New Issue Out Tomorrow!

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Home is Where You Make It So

I left my hometown 17 years ago. In the beginning, like many of you, I did not realize that I was “leaving” my home and country for good. It was an “I’ll-be-back-later” kind of thing. Only to find myself still away years later, and possibly forever.

Homesickness can be a very serious psychological obstacle for some wanderers. If you let it get to you, light depression could set in. That’s what happened to me on my first year abroad, in New York City. I was a young man starting life after three years of serving my country, in a huge foreign city with only a few familiar faces I’d known previously.

Homesickness for me was mostly about missing loved ones, close friends and family. But a combination of foods, smells, sights and sounds you may miss could take you down as well. While missing important people from your life naturally gets easier with time, there are many small things you can be proactive about to improve your mood and make you feel more at home in your new home.

The most important thing is your attitude to your new home. If you look at it as a transit location between the past and the future, you’ll never feel at home here. Instead, the best remedy is to change perspective and think of the time spent here with a positive attitude. Whether it’s for one year or five, feeling at home can only be positive as it will lift your spirits and improve your quality of life. Who says that home can only be in one place?

As our readers largely consist of people who are far from their original homes, whether foreigners or Chinese, this month’s cover story suggests twelve ways to make Dongguan feel more like home. We hope to improve your quality of life by following these simple steps.