them. You never want to have regrets when it comes to telling someone you love them or giving them that last hug! Hug and love!