I'm writing a chapter that must illustrate:
the character's feelings upon returning (for a short period) to their homeland after living abroad (and believing they'd never return), to where the character will soon go back
the character's reaction while meeting the family and friends after a separation of 10 years, knowing the next separation will be permanent
The problem is two-fold: the journey is slow and long; and, for 1 and 2 to be appropriately expressed, they can't happen simultaneously, as no.2 would tone down no.1.
My decision was to start during a break in the journey (the last one) and then allow the character to express no.1 up until the point the destination becomes visible in the distance. At that point, no.1 vanishes from the character's mind to give way to the excitement and anxiety of the meeting, which keep growing until they all finally meet.
The idea is sound, I believe, but I'm not quite satisfied with the result.
The first five paragraphs dealing with no.1 are short and to the point, which don't help convey the idea of a long journey, even if they allow for the character's feelings to be expressed perfectly.
The destination is visible in the distance a long time before arrival, which makes the anxiety and the following paragraphs feel stretched.
What other techniques (or approaches) would you suggest to create the right effect (of a long journey divided into a first moment of short reflexion and a second moment of growing enxiety)?