Whether you’re a newbie or veteran in the expat game, there’s always going to be the initial ‘butterflies-in-the-stomach’ feeling before you move to any new city, no matter where in the world. The combined rush of excitement and nervousness, because you don’t know what you’re going to encounter, is common—and mind you, normal! Read on to find out the different phases you may go through if you’re an expat looking to make Bengaluru your home for the next few years.
1. Overcome with Nerves
You’re overcome with nerves because not only are you faced with the daunting task of moving homes (to another country!), but you’re also faced with a host of other challenges you’re probably dreading. How will the food be? What about the water? Or ‘What if I can’t adjust to my new locality?’ or ‘What if I never make any friends?’ ‘What if I can’t find the right school for my kids?’
Tip: Bengaluru has been a hub for the IT sector for a long time, making it the Silicon Valley of India. This ensures that you’ll make plenty of expat friends here. Moreover, with several good expat clubs, international schools and a host of multi-cuisine restaurants and malls around every corner, you’ll do just fine.
2. Bubbling Excitement
After the initial nervousness, you begin to bubble with excitement. Why? Obviously because you have spent almost all day researching shopping, lifestyle, food and leisure options in Bengaluru! And you won’t be disappointed. From good localities like Koramangala and Whitefield that are close to most offices and well connected by public transport, to Commercial Street, Residency Road and popular malls, your upcoming life looks pretty exciting.
Tip: Gear up to haggle at local street markets, always sit in autos that run by meter, and do not rely on late night shopping.
3. Love at First Sight
Within a few hours of being in Bengaluru, two things will hit you immediately—first, the absolutely gorgeous weather (that’s neither too hot nor too cold, it’s just the perfect mix of both) and second, its lush greenery (Bengaluru is home to many gardens and lakes). Both ensure that you’re always motivated for your morning run.
Tip: Complimenting the weather is a great way to earn brownie points with the locals.
4. The Joy of Freedom
Now comes the joy of being free to roam in a new city. After you get over the nervousness and excitement, there’s the feeling of moving to and discovering a whole new place. You are open to making new friends and having new experiences, and you’re slowing sinking your feet into the heart of the city.
Tip: Be open to stepping out of your comfort zone, you never know what you’ll discover, even about yourself.
5. Looking for a New Home
This is the all-important task—finding a new home, the place you come back to after a hard day’s work. It is important to find a home where you have like-minded locals or expats living, with a school nearby and shopping facilities aplenty. In Bengaluru, finding a housing complex that is well-connected by public transport (for whenever your car isn’t free) is absolutely necessary.
Tip: Gear up for high rents in the city, so that it’s not shock-at-first-rent when you start looking. Good localities include Whitefield, Koramangala, Yelahanka and Sarjapur.
6. Finding your Clan
Once the hard part of finding a home is over, comes the issue of finding your clan. Fret not, that’s the thing about friendships, they just happen. While your colleagues will probably be your first friends, you will slowly start making friends in your housing complex, gym, expat group and maybe even along your work commute! At the end, we know you’re going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to parties and outings. Experience the happiness of your newfound friendships by signing up for activities like tandem biking with your new pals on the Cleartrip app.
Tip: A good way to approach someone is to call them ‘boss’.
7. Think of Yourself as a Local Expert
Thinking of yourself as a local expert enhances the experience of moving to a new city. Take time out on the weekends to explore Bengaluru like the locals do—find the best joint for ‘rava idli’, the best place to shop for authentic coffee, good shopping areas, the quickest routes, and places of historical importance. You could even give ‘eating out’ a whole new twist by gorging on delicious snacks from Bengaluru’s food trucks.
Tip: Learning basic Kannada phrases will make it much easier to maneuver your way through the city and get to know the locals better.
8. Settling in to the New Environment
Once you’ve moved past the initial nervousness, familiarity kicks in and you feel more settled into the new environment. Travelling through the Bengaluru traffic and dealing with its mosquitoes don’t get to you anymore. You know the exact fare from your home to office and no one can charge you extra. You can predict the weather by just looking up at the sky and you’ve mastered the art of eating that delectable ‘rava idli’ with your hands. You are now a Bengaluru-ian!
Tip: The sooner you accept the city as your new home, the quicker you’ll feel settled and comfortable.
9. Drawing Close to Homecoming
Your time in Bengaluru is coming to a close. It feels like just yesterday that you stepped into this large garden that calls itself a city. You’re beginning to savor your favorite things about the city, one thing at a time, because you want to remember the feeling long after. Go on, eat that extra ‘rava idli’, we know how you’re feeling.
Tip: Throw a farewell party for yourself! Bengaluru is one of India’s leaders when it comes to nightlife and you won’t fall short of party venues.
10. Bidding a Sad Goodbye
How ironic that you now bid a sad goodbye to a city you were once nervous about moving to? Everywhere you go and even the most mundane activities will make you nostalgic! It feels like the end of an era, doesn’t it?
Tip: Embrace the emotion but, before leaving, visit all your favorite jaunts one last time.
Moving to a new city can be scary, but once you scratch the surface, you realize that there’s more to love and enjoy than be wary of. Bengaluru is addictive and no one who comes here once says it’s enough. Go on and enjoy Bengaluru’s main attraction—a fast-paced life in a verdure idyllic setting.
Pros of moving to Bangalore:
• Varied cuisine
• Upcoming food trucks
• Booming job sector
What to be ready for:
• High rents
• Use ‘boss’ to address anybody
• Only sit in autos that run by meters
• Compliment the weather to get locals to like you
• Buy/rent a house/apartment that is well connected by public transport
• Learn basic Kannada phrases