Moving to paradise for the children’s sake


  • Mari Korpela Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere



children, expatriates, family, India, lifestyle migration


Increasing numbers of “Western” families spend several months a year in Goa, India, and the rest of the time in the parents’ passport countries or elsewhere. These “lifestyle migrants” are motivated by a search for “a better quality of life”, and the parents often claim that an important reason for their lifestyle choice is that it is better for the children to be in Goa, where they have enriching experiences and enjoy playing freely outdoors, in a natural environment. This article discusses parents’ and children’s views of this lifestyle. It argues that although the lifestyle sometimes causes moral panic among outsider adults who see regular transnational mobility as a sign of instability, a closer look reveals that there are various aspects of stability in the children’s lives. Paying careful attention to the parents’ and children’s own accounts, and the empirical realities of their lives, enables us to reach beyond normative judgements.

Author Biography

Mari Korpela, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere

Currently Korpela works as a Senior lecturer in social anthropology. Earlier, she worked also as a senior researcher in the project "Transnational MIgration in Transition: Transformative Characteristics of Temporary Mobility of People" (EURA-NET) (EU Seventh Framework Programme) in the School or Education in the University of Tampere.

Her PhD dissertation was an ethnographic research dealing with Westerners in Varanasi, India. (More Vibes in India. Westerners in Search of a Better Life in Varanasi, 2009) In 2011-2013, sjei conducted a three-year-long post-doctoral research titled “Mobile Childhood. Children of Lifestyle Migrants in Goa, India”. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland. During the project, she was a visiting scholar in the Department of Sociology in the University of Goa, India and a visiting research fellow in the Sussex Centre for Migration Research in the University of Sussex, UK.




How to Cite

Korpela, M. (2018). Moving to paradise for the children’s sake. Migration Letters, 15(1), 55–65.