When my parents told me at 10 years old that we would be moving to a little island off the coast of Africa, I excitedly bragged about the news with my classmates at school. The teacher, overhearing me creating my usual classroom ruckus, invited me to come up the front of the class and point out my new island home on the big map on the wall. I strode confidently up to the map and traced my finger over Madagascar to where the little island should be. And nothing.. The map-makers, deeming the island too small and insignificant, had just left it off the map all together. Of course all my classmates just thought I had been making the whole thing up and to this day probably think I live in a hick country town in outback Australia.
Flying into Mauritius that first time as a child, I wondered how the pilots would even find the little scrap of land that makes up the island (hopefully they weren’t working off that same map from my classroom). The pilots did find the island and that first touchdown amongst the sugar cane fields and the palm trees started a fourteen year love affair with the island.
All this to say that I am back! I touched down last week and will be staying here for around six weeks. I have a couple of goals for this time because the adult brain has officially kicked in (if you’re not a goal-maker then please bare with me- this phase is sure to pass soon).
Get my PADI Divemasters
Starting tomorrow, I will be attempting to finally get my PADI Divemasters certification. For those of you that might not know, I have been Rescue Diver certified for around three years and I have about 110 dives under my belt which is mostly due to a stint of scientific diving in Madagascar. I attempted my Divemasters about two years ago but after a string of horrible dives and a couple scary incidents, I threw in the towel. Anxiety be damned, I am now back for round two. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Write about the “ugly” Mauritius
A certain someone I know once said ” If the tourists knew what was in the middle of the island, they would never come”. I strongly disagree! My love for Mauritius stretches far beyond the beautiful beaches. The bustling markets, tiny winding streets, and hidden eateries of the inner island have their own unique charm. I hope that people will step outside the resort gates and see it for themselves.
Prove that you can do Mauritius on a budget
Without a doubt, Mauritius is advertised as a luxury destination. The island is covered from head to toe with huge, gated resorts which offer every conceivable luxury. Each one has a spa, a golf course, a stretch of raked beach, and a crystal blue pool. However with luxury comes a price tag to match and for a lot of us, we just can’t afford it. So we write off the island as too expensive, too elite, and place it firmly in the “one day” box. Let me tell you weary, money burdened traveller that there is another way! I promise you that Mauritius can be done on a budget and you might even have a better time than the resort-bound.
Always and forever a goal of mine, I aim to get off my couch-loving butt more often in the next five weeks. Diving eight times a week (Eek!) and doing some of the beautiful hikes around Mauritius should help me accomplish this goal. Once I get more organised I might even start running again and move my slovenly body closer to accomplishing my goal of running a 5K next year.
So there you have it-Welcome to Mauritius!
If you want to see my daily action, I post on Instagram pretty regularly-my handle is @dirtypawsblog.
Have you ever been to Mauritius? Are you wanting to go? Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.