How to Beat Homesickness

Sound familiar? Living in a new place, be in a city, country or continent, has a certain charm that us expats are drawn to. However, this new-mess eventually wears off. As exciting as a place may be, most of us do miss home. As routines are replaced with new social, work and academic pressures, and home by a dormitory full of strangers or an apartment with unknown neighbors, homesickness – the longing ache for the familiar, friends or grandma’s cooking – sets in.
image showing a homesickness quote
Missing home

Homesickness might seem tough to get through, but once you stop hiding behind the homesick wall, you’ll be able to step out and see all the things around you in a much more positive light. Everybody handles homesickness in their own way, but here are a few methods that may help in China.

1. Start As a Tourist, Then Be an Expat

First look at your new city as a vacation destination. Explore all the tourist attractions and must-visit sites actually there is a lot in China. Venture into all parts of the city and really get to know your new place of residence before narrowing down on your favorite restaurant, the best park for a jog etc.

2. Staying connected to your friends and family

Talking to friends and family back home can often provide a portal to a more comforting life in China. This will help you keep track of their lives and will also enable them to be a part of yours. A tip tell them to download WeChat one of the most used app in China and then stay in touch with your siblings and friends anywhere, anytime.

3. Try Chinese Food

Finding food that you enjoy right away will ensure that you always know what to order and where. It is comforting to eat some familiar foods every once in a while, but China is a culinary adventure ready to be embraced so just go and indulge you might love it!
Pictures of some chinese dishes
Some chinese food featured

4. Take a Break From Skype

There is such a thing as being too connected. Spending too much time catching up on every little thing that goes on back home may in fact prevent you from finding a connection to China. It is important to keep in contact with everybody back home, but it is also crucial to find a balance between your attachment to your home country and China. This is essential to form a sense of belonging in your new surroundings and accept the reality.

5. Explore China

Go out and travel, whether it’s in your city or in another province. This will give you something fun to do and distract you from missing home. The idea is to keep yourself active and it may even help remind you why you came to China to work or study in the first place. The good thing is there are a lot of coo, and very nice places for those specially with a small budget。

6. Keep Up Your Habits and Create a Routine

Although life in China may cause you to make some drastic changes in your own life, it’s always a great idea to keep participating in the activities you used to back home. For example, exercising, playing an instrument or even reading are all activities which will help establish a routine in your life and make you feel more at home. They even might help you make new friends.

7. Eat Healthy

Chinese food may take some time to get used to, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to eat at a fast food place three times a day because it feels familiar. Negative feelings like homesickness and loneliness can often manifest in unhealthy eating habits. Hence it is very important to eat right and make sure that your diet includes all the essential nutrition. Use this as an excuse to go out and explore more places to eat or even try cooking yourself.

8. Find Good Friends from Your Home Country

During your stay in China making Chinese friends is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and to help learn the language. However, having a group of friends (or even one friend) from your home country helps to create a nice little support system for you to rely on. This will definitely help you feel less lonely when you’re missing home.
Two friends cuddling
friends cuddling

Homesickness is something most people experience and is just another part of living in China as an expat. Missing home will help you value your relationships with loved ones back home more and will show you the world from new perspectives.
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