Disclaimer: Originally published in September 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.

Indians love vacationing abroad. As the years pass, more and more Indian tourists are traversing unknown routes and going to offbeat locations.

However, their luggage and Visas are not the only things they carry with them. They carry with them a whole new self.

indians travelling abroad

Indian tourists behave differently when they’re travelling abroad. They want to become a part of the place that they are visiting in order to seek validation and easy acceptance.

Part of this psyche behind changing behavioural patterns abroad, is the fact that Indians want to fit in with their surroundings. The fundamental basis for this argument is that Indian tourists are hypocrites. They behave differently in their home country and transform into different individuals when travelling abroad.

Having travelled to a few different countries, I have observed these characteristic traits among fellow Indian travellers. A lot of these instances are personal observations. 

Here’s how this hypocrisy manifests itself:


Indians are known for littering and in general not keeping their surroundings clean. However, when travelling abroad they suddenly realise that those “USE ME” structures on the side of the road, are not simply for show. They would never be seen littering on the streets. This, I have seen first hand.

Additionally, they recognize the importance of traffic rules. They won’t skip red lights and won’t honk unnecessarily.

Their usage of the local public transportation also differs. They form queues without whining, don’t push and shove and let others de-board before boarding. I have never once been pushed or shoved in a tram abroad, but a million times in the Delhi metro.

Perhaps one reason for this is that public transport abroad is not very crowded, thereby making it easier to be disciplined.


Indians abroad will start smiling at strangers, greet them and perhaps may even engage in small talk.

They hold the door for others and show immense patience and conviction while carrying out a task.


This is perhaps one of the most crucial developments that takes place when Indians travel abroad.

Two hours into the trip, they develop a fake accent. Granted that learning a few phrases in the local language is helpful, but developing an accent seems rather appalling. However, the worst part is that when they get back to India, that accent persists, God knows for what rhyme or reason.

A few people that I have on various social media platforms, often upload stories and videos during their trips abroad. They sound like completely different people, with a heavy local accent!

Not just that, but one of my friend was in the USA for a few weeks and when she came back, she had that fake accent.

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Indians are inherently in layman’s terms “show offs”. This fits itself within the context of intellectualism.

When Indians travel abroad, they develop an interest in the ‘heritage and culture’ of the new place. They probably haven’t visited a single museum or heritage site in India, but walk into a MOMA or a Van Gogh, after standing in long queues like it’s their jam.

They pick up pamphlets and maybe even audio guides and pretend to understand and comprehend the ‘meanings’ behind Dante’s and Da Vinci’s famous works. After all, they have to brag about it when they come back.


There is no doubt in the fact that Indians are the torchbearers of being loud. It’s somehow just engraved in us all.

But when vacationing abroad, Indians somehow become averse to loudness. They begin criticising others for being loud when they themselves would do the same thing, when in India.

My family and I were once on a train from Salzberg to Vienna and were indulging in a playful game of charades when this man comes and asks us to “keep it down”. He was on vacation with his family too and was evidently Indian.

indians travelling abroad


One thing which Indians do when they go abroad, is that they constantly criticise India.  You’d often hear people saying things like “OMG, this is so clean”, “This place is so safe”, “India is so dirty”, “India is backward in this regard” without realising that they themselves form a part of the ‘criticisms’ they inflict upon India.

This is something that is universal to all Indian travellers, including myself and my family. We have all at a point in time, criticised India in comparison to other countries.

What drives them to behave in polar opposite ways in the home country and abroad perhaps varies. Maybe it’s the obsession with the West that has engineered such a behaviour. Maybe it is the strength of law and order enforcement abroad.

Whatever may be the reason, one thing is for sure, that the average Indian is malleable to changing surroundings.

Sources: Arre, Times Of India, Economic Times +more

Image Source: Google Images

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  1. Dear Jahnvi,

    No offence to you, but generalizing what you have seen few/many doing is not correct.
    I am almost 10-15 years older than you are and definitely have traveled more than you have due to the industry I am in, and I am being honest, I have never seen an Indian flaunting his/her fake accent abroad. Though I have seen more of this accent problem in Delhi (I am sure you will agree with me as you are a delhite and I have spent 10 years over there).
    Coming to littering I think we are developing the sense of cleanliness and I have observed in India also many people using the bins and not littering around, specially the educated youth like you, and millennial like me :)
    Queue- No point of making any over here, no one respects it…infact where will one wait in the queue when there isn’t any ;)
    My only request is not to generalize your opinion on Indians travelling abroad, especially online
    Otherwise, the article was witty and a fun read.

  2. It’s common that every country have their own behavior & the way u behave at places.Do u behave the same way in public places like you does at home ? Moreover once you go to low class areas it’s same as of India in developed countries.One thing Im sure is that you have only seen 1 side of my country and judging it.We obviously behave decent cuz we are flexible.Don’t easily judge with half knowledge.


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