Missing home when living abroad

Christmas package from home


I have never been really homesick. Even when I was a kid I always went to summer camps and visited relatives without urgent need to go back home. The only exception seems to be last summer when I was in a hospital. At that time I really wanted to get back to Finland as soon as possible.

One of my Chinese friends said to me last spring that if I truly care about my family I shouldn’t stay in China forever. At that time I thought it’s not true. I thought that most important thing is to live my dream. I thought that visiting Finland once or twice a year would be enough. And I still think it is enough for me. But is it really enough?

When I was living in Finland I lived about 300 kilometers away from home. I had moved to another city to go to university because my hometown is quite small. But I still visited home once a month or in every two months. My sister and brothers could always call me and not to think about the cost or time difference. When back to my mom’s place I always saw and hear what was happening in their lives. I was still part of it.

Family members reading this shouldn’t be worried, but I’ve started thinking. What do I miss when I’m living at the other side of the world? Birthdays, traditional holidays, the normal life that happens every day. It doesn’t matter where I spend Christmas, but it matters if I can’t spend it with the people I care. I don’t want to become the distant sister than sometimes comes to visit and that who lives in that city no one really remembers. I don’t want to rely fully on Facebook on what’s happening in my siblings lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still not going back. Even sometimes Chinese people are too Chinese, I still love living here and experiencing everything I’ve always dreamed of. I am still doing my Bachelor Degree here. I’m not going to give up.

But I really need to solve this problem how to stay in touch with the most valuable people in my life,  my little sister and my two little brothers. Even the tiny details in their lives are interesting for me. I want to know how they are doing at school, what they are happy or sad about and if they still eat Karelian pasties on Saturdays.

My Mom and the youngest of my brothers are coming to visit me in three weeks. I am so happy to have them here so they can actually see in their own eyes what my life is like in here. It’s important that my family members doesn’t only read my blogs and watch my pictures. It’s expensive to travel, but I hope to have them all visiting me in the next four years. Even just for few days to find out what is keeping me here in China.

I am going back to Finland in May for a month or so. My little sister is graduating from high school even I still don’t really believe she is old enough to do so. I will meet my siblings, my parents, my relatives and my friends. For a month I’m there eating the yogurt they were saving for breakfast. But what happens when I leave? And when is the next time I can go back? What happens when I’m not there?

  • Like your blog. Enjoy your life in China!

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    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Jake.

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  • the zhen master

    Mumins! Do they really have mumins printed on courier package?

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    Sara Reply:

    Yes they do have those in Finland!

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  • zhang bohan

    this blog is moving, it’s really not easy for you to leave family for so long time

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