As we reach the middle of the lengthy, first term of the year, home sickness often starts to kick in and many people choose to return home, or else invite their parents down to Exeter for a visit. It can be refreshing to have a change of scenery and comforting to return to your hometown, but, on the other hand, it certainly takes far less effort, on our part, if our families make the journey down to see us. There are certainly pros and cons to each approach, but which mode of visitation really works the best.
I have tested both ways now, but struggled to decide upon which way I prefer. Last year, I only went home at the end of term, and so it was down to my family to come to visit me. I enjoyed being able to introduce my family to the city that I have grown to know and love. Taking the time to visit the cathedral, the quay and the city centre with them felt like I was seeing Exeter with new eyes. Furthermore, the visits presented my family with the chance to detach from the stress of work and school. What I enjoyed the most about their visits was that during their 48 hours in Exeter, there were no distractions to interrupt our time as a family; no school, work or household pressures. We were free to relax and catch up together.
I enjoyed being able to introduce my family to the city that I have grown to know and love
That’s the unfortunate thing about returning home instead; despite being able to spend more time at home, in comfortable, homely surroundings, the time that I spent with my family was restricted to when they returned from school and work; tired, stressed out and in need of a long sleep. Furthermore, the six hour train ride between Exeter and home, with all of its pressures and hindrances, truly made me question if this was the solution. And then there’s the expense of your tickets, which definitely cuts into your sacred Wednesday Timepiece funds.
But the other side to the coin, if you’ll pardon the pun, is the price that adds up if your parents come to stay in Exeter. The cost of a hotel room, the cost of the petrol to drive down, meals, shopping and my Dad’s (much appreciated) urge to leave me with some emergency money before he leaves. When compared with the price of a train ticket, it seems a little silly to expect my parents to come to visit me instead of me making the journey back to them.
I do not have the answer; there are some strong arguments both ways. I just know that, either way, it’s lovely to get the chance to see family and I think that the cost is worth it, especially if you’re struggling during your first time away from home; even if you have to sacrifice a couple of trips to TP.