4 years ago today Ben, 8 year old Léna, 2 year old Clémence and I moved to Mauritius from London. We didn’t know anyone here and we had never been here before. We also didn’t know if our request for a permit to live and work here would be approved. Despite all that we sold / donated 90% of our furniture and belongings, took Léna out of the outstanding school she’d been going to since the age of 4, and stepped into the unknown.
Was it a huge risk? Yes.
Was it scary as hell? Yes.
Do we regret it? Never. Not for a second.
In this life we are presented with hundreds (thousands? millions?) of crossroads, of decisions that could take our lives in very different directions. And most of the time we choose the easy option, the one that others have trodden, the safe one. And generally nothing scary or unexpected happens. But equally generally nothing exciting or amazing happens either.
Léna was 10 and Clémence was 4 years old the first time they swam with dolphins in the wild, observing these beautiful creatures in their natural environment, with no one but us and the dolphins in that vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.
We take boat trips around the neighbouring islands with them, dance the local Sega dance on the beach, swim in clear turquoise waters. We have sundowners on a beach 5 minutes’ drive from our house. We have a pool in our back garden which (along with swimming lessons) has turned them into the most beautiful swimmers.
How could I ever regret giving them opportunities like that?
They mix with children of all nationalities, religions, cultures and skin colour.
They get excited driving at night at this time of year and spotting all the Divali lights outside everyone’s houses. Halfway through the year they get excited about when the moon will appear, signalling the end of Ramadan and the Muslim festival of Eid, which means celebrations, fireworks and a public holiday here.
They enjoy dressing up for the Chinese new year in January / February and consider all these celebrations and festivities as the norm.
Mauritius is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious country with incredible amounts of respect for others’ beliefs. It is my absolute pleasure to be able to raise them in this kind of an environment in this day and age when my own country of birth (the UK) seems to have gone back to being more racist than I ever remember in my 43 years.
Does that mean making this major decision was easy? Absolutely not.
In London we were an hour’s drive from my retired parents, who we got to see often and who helped us out when need be. My brother and cousin lived nearby and we saw them weekly at least. We had good friends there. Léna was in an excellent school. I was working as a childminder for two children (and their two families) that I adored. And I LOVED London.
It was a lot to give up.
Especially as we were going into the absolute unknown. And using a fair amount of our savings to do so.
But Ben and I are big believers in the principle that you regret what you DIDN’T do more than what you DID do. So we opened the scary door and picked the life choice that was behind it.
We are on the brink of another move. This time from one end of the island to the other. It means a change of schools (and a change of language as this school is a French one), a change of house obviously, but also a change of groups of friends, and we’ll also need to find our way there with shops, kids’ and our activities, doctors, vets, places to go, things to do etc.
But such a decision and such a move is easy for us now. Once you’ve made one big decision, one big move, you realise how easy it actually is. And you get to live life to the full through these decisions.
Are you holding back from living your fullest, best life because of fear? What big decision is paralysing you right now?
Please don’t hold back lovely, as the most incredible experiences are awaiting you, they are just beyond your comfort zone, so close your eyes and jump!
If you want further help with making decisions, you can grab my free video guide to decision-making and facing your fears here.
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