Chinaholic expats missing Asia after returning home

Chinaholic expats missing Asia after returning home

Chinaholic expats missing Asia after returning home

When China gets its ancient claws into expats, returning home can be traumatic.

China is top of the list nowadays for expat entrepreneurs, tech specialists, teachers of English and those who simply want to spend some time in its unique cultural environment. For many, the country's been on their personal wish list since they were children, and for others it’s a chance to immerse themselves in the most unusual of all world destinations. As yet, only a few become long-stayers, but leaving seems to be incomplete unless a part of the vast country stays in the mind.

Chinaholics are drawn to the country from all over the Western world and, for the first time in history, there’s a huge expat community spread out across most of the vast land’s major cities. The majority are younger expats, many of whom are working either as teachers of English or in various tech sectors within the community. A few expat professionals have jobs which, they hope, will keep them in the country for as long as possible and a small number of highly specialised experts have been living there for well over a decade.

One Danish expat who’d worked as a freelance photographer in Shanghai and as a Beijing-based marketing professional was dragged back to his native country by an irresistible job offer. Within a week he’d decided to lose his addiction to all things Chinese and take up the opportunity. Up until that moment he’d been happy in China, and feels he left at the right time although there’s so much he’s missing now he’s back home. He feels he’s experienced so many new things, yet has dropped right back into the boring norm of Danish life where nothing ever changes.

Right now, some 65,000 expats are living in Beijing, forming a flow in two directions as new arrivals come in and older China hands leave for home or other world destinations. One Belgian expat arrived in China via a university exchange semester, experiencing the usual culture shock at first due to the constant changes normal in the huge conurbation.

However, as soon as he was back in Belgium, he began to miss his Beijing lifestyle and became depressed as a result. Another Algerian expat admitted to being homesick for China once he’d returned home, adding he’s living on his Chinese memories and can’t forget Beijing.

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