Changes, living life, taking risks

I’ve written in the past about making changes and taking risks, but I think this time we’ve exceeded what’s normal even for us!

For those who read this blog frequently you will have noticed the extreme lack of blogging this year, that would be because my life has been ridiculously busy dealing with decisions we have made. Decisions that are going to massively change my life and our family’s life.

When I decided to go to university to study French, many many years ago, “grown-ups” would ask me what I wanted to do with my French degree, and I would joke “go and live on a French-speaking tropical island”. Whilst it was always a joke, a part of me would think “ooh how amazing would that be?!?”.

When Hubs and I moved to London from Nice 5 years ago, people asked if it was forever, and we always said “who knows?”. Well it’s now time to move on….

Not back to France, as although I LOVE France, neither Hubs nor I can envisage living there in the foreseeable future for numerous reasons (which I talk about in this blog post and this one).

So where is Franglaise Family heading to? I hear you ask….

A beautiful island, in the Indian Ocean.


Mauritius: l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

For those of you who don’t know, Mauritius can be found to the east of Madagascar, it is a smallish island (just over 2000 km2) with a population of around 1.3 million.

So why Mauritius?

Well, there are so many reasons….because Hubs’s work is internet-based it means we aren’t tied to any one location, and as much as we both love London we do really miss the sunshine, warmth and beaches that we’d got used to in the south of France. So it ticks that box.

For a long time we’d been looking for that ideal combination – a country that speaks both English and French for our Franglaise family, and Mauritius is such a fantastic mix of both languages.

Mauritius was under French rule from 1710 until 1810 when it was captured by the British, who then ruled it until 1968 when it became an independent state with Queen Elizabeth as Queen of Mauritius. Finally in 1991 Mauritius became a republic within the Commonwealth.

This mixed history means that you can really see the French and British influences in the island, both in language and in the way things are done – French is spoken throughout the island but English is the language of administration and bureaucracy, whilst schooling is based on the UK system and they drive on the left (like in the UK).

This massively appeals to Hubs and me. When we lived in France we strived to find a way to balance out the Frenchness of L’s life with some Englishness, then back in Blighty we struggled to add the French language and culture into both our daughter’s lives. In Mauritius it feels a bit like we’ve finally found a compromise.

Obviously the fact that it is a beautiful island with an incredible climate doesn’t go against it! On the coast the temperature goes from 20°C during the dry winter (our UK summer) to highs of about 35°C in their wet summer.

Le Morne Beach in Mauritius: l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

The country is also a fabulous melting-pot of nationalities, cultures and religions: nearly half the country are hindus, nearly a third are christians, with Islam making up 17%. Despite the mix it is a really peaceful country where religions worship side by side and public holidays celebrate all the different religions and cultures such as :

  • Eid-Ul-Fitr (Muslims)
  • Diwali (Hindus)
  • Christmas
  • Chinese spring festival

Saris on the beach in Mauritius: l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

Hubs and I are both atheist and we teach our children about all religions, so that they understand others’ beliefs, which means that we love this set-up! One of my biggest regrets about French national schooling was that it is secular, so if we’d stayed there L wouldn’t have learnt about different religions.

Language-wise, schooling is bilingual (English-French) which has been my dream since becoming a mum so I’m in heaven about that. In addition the common language across the island is Mauritian Creole (which most people speak at home as their first language). Based on the French language this form of Creole is relatively easy for the French to understand (especially those who have an ear for languages) as it is a kind of phonetic French! We’re all very excited about learning this new language, especially L 🙂

As if all the above wasn’t enough Mauritius is a fantastic country for outdoor sports and despite only being 8 years old, L has set her sights on learning how to kite surf!

Kite-Sufing in Riambel in Mauritius: l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

For us Mauritius just ticks so many boxes – including quite a few important ones for us as parents:

  • The education system is good (based on the UK system)
  • The healthcare system is good (based on the UK system)
  • The political system is stable (based on the UK system)
  • The climate is not too extreme (see above)
  • The languages are ones we speak
  • There is a great melting-pot with people living happily side by side
  • There is general stability in the country (it is not prone to riots or terrorism)
  • In general it is a safe place to live (especially considering that it is in Africa), with no malaria, no rabies, very few health risks – other than some cases of dengue and chikungunya, and the occasional cyclone
  • There is so much outdoor sport for us all to join in with – I know I can’t wait to get hiking again 🙂

So that’s it. The decision is made and now we are preparing to move there as we sort our way through paperwork, visas, jabs etc.

I will keep blogging, as I will always be Franglaise Mummy, but I’m sure my take on things will be very different when we trade London for a paradise island!

Sunset at Pointe-aux-Piments in Mauritius: l French and English Parenting and Lifestyle Ramblings

A big thank you to Priscille from Discover Mauritius for letting me share her gorgeous photos here (all photos courtesy of her fabulous blog). If you want to see more beautiful photos or learn more about this incredible country I urge you to go to her blog and Facebook page.


11 Responses

  1. Mel says:

    So nice to read you again! How exciting for the 4 of you! Mauritius sounds like the ideal place to live. I can’t wait to follow your adventures in Mauritius. x
    Mel recently posted…Berets, Garlic, Eating Snails, Stripy Tops & a French LessonMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It’s taken me forever to reply to your post and we are actually here now – and I can confirm it is everything and more that we hoped it would be!

  2. Wow! What an exciting time you’ve got ahead. Reading your post it sounds like you’ve found the perfect place for you family. All the best with your move x
    Charlotte Oates recently posted…Baked Chorizo and Asparagus RisottoMy Profile

  3. Anine Champion says:

    Your moving to Mauritius has me all fired up. With all the problems and plans of our own, stambling onto your blog and FB, boosted my believe in better things is to come…..Really hope to call you “friend” someday,
    knowing that you and your familiy already took the step that we ourselfs don’t know anything about. On a diffrent level we have something to offer Mauritius, but to go about it……

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      There are so many better things out there that we can experience – I can’t recommend enough making changes if you think that is right for you, the risks are so worth it!

  4. Nearly Irish says:

    Hi, just found your blog via “A frog at large” blog, and just want to say good luck with your move. My husband is from Mauritius (but we live in Ireland), and I’ve been there many times (I’m currently writing a series about Mauritius on my blog right now if you want to pop over 😉 ). Anyway, I hope you have a great time there. Mauritius is a beautiful country and the people are very nice, but it is a very different culture and way of life than in Europe. Don’t get discouraged, talk to locals and make friends who will help you integrate and understand how everything work over there.
    Nearly Irish recently posted…Day 8: Kaya and Seggae musicMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks for your post – we absolutely love it here and couldn’t be happier. It reminds me of a mix between England, France, South Africa and Sri Lanka – countries I know well / have visited. We couldn’t be happier here – we love the place, the people and everything about Mauritius 🙂

  5. Kate Davis says:

    Missed this post when you published it, but glad I came back to find it as you’re right it looks lovely. I hope you’ve all settled in and enjoy the island.
    Kate Davis recently posted…Food photography workshop with NikonMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Kate! We’re absolutely loving it here and really couldn’t be happier 🙂

  1. 01/02/2016

    […] blogged before about our move, our decision to move and about living with my parents so I’m not going to go back into that […]

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