There’s nothing like a trip home to remind us of everything we left behind, like our favorite food, friends and family.
But after a couple of days, the things you waited almost a year to experience seem less exciting. You start eating all the food you can just for the sake of eating it, and you promise yourself you’ll punch your aunt in the face if she calls you fat one more time.
Whenever the holidays are near, all I can think about is going home and escaping some of the madness that comes with living in China.
However, after a few weeks of being back, I find myself counting down the days until I return to China. When my holiday is over, I feel like it wasn’t long enough, and I feel guilty for not making the most of it. How does one escape this cycle? How can one be happy with one’s situation no matter what part of the world they find themselves in?
Holidays are supposed to be a short escape from the troubles of everyday life. Yet I find myself thinking about unnecessary stressors.
I believe the first step toward being happy and enjoying your environment is living in the moment. Take time to appreciate the things you enjoy. When you’re in China, stop thinking about the things you miss back home. Enjoy some authentic Chinese food and learn to appreciate the amazing lifestyle you can afford to have here. If you’re on holiday, leave your worries behind. They are not going anywhere, so you can deal with them when you get back.
They say too much of a good thing can be bad for you. When you are home, try to indulge in the things you left behind with moderation. I find that I tend to do as many things as possible with an attitude of, "I need to do this now because I’ll never get a chance to do this again." This, of course, is flawed thinking.
Eating as much food as you can and seeing as many people as possible is going to drain you. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t eat every single one of your favorite dishes, and it’s ok if you don’t see every single one of your friends.
Planning who you’ll see and what you’ll do and checking them off a list when you complete each task can make you feel more fulfilled at the end of your trip.
Living in the moment and experiencing things in moderation are not the only steps you need to take to find happiness, but they are steps that need to be taken nonetheless.
Doing so will leave you feeling at peace with your situation. You will feel like your holidays lasted as long as they needed to last, leaving you refreshed and ready to deal with whatever problems you need to deal with when you return to China.
The next time you find yourself clicking your heels three times in the hope of going home, take some time to take in your surroundings - you might find that you were home all along.