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Eli, Mumbai

Who are you?

I am Eli, 1/4 of a Greek Norwegian family. We have lived in Norway and Greece, and I have always been working full time.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

Summer 2012 we (husband, 2 teenagers and I) left Europe and moved to Mumbai, India, because my husband was sent here with his job. Before we moved, we visited Mumbai, to look for schools, housing- and check out if this was a place we wanted to live:-)How did you find somewhere to live?

We got a lot of help from my husband’s job. They were really helpful and assisted us with all practical issues, like renting an apartment.

Are there many other expats in your area?

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There are many expats in Powai and in Mumbai in general. I found it to be an open and friendly community.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

I have made many Indian friends and really appreciate our friendships.

What do you like about life where you are?

For me, leaving behind a life where I worked full time, to being an “just” an expat wife & mum was a huge change of scenery. However, there are a lot of activities to join in in Mumbai, and it is an exiting city to explore. The difference between rich and poor is huge, and that reflects my life here. I am a volunteer in an NGO and work with education for kids from low-income families, and I also do activities like: yoga, writing, tours, dancing etc. I feel blessed being able to spend the days as I like. Life here can be very easy: most shops offer home- delivery, but on the other hand it can be hard with just finding out where to buy different stuff you need.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

The traffic is heavy, so it takes a long time to get around. For me, the biggest challenge has been the poverty and the situation for especially girls. It can be overwhelming for foreigners, and hard to know how to digest all the impressions.

What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

As for food, living in India is great- fresh vegetables and fruit and those spices. It can be a bit hard to find ingredients you are used to from other countries. For us that has meant that we have a very varied and international cuisine – at home.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

– Get in touch with expats living here (word to word about practicalities in Mumbai is the best)
– Be open to new friendships – so valuable!
– Know that things take time here! Try to go with the flow …

What are your plans for the future?

We will still be here in Mumbai, so please feel free to contact me through my blog Expatliv if there is anything I can do to help new expats!