Being back home after two and a half years

Heinola

I’ve been living in China for four years now and I have visited Finland two times during these years. First time was Summer 2010, only a few months after my move. The second time was May 2011 when my little sister graduated from high school. After that I only left China to go to Hong Kong quite a few times, for visas, traveling and meeting my fiance’s family.

Now after two and a half years I’m back in Finland again, to spend time with my family and friends before the Chinese New Year when I have to go back to China. Living abroad means you are always missing something, missing your home country or the new home you’ve created somewhere else. So how does it actually feels like to be back?

With my family the biggest change has been with my youngest little brother. He is turning 15 soon and has transformed into a young man already! I was really shocked to see him for the first time after such a long time, even though I’ve seen photos of course, because he is totally different from two years ago. He even wears really nice clothes now! At the same time it made me think what else I’m going to miss while living in China.

Two of my friends are getting married this Summer and I won’t be there to celebrate with them. Other two are having their firstborns in a few months. My little brother’s confirmation will be in August and I’m probably not able to make it. What else am I going to miss in the future?

As I understand how it feels like to live abroad away from your family, it matters so much that my family is making the effort and coming to my wedding in May. First I didn’t even feel like having a real wedding reception, but the moment I heard they are coming, I started planning!

Besides family there are of course many friends I left behind when I moved to China. It’s hard to keep in touch during the time apart, most of the news I hear from Facebook if at all. But I was happy to notice, that with good friends it doesn’t matter how long it has been, you always continue from the very same spot. I noticed that I can talk about pretty much anything with my best friends, even though time has passed.

Other things I’ve noticed include the darkness during the Winter. The sun rises at 9am and sets at 3pm, for ordinary working people they only see the sun during weekends.  It was a shock to me how dark it is when you wake up, I had totally forgotten. It was even darker this Winter when the snow came very late, this week it’s been much better when the snow brightens everything up. Luckily we are getting towards the Spring and the sun is up longer and longer every day.

I hope that in the future I’m being able to visit Finland at least once a year and we have plans to visit Finland together next year. Can’t wait to show Alan how Finland is really like, I’m sure it helps him to understand me and Finland much better. At the same time my family and my friends can finally meet and get to know him.

But before that I’m going to enjoy my last week in Finland, starting with family lunch today!

  • guest

    hi Sara, it is always nice to see what foreigners think about china, and you have a positive view about it. I found that people from the western countries are more open-minded. (something i am trying to learn).

    I hope you have a nice winter at home and can’t wait to see your new blog entry. My friend is also very into your blog too. we will follow you on facebook

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    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi “guest” and thank you! It’s been great time back home, but I’m eager to go back to Guangzhou as well. Lot of new things will be happening this Spring!

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