The one-way flight ticket - Returning from USA to India after a decade long happy life in America


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September 29th 2018
Published: September 29th 2018
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Visit to Nasa in HoustonVisit to Nasa in HoustonVisit to Nasa in Houston

A quick visit to NASA before leaving USA
May 2011: Finally, the day came - the day to bid farewell to my 11 year-long life in the USA. Texas has been my home for several years and very close to my heart. But the time has come to leave a lot of good friends, my home in The Woodlands, and an ecosystem my family built in a few years. All I could carry with me was a lot of good memories.

Sometime back, I wrote about our visit to a farmland vacation destination near Bangalore. Here in this post, I am sharing my experience of moving from the USA to Bangalore and how I ended up getting a farmland holiday home at Bangalore instead of moving to Kerala, my home state.

I moved to the USA as part of work in 1999. It was a much-awaited trip to the USA but wasn't expected to last over a decade. When I moved to the USA, the plan was to work for a few months, earn some money and return to India. But a lot of things happened including a job switch and finally, I got settled in Texas with my family. I bought a house and my children started going to the
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My office in USA
schools. Made a lot of good friends and really enjoyed the life in the USA.

But I could never answer this question - should I settle in the USA or return to India? This has been a point of discussion and some hot debates during our dinners. I and my wife always had the urge to return to India some day but weren't sure if the time has come or not. Children were going to school and were very happy with the system. They made a lot of friends and most of them were American friends, which was also a growing concern for us. While we were always hanging out with other Indian families, our children didn't have any feeling towards our mother country. For them, America was their homeland just like India is for us.

Preparing our minds to return to India for good



It wasn't an easy decision to make. With over 10 years in the USA, we had adapted pretty well to the system in the USA and we knew a lot of things changed in India from the time we left the country. It was a big concern how we are going to adapt
PackingPackingPacking

Naughty boy in action while packing is in progress!
to the life in the home country when we come back. We have been experiencing the hectic life during our vacations in India. But we were not alone. We came to know about a community called R2IClub, which is a very active forum of like-minded people who have plans to leave the USA and settle in India. I and my wife became regular visitors and active participants of R2IClub and we learnt there we are not alone. There are hundreds of Indians living in the USA and have the inner urge to return to India but can't do it for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, R2IClub was very helpful with a lot of information. We learnt how to ship our furniture to India, how to deal with the Indian tax system when bringing our assets from the USA to India, which agency can handle our full household items through container shipping etc. R2IClub also provides a platform for people to share containers who do not have sufficient items to fill a full container.

One-way flight ticket from Houston to Kochi



After a few years long debates and discussions, we made up our mind - it is time to
Last day in USALast day in USALast day in USA

Walking out of my office working there for about 7 years
book the one-way flight ticket to India. We have been living in Houston for several years and having been often flying from Houston to Kochi for vacations and contacted Taj Travel, a travel agency in Dallas. But we were seriously worried about the psychological impact of leaving our comfort zone and our happy ecosystem all of a sudden. So, just before booking our last one-way flight ticket from Houston to Kochi, we made a big decision - take a short break from Houston and settle somewhere else the USA to prepare our minds to leave the United States.

While we were thinking about a short relocation from Houston, a big change happened to our company. Our company decided to close our office in Houston and they gave us the option to move to our other offices in California or Tennesee, which will be an all expenses are taken care relocation plan. While it was a shock for many of my colleagues, it was a blessing in disguise for me. We were able to cancel a lot of utility subscriptions at the cost of my employer and also company bore the cost of a lot of loss while seeling some of our non-movable properties. And that
Packing upPacking upPacking up

Last bike ride before packing up the for our last flight to India
was the time we were talking about taking a break from Houston to test our psychological strength to live away from our ecosystem in Houston. Finally, we moved to Nashville for a short period before our final flight to India.

May 2011 - that was the time we chose to fly to India for good. It was not yet summer holidays in the USA but we took special permission from the schools to finish their academic year early. The teachers were very cooperative and they gave us certificates and letters stating their education in the American schools. We already spoke to a school of our choice in Bangalore. June is the academic year starting in India, so we wanted to reach here at least by May and get settled.

Finally, the day came - our last day in the USA and our first one-way flight from the USA to India. Our children were born in the USA and they are American citizens. When they turn 18 years old, they have a choice to make - whether to retain their American passport or become an Indian citizen.

Did I miss to say how I moved to Bangalore instead of flying back to my hometown in Kochi? Well, one of the primary reasons for leaving the USA and settling back in India was, we wanted to be closer to families and relatives in Kerala. But at the same time, we were seriously worried about losing the comforts of a metro life that we have been enjoying for several years in the USA. So, after a lot of dinner discussions, we concluded that we will move to Bangalore and live there for some time until our children get adapted to the Indian system but at the same time enjoying the metro life in Bangalore. (Later, we realised Bangalore is not our final destination and so, moved back to Kerala within a year or so.)

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