The first Christmas in Mauritius as an expat is a moment you never forget!
At the end of this year, we find Julie who tells us her vision of Christmas in Mauritius! 😎
Atmosphere, gifts, activities? Is Christmas in the tropics so different?
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Hello Julie, can you tell us why you decided to move abroad?
Hello ! So it's been almost 4 years that I'm in Mauritius I arrived in April 2019 I wanted to leave the metropolis and my life in France. My first Christmas I spent in France was not especially to return during the holidays, it was just chance. I was taking up a new job and I had left my old one! It was an opportunity to go back.
What did you like about your first Christmas in Mauritius?
I don't particularly like Christmas in France... What's incredible in Mauritius is that I don't have any family pressure! It wasn't particularly a happy event in my family. What I really like here is that you spend Christmas with people you decide to do it with and not people you are forced to do it with.
Can you tell us about your last Christmas?
I spent Christmas at a friend's house last year, we had an aperitif on the beach and then went swimming. One 24th of December! What I like is that you do activities that are a bit unusual when you come from Europe. Last year we went to bed early on the 24th because on the 25th in the morning we had booked a speed boat to go to the Gabriel island. I love to think that on the 25th you find yourself on a heavenly beach at the other end of the world. To spend Christmas under the sun and without the cold is really a great experience.
How does it work for the gifts?
You have much less pressure on Christmas in Mauritius than in France, you don't have to make gifts. We are more inclined to make secrets Santa. You really give for fun and because you like it!
Did you find the atmosphere of Christmas in Mauritius?
I find that the warm atmosphere of Mauritius is not particularly linked to Christmas. In Mauritius, I find human warmth every day thanks to the Mauritians. On the other hand, what I like at Christmas is to be able to give a little gift to my cleaning lady whom I love or to offer a little something to my babysitter whom I also love and to whom I say hello every morning!
I have the impression that in Mauritius you are more thankful to the people you meet on a daily basis. As you will be surrounded by kindness all year round, Christmas is just the right time to show your sympathy to others.
What do you eat in Mauritius as an expat?
In Mauritius, you often have a Christmas meal on the evening of the 24th and not 36 meals during the week...your stomach thanks you!
Last year we made paupiettes. Moreover it was paupiettes cooked with gas and water because at the time of making them we had a power cut during three hours. This kind of event in France you go crazy! In Mauritius you find it funny, it's anecdotal.
What do you have planned for this Christmas?
This year I'm doing Christmas with a friend and I have a different program again! I'm going to the movies, then raclette and sleep early to make the sunrise on the 25th ! And then I think we'll go for brunch. It's great you don't have any pressure, you just want to have a good time. Christmas is a time for events, outings, trips, etc. Things that you don't necessarily have time to do the rest of the year.
Are you planning to return to France for your next holidays?
I would love to go back to France for Christmas now that I have my nephews who are little there. The problem is that as an expat you never just go back to France for one meal, you tend to spend several weeks. And during the holidays it's complicated, it's a time when all my friends are busy with family parties so it's not necessarily the best time for me to go back! I prefer to go back at the end of June, it's warmer and people are more available!
Have you ever spent Christmas with a Mauritian family?
I would love to spend Christmas with a family in Mauritius, to see the traditions etc. We expats all have more or less the same approach to Christmas here, but maybe among Mauritian families there is a certain pressure around Christmas!
What would you advise to someone coming to spend Christmas in Mauritius?
It is to enjoy things that you don't necessarily have in your native country, to deconstruct your habits (Christmas with the cold, the snow, the big family meals). It can be great to take the opposite approach as an expat!
For me, expatriate Christmas is to say to yourself that you will enjoy from December to January going to the beach and sailing! It's having a meal with friends, only with people you really chose. Refocus on the most important thing: you spend the evening with the people you like in Mauritius, you eat what you like even if it is not necessarily conventional. I think this freedom is incredible. Zero excesses
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