The Ultimate Checklist for NRIs Returning to India: What to Pack and What to Leave Behind

So, you’ve decided to move back to India, the land of mouthwatering spices, colorful festivals, and the ever-so-chaotic traffic!

As exciting as it is to return home, the thought of packing up your life in a foreign land can be daunting. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here’s the ultimate (and humorously honest) checklist for NRIs returning to India, so you know exactly what to pack and what to leave behind.

Section 1: What to Pack

Your favorite Western brands:

Because let’s be honest, nothing beats the deodorant, shampoo, or toothpaste you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Stock up, as they might be hard to find or more expensive in India.

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Electronics and gadgets:

While India is making strides in the tech world, you might still find it worthwhile to bring your trusty laptop, smartphone, and other gadgets from abroad. Don’t forget the voltage converters and adapters!

Your prized kitchen appliances:

Have a love affair with your air fryer, coffee maker, or instant pot? Bring them along, because we all know that a good cup of joe or perfectly cooked rice is essential to a happy life.

A solid wardrobe:

While Indian fashion is vibrant and beautiful, there’s no harm in bringing some of your favorite Western clothes. Just be prepared to explain skinny jeans and Hawaiian shirts to your curious Indian relatives.

A sense of humor:

You’ll need this when you encounter the great Indian bureaucracy, never-ending traffic jams, and the occasional cow on the road.

Section 2: What to Leave Behind

The concept of personal space:

As you step into India, be prepared to embrace the warmth (and occasional invasiveness) of Indian people.

Here, personal space is more of a suggestion than a rule.

Unrealistic expectations of punctuality:

Indian Standard Time (IST) is often jokingly referred to as “Indian Stretchable Time.”

It’s best to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards punctuality – you’ll thank us later!

The need for silence:

India is a land of noise, and it’s hard to escape the cacophony of honking horns, bustling markets, and lively conversations.

Embrace the chaos, and you’ll soon find the music within it.

Over-reliance on Google Maps:

While technology is great, nothing beats asking a friendly local for directions when you’re lost in a maze of narrow streets. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to practice your Hindi!

A fear of spice:

We hope you’re ready for a flavor explosion because Indian food packs a punch! It’s time to bid adieu to your bland Western meals and embrace the fiery delights of Indian cuisine.


Moving back to India is an exciting adventure, and with this ultimate checklist, you’ll be well-prepared for the journey ahead.

So pack your bags, say your goodbyes, and get ready to dive into the incredible world of India – a place that will fill your heart with nostalgia, your stomach with spices, and your life with unforgettable memories.

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