INDIA DIARIES: The Family Move to Bangalore

As we sit on our 8th floor balcony overlooking the lights of Bangalore, wrapped in the warm night air with the buzz of the aircon overhead and the incessant beeping of congested traffic below, we can’t help but smile and feel content. We did it. We’re living in India.

You may wish to read our tips for moving to Bangalore with kids

Our boys are just 1 and 3 years old (18 months apart) and we’ve always wanted to make the most of the travel possibilities before our eldest starts full time education. Before we had kids, whenever we wanted to do a big six-month or year-long trip, we would just get our heads down, tighten our belts, save save save for our adventures and then pack up and go! Once kids are in the picture, it becomes all the more difficult. Saving was a huge obstacle for us, especially when we’re mostly living off the one salary.

So when an opportunity arose to move to Bangalore for a year through Jay’s work, we jumped at it!

Expat family blogger in Bangalore

A good idea?

Now moving to India with young kids wasn’t without its reservations. We had previously spent 3 months backpacking around India in 2012 where we had a minuscule budget of USD25 per day so we had an idea of what to expect. To an outsider, an Indian city is loud, chaotic and dirty. Rubbish litters the streets, broken pavements mean you can rarely look up, roads are congested and fumes fill the air from battered cars and tuk tuks that sit on their horns. But it’s raw and alive. Here, life spills out onto the streets and it’s simply fascinating.

Our new home in Bangalore needed to be an oasis from the vibrant chaos of India. A place that is clean, safe and has a TV to watch Paw Patrol. A sanctuary, providing a sense of normality to counteract their daily sensory overload.

But we also had to consider the practicalities of leaving our home in the UK. We were now grownups with a mortgage – what to do with our little cottage in Kent? What about my work (I was working part time as a swim teacher back then)? We’d lose our support network of close friends and family and we knew no one in Bangalore. How would I keep the boys entertained without our regular activities and play dates? Would we send the boys to a nursery in Bangalore? Our eldest had just started his new pre-school and was so very happy – is it fair to take him away? Then there were the numerous vital immunisations for our boys to consider…

You can always find an excuse not to do something. But we knew that we would never regret our decision to go. This was the adventure we were looking for. For one year, Bangalore would be our base for our travel explorations.

Leaving the UK

So we put our house up for rent and found some lovely tenants to take care of our home, I spoke to my work (thankfully a job to go back to!) and Jay started the overly-complicated task of sorting visas and tax through his work. We talked to the boys a lot about India through maps, books, YouTube videos and our old travel photos. In fact we spoke to them so much about India that when our youngest is asked, “What’s your name?” he replies, “India”!

Moving and packing up a house, whether it be round the corner or to the other side of the world, is never fun. We’d only been living back in the UK for 3.5 years, but the amount of stuff we’d accumulated (mostly plastic toys!) was ridiculous. Nevertheless, the house was eventually cleared and our belongings in to storage.

Before we knew it, it was time for goodbyes. Goodbyes suck, even though we knew we’d be back in a year. On the days leading up to leaving home, you realise all the more how much the people there mean to you. However, the innocence and naivety of the boys helped to normalise the teary moments as they bounced around, excited about their ‘holiday’.

The first weeks

We’re now into our third week living in Bangalore and feel like we’re finding our rhythm and routine.  We’re beginning to understand how the city ticks, how to be flexible with ‘India time’, how to negotiate with tuk tuk drivers, how to cross the unpredictable roads, how to always keep small change, where to buy things and we even have our first playdate booked in.

We’re living on a gated community, which provides the oasis we require and safety for the boys. Jay heads off to work each morning and flags down a tuk-tuk at the front gate, then the boys and I are left to explore our new city.

In the UK we were constantly booked up with playdates and activities, but we’re currently enjoying the freedom to venture as much or as little as we please; be it to a playground, park, temple or hotel pool in a tuk tuk.

Wherever we go, our blonde boys are a novelty (even on our apartment complex) and people are always taking photos, pinching their cheeks and requesting to pick them up. They’re gradually getting used to this celeb life, but also learning to say ‘no’ to people.

India is indeed incredible and we’ve only just started chipping away at it. We’ve only got a year here, but as a family we’re ready to pack in as much as possible. The boys have already experienced their first Indian train journey to Mysore for a weekend and there are trips in the pipeline to Hampi, Rajasthan, Kerala and Sri Lanka. We’re all so very excited about the adventures ahead and we look forward to sharing the journey with you.


For those that are only just reading this, we ended up staying a year in India before a new adventure began… Africa.

Expat family blogger in Bangalore

To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.

You may also like to read:
INDIA DIARIES: Lessons from the first month
Abu Dhabi with young kids
Long-haul Flight Survival with young kids

Blog Comments

A lovely article reflecting the ups and downs, but mostly ups of living in India. The boys are experiencing such a wide range of things, and I can just hear little Ezra saying “I don’t L-I-K-E it” when girls want to cuddle him. That will soon change! Looking forward to hearing about further adventures.

It’s such a wonderful experience for the boys and already we’ve bonded so much more as a family. And yup – that is still a favourite phrase of Ezra’s ?

What a lovely blog, we won’t lose touch with what you’re up to will we? Hope you’ll thoroughly enjoy all your experiences, well, I know you will, lots of love to you all??

Don’t worry, you haven’t heard the last from us ?. Thoroughly enjoying our experiences and everything india throws at us ?

Well written article. Enjoy your stay.

Thank you. We’re very much looking forward to the year ahead ?.



Wow this has blown my mind what a brave move, and I love that you are all settling in well it must be so exciting exploring a new city, I cant wait to see what you get up to x

Thanks Christie! We are having an absolutely wonderful time and feeling very settled. The boys have adjusted to their new life so well – very proud mumma!
Make sure you like us on to follow our adventures ?

Wow!!!! What an amazing adventure for you all! Best of luck x

It sure is! Thank you ?

What a brilliant thing to do. We recently emigrated from the UK to Portugal, and whether it is for good or not, we have no regrets. Unlike you we sold up so there’s no returning to a house in Wales. I think it’s such a great idea to do, especially when kids are as young as yours. Our son is 3 and we are about to look into a kindergarten for him. Thanks so much for linking up to #wanderlustkids

What a fantastic adventure for you all! I love the commitment of selling up 🙂 And you’re right – it’s such a good age to do it 🙂


That Weird Brown Girl

Loved your post!
I’m a Bangalorean myself and I’m happy to see that all four of you are adjusting into the vibrant chaos, that is Bangalore. When you disregard the noise, dirt, pollution and traffic, Bangalore is a lively city! It’s got a lot of heart, but maybe I’m just biased 🙂 Do check out all the places to grab good food and drinks, there are plenty of options! Our weather is acting a bit off right now, but come Sept/October, it’s going to get chilly so you’ll feel right at home!
Also, my family’s from Kerala, and you’re going to be awed by that place as well! Have fun, you guys!!!

Hello and thank you for reading! We’ve been here 3 months now and we are feeling very settled. We popped to Kochi recently on the sleeper train for the weekend – my boys loved it! Hampi is a big favourite so far. Very much looking forward to the adventures ahead 🙂

and there I was at the Faversham Hop Festival on Saturday, hoping to bump into you all….!

Oh dear! Sorry to disappoint. Hope you had a fab time?

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