My Mauritian Adventure
This week I return to England – or the homeland, as I like to call it. It is a feeling so very bittersweet; excitement yet heavy-heartedness, both at the same time. On one hand I will be reunited with all of my family, especially my mum, who I haven’t seen in the last five months; on the other hand, I’m leaving behind glorious sunny days, mounds and mounds of natural beauty and Arc-en-ciel ice-cream (haha!).
I believe firmly that life is all about experience. To live, you must do things you have never done before; you must see the world or whatever parts of it you have the means to see; and you certainly must take the good along with the bad and appreciate it all – every single moment.
Born and brought up in England, and having lived there my entire life, moving to Mauritius was certainly a big deal for me. A little island in the middle of the Indian ocean, with only two seasons, a mixture of different people of different heritages and a national language which I had no clue about… it was daunting but oh-so-exciting, and an opportunity as a lover of life that I certainly could not refuse. It has been an incredible experience for me so far, and one that I certainly hope to continue upon my return.
For those of you that may have lived in England or even visited, I hope that you will understand exactly what I mean when I say that life over there is a little bleak. It’s ironic, because I am well aware of the fact that generations before us have left Mauritius to find opportunity and build a new life in England, but I will be completely honest with you. Yes, of course being British and living in England has its upsides; but it definitely has its downsides too, especially for someone who wants a little more out of life. Everyday routine is so fast-paced and rushed in England, that there is arguably barely even time to breathe. The majority of people wake up everyday to dull weather; rush to go to work in a job that they don’t even like; only to get taxed a large percentage of their earnings; of which then, the majority goes towards paying the bills and paying off the mortgage on the house, which they will probably spend their entire lives trying to consolidate. There is not much time to enjoy each other, to appreciate nature, or to even take up a new hobby – and the weekend comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
Life in Mauritius is different. People seem to love living so much more over here, and I love to see that! The weather is amazing, the food is great, there is a beach on every corner and you only have to step outside of your front door to revel at the beauty of the sky, or the majesty of a distant mountain. It just makes things better – know what I mean?
It’s the simple things over here, which matter the most to me. The fact that as an outsider, different cultures and religions appear to live respectfully and harmoniously side-by-side, even encouraging and getting involved in one another’s celebrations is a tremendous thing. Where I’m from, it doesn’t always seem that way. There is always one thing or another, amplified by media bias or hypocrisy, which causes tension between different colours, cultures and classes and sometimes it can be exhausting living amongst all that.
I’m not saying there haven’t been some difficulties in adjusting to life over here, however. Mauritius seems to live by the Creole saying, “pena probleme”; island-style life where everything is as laid-back and relaxed as it appears to be. Although this is all well and cool, coming with the social conditioning that was unconsciously enforced upon me in my country, in some circumstances it can become quite problematic. I am so used to things getting done very quickly, whether it is obtaining official documents or awaiting a call back from someone. Here, it is not like that and it is something I am trying each and every day to accept. I guess I need to shake off that lifestyle and adopt this one, and I will get there soon – I promise!
There are other things I am not quite used to just yet too, such as the lack of quality customer service in some establishments and the horrendous fumes emitted from public buses, but these are things I know that people are becoming aware to and things that will undoubtedly change in the coming years.
All on all, people living in Mauritius have it good and Mauritius is on the rise, which means that things will only be getting better. Now is a very exciting time to be here and I am looking forward wholeheartedly to my return to the island very soon.