How to Make the Decision to Return to India

Hello, my dear NRI comrades!

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re pondering, debating, and probably losing sleep over that one massive question: “Should we move back to India?” As someone who’s been down that road, I’m here to help.

This piece is not a magic 8-ball, but it will, hopefully, give you and your partner a comprehensive framework to make an informed decision.

Remember, this is a monumental life choice, filled with pros, cons, and a lot of ‘what ifs.’ So, grab a cup of chai or coffee, settle into your favorite nook, and let’s dig in.

1. Family and Social Fabric

A key draw for many couples contemplating a move back to India is, undoubtedly, family. The allure of aging parents, the camaraderie of siblings, the familiarity of childhood friends, and the vibrant social milieu of festivals, weddings, and gatherings is strong.

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Living abroad has its own advantages, but if you’re feeling that pull towards the familial bond and cultural ethos, it might be time to consider returning to India.

However, the social fabric extends beyond family. Are you comfortable with the societal norms, expectations, and everyday lifestyle in India? These are factors that can significantly impact your quality of life and should be considered critically.

2. Career Opportunities

Career prospects are a huge part of this decision-making process. India has seen unprecedented growth in various sectors like technology, finance, and healthcare. If you’re in a sector that’s booming in India, this could be an opportune time to take the leap.

However, it’s not just about availability; it’s also about satisfaction. Gauge the nature of jobs, work culture, growth trajectory, work-life balance, and then make an informed decision.

Connect with peers in India, understand the industry landscape, and consider if it aligns with your career ambitions and lifestyle.

3. Financial Considerations

There’s no denying that NRIs often enjoy a superior earning and saving potential abroad. Yet, the cost of living is usually lower in India, and your money might go a long way here, especially if you’ve accumulated substantial savings.

Consider the costs associated with housing, education, healthcare, lifestyle needs, and retirement planning.

Analyze your financial situation, understand the Indian tax laws, and take a long, hard look at your financial goals before making a choice.

4. Education and Future for Kids

If you have kids or are planning to have them, their future will undoubtedly be a significant factor. India offers some excellent schools and universities, but the education system is vastly different from that in Western countries.

Consider the curriculum, teaching methodology, and overall environment of Indian schools.

Talk to parents who’ve moved back and understand their experience. Most importantly, consider your child’s comfort, adaptability, and opinion, especially if they are older.

5. Quality of Life

Quality of life is a subjective measure and varies widely based on personal preferences. It encompasses aspects like healthcare facilities, safety and security, climate, pollution, access to amenities, and overall lifestyle.

Cities in India are bustling and chaotic, teeming with people, traffic, and noise.

This vibrancy can be exciting or overwhelming, depending on your perspective. On the flip side, India also offers easy access to domestic help, a lower cost of living, and a strong sense of community.

Evaluate what aspects of life are non-negotiable for you and your partner, and see where India stands on those parameters.

In conclusion, deciding to move back to India is not a straightforward process. It’s a deeply personal decision that depends on various factors, each carrying different weights for different individuals.

Discuss extensively with your partner, involve your kids in the conversation if they’re old enough, and take your time. Reach out to people who’ve made the move, seek their advice, learn from their experiences.

And most importantly, remember that it’s okay to be unsure. It’s okay to oscillate. It’s okay to take your time.

After all, it’s not just a geographical shift; it’s a life-altering decision. So, weigh your options, listen to your gut, and choose what’s best for you and your family.

Whether you choose to stay put or return to your roots, make sure it’s a decision that sits well with your heart and mind. And remember, home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling. So, choose the option where you feel ‘at home.’

As you embark on this journey of introspection and decision-making, remember these words by Steve Jobs,

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Trust your journey, and may your dots connect beautifully, no matter where they lead you.

Good luck!

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