Waiting at the airport to greet someone you care about is a wonderful feeling. On Sunday 22nd, it was our turn. My daughter and boyfriend were flying in from Stansted and we took our usual position at the barrier. As the flight was delayed, we had plenty of time to look around at the families and friends eagerly waiting around us. What struck me was that this time they were all, almost without exception, Spanish.
As doors opened and passengers came through it was evident that the flight from Stansted had largely transported Spanish people returning home for Christmas. Perhaps working in London, they were going to celebrate their festive season with their families.
As you might expect, there were touching scenes with people waving banners, cheering and always hugs, smiles and happiness. I know in only a few days time, the situation will be reversed for us and possibly for most of these Spanish families too. Then I will leave it to my husband to bring my daughter and boyfriend back for their return trip. I’m no good at saying goodbye.
The delight that we feel when reunited is all-too-soon wiped away when the visit ends. Now we’re at the time of year when perhaps you’ve returned from a visit to family abroad or you’ve just waved them off at the airport we’ve got some top ten tips for managing the ‘January’ feeling:
- Plan your next visit – it’s never too early to start pencilling dates in your diary
- Remember, if you live in Spain, you only have a couple of months before those temperatures start rising and the winter is all but done
- Remind yourself that now there will be more food in the fridge, reduced queues for the bathroom and you can stop ‘enjoying’ yourself
- Find yourself a good film, what’s left of the chocolates and treat yourself – you’ve probably been treating others for the past few days.
- Tackle something you’ve been avoiding. If you have a new year’s to-do list, make sure you can tick off one item as soon as possible
- Remind yourself of the reasons why you came to live in Spain in the first place – and indulge
- Remember – there are many ways of contacting each other these days – distance is not like it used to be
- Ask yourself, realistically, how much you would see your family if you lived in the UK. Relatives can be only miles away but don’t always show up very often.
- Have a look through your photos or download them off your camera. It can be a bitter sweet activity, but it does remind you how you’ve celebrated in style and together.
- Don’t forget all those people who are here all year round who you might have neglected over the festive season. They might need a little cheering up too.
If you have chosen to make Spain your home make the most of the winter sun shine, marvel at the astonishing sunsets and look forward to the good times you’ll share in 2014.