American Expat Living in India - Interview with Amanda

Published: 5 Dec at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,India
Amanda is an American mom, who wanted her kids to have a chance to learn about "half" their heritage, so she left the corporate world and is now raising her kids in the Mumbai suburbs, while her husband figures out his first job in India. Amanda's expat blog is called Attached Moms (see listing here)

India has growing availability of Western Movies (mostly American). I try to review them and preview them.
India has growing availability of Western Movies (mostly American). I try to review them and preview them.

Here's the interview with Amanda...

Where are you originally from?
I'm originally from a super small, not even one stop light town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Now, I'm in a metro area with over 20 million people! I've lived in the Washington DC area as well as in Phoenix.

In which country and city are you living now?
I'm in Thane, India now. This is just outside Mumbai.

How long have you lived in India and how long are you planning to stay?
I've been here almost 2 years... and we aren't sure how long we'll stay. It is tough here.

That's me!
That's me!
Why did you move to India and what do you do?
I wanted my kids to know their relatives in India and feel that language and culture are important... they weren't learning Marathi or Hindi in Phoenix.

I do some freelancing, but due to issues with security and odd working hours (most people work 10 or 11 am until 8 or 9 pm) I am choosing to stay home with the kids.

Did you bring family with you?

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I had a very tough time transitioning. We were kicked out of the company guest house and lived with no furniture and all of 5 or 6 suitcases of clothes and important documents for weeks! It was pretty bad for a while.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Actually it wasn't. I met a few people, but not living in an expat area meant it was up to me to try to find people. I've found a few, but life is much different when you aren't in an expat area. It has helped the kids learn the local language.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
In Thane, we have great shopping - better than Mumbai, REALLY! I love the malls, green areas for walking in Thane, as well as some small coffee shops.

What do you enjoy most about living in India?
I like having extra help at home (I hate doing dishes!) Honestly though, India is a trip in itself. You always see something that amazes you... one minute you're like WHAT THE... and then you're like WOW, that would not work anywhere else... but here, it does!

How does the cost of living in India compare to home?
Surprisingly, India is expensive. Cost per square foot is more in Mumbai than most of the US, but in Thane it is okay. We get more space than in Mumbai, and the price is okay.

What negatives, if any, are there to living in India?
I have difficulties with seeing people being treated horribly. I don't like the open sewage... India has super rich and super poor... it is hard to see every day.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to India, what would it be?
Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Isolation is tough. How is it that I have more people in my building than in my hometown but I still feel lonely often?

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think some things will be a breath of relief, while other things will be hard. I'll miss the ease of getting home help (though I've had drama!), and having to wash my own floors (but of course not daily!)... but overall, I think my stress level would go down after repatriation.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Expect the unexpected.
  2. Get home foods with you - things you can't get here (velveeta shells and cheese for example), but luckily more brands are available now.
  3. Get out and enjoy the festivals. Otherwise you'll be cursing the noise!
  4. Take road trips.
  5. Have time for reflection. It gets busy here.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
There are many expat groups, but very few groups have events that focus on family life. Because of that I try to focus on family friendly events and general life. I am more than just a mom. I'm not just a foreigner!

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Visit Facebook and Look for Expats in Thane group!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingAmanda is an American expat living in India. Blog description: American mom of two, trying out life in the far suburb of Thane - not exactly Mumbai, but not rural either. Can she keep her sanity?
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