Albane, Franco-Mauritian, is back in her country of heart.
She settled in Mauritius after spending years abroad.
She shares her feelings and experience with us!
Let's GO! 🚀
Let's talk about you!
In a few words, who are you?
My name is Albane, I am 26 years old, I am Franco-Mauritian, born in France to a Franco-American father and a Mauritian mother.
I spent part of my childhood in Mauritius and then grew up in France until I was 20. During my studies I had the chance to live in Ireland, Australia and South Africa before returning to Paris to start my professional life. After 3 years in the capital, I decided to return to Mauritius on my own.
Why did you choose to return to to return to Mauritius?
For many reasons: I needed to leave the exhausting pace of Paris, the lack of nature, sun and sea was weighing heavily on me. I also wanted to reconnect with this part of my culture and my childhood, and to feel fully heir to my two countries.
Finally, I realised that I had been privileged and fortunate to receive a lot in terms of education and professional experience: I wanted to contribute in some way to the development of my piece of paradise in the heart of the Indian Ocean.
How did it feel to be back on your little island where you grew up?
Many emotions ! I have cried all the tears of my body when the plane a landed in Mauritius.
This are feelings mixedone realize all that that we a left (friends, family, colleagueshabits, etc.) and in same time time there is this deep joy of to find a country dear to his heart. We marvel at of everything: the blue of lagoonthe heatthe flavoursthe colours, the warm warm welcome of Mauritians, the accent that has cradled our childhoodthe places which we have marked us.
FinallyI do not regret anything of this choicehe answered really à a aspiration that I had I had for long time.
How did you take the plunge into Mauritius? What made you say "Yes", I'll try it?
Often these radical decisions come after sometimes difficult periods. In my case, the pandemic in Paris, a gruelling rhythm between my studies and a full-time job, and health problems that forced me to take it easy were the catalysts for this desire to change.
It was finally my body that was letting me down and demanding a change of environment and pace of life. When I was offered a job in Mauritius, I thought it was an unhoped-for ticket back to my little paradise.
Did you have any doubts or apprehensions before returning to your country? How did you overcome them?
The main issue was to secure my arrival: a job, accommodation, transport. I was very lucky to have the support of my Mauritian family in all aspects.
The questions I didn't ask myself, my friends and family in France asked them for me 😀 how was I going to live on a Mauritian salary? What social life was I going to have on an island? What to do in case of an absolute or medical emergency? Wasn't I going to get bored? Would I get around quickly? Wouldn't I miss the intellectual, cultural and artistic life of Paris?
But I didn't really have any doubts because I knew that this was what I deeply wanted.
The only apprehension was the potential disappointment when, after years of idealising, you come face to face with the reality of day-to-day life in Mauritius. But what reassured me was that, having dual nationality, I could return to France, find my family there and rebuild my life there in complete safety. On the other hand, I could not have stayed in France with the regret of never having at least tried to return to Mauritius.
Do you think you have made sacrifices for your return?
To choose is to give up. I obviously had to sacrifice the part of my life that remained in France: my family, my friends, my colleagues, my weekends in the countryside, my hikes in the Périgord, the little weekend in Bayonne, the terrace outings in Paris, etc. But you quickly realise that real friends remain, that contact with the family is permanent (sometimes even more so than when you were in France!) and I enjoy recalling all these good memories without any nostalgia.
I have also found other friends and family members here. And as the sense of family is very important in Mauritius, I find a lot of joy in meeting up with cousins, uncles and aunts who are more or less distant and so welcoming.
Have you always wanted to live here? As a family or on your own?
Honestly, I have been telling my parents for more than 10 years "one day I will live in Mauritius! So yes, somewhere along the line, I always wanted to go back to what I consider the country of my childhood.
For a long time, I thought it was a beautiful family project to accomplish. And then the years go by, the desire becomes stronger even if you are still young and far from being married with children 😉. I felt that it shouldn't stop me from living the life I dreamed of.
So I "threw it all away" and went solo, and it was a great decision!
How do you feel?
Did you find a changed Mauritius on your return home? Or is it you who has changed?
Indeed, I found Mauritius much more developed than in the past! I was surprised by all these constructions but they also prove the economic development of the island: new subdivisions with ultramodern houses, big shopping centres, now there are even very good French bakeries for example.
I was also surprised by the large presence of the South African community which has imported - to everyone's delight I think! - their good meats and their nice little restaurants.
Mauritians are not to be outdone, I always admire their entrepreneurial spirit and they have succeeded brilliantly in adapting to these changes: restaurants, business, tourism, they continue to innovate in all areas.
Have you managed to find your "Mauritian identity"? How does this new chapter look like?
I hope I never lost my Mauritian identity! On the other hand, I have certainly rediscovered my accent, even if a hint of a French accent persists. We know I'm Mauritian, but we also know I'm not ONLY Mauritian, it has its charm. 😊
This new chapter promises to be full of discoveries, sunshine and encounters!
Are you happy today in your new Mauritian life, now that you are back home?
Absolutely! There is not a single second where I question my choice. Nothing is perfect, and my new life in Mauritius is no exception, but you know you are where you are meant to be when you feel that deep peace and joy joy; and that is what I have felt every day since my return!
What was the first thing you did when you landed landed ?
When I returned home, I ran to swim in the lagoon of Pointe d'Esny!
And I immediately thought "how did you take so long to get back? The beach of my childhood, my lagoon, the sun and me, I was fulfilled. I realised that my life was taking a unique turn.
And on the professional side?
You were working in France? What exactly did you do?
In France, I worked in the voluntary sector where I was in charge of institutional relations for a very nice association working in sensitive neighbourhoods.
Were you able to find work easily in work in Mauritius ?
It is often said that it is better to be there to find a job, but I would never have left without the certainty of having a job beforehand. It was therefore essential that I had this security beforehand.
With hindsight, I realise that it was "easy" in the sense that having dual nationality and experience abroad were major assets. However, above all I was lucky to come across a young, friendly start-up company whose values I shared and which convinced me to want to share and contribute to their great adventure!
How did the job search go? How did you go about it?
It came about quite naturally through a recommendation from one of my Mauritian cousins who had long been telling me about my current company. After an informal exchange on Instagram (what else!), I was invited to send my CV even though the company was not recruiting but was planning a potential growth by the end of the year.
It was a great bet and a great opportunity for me.
Did you encounter any difficulties on your return home?
Knowing Mauritius already, I was not very apprehensive and SmartTraveller helped me with all the questions I had: insurance and accommodation in particular.
The main difficulty was to find a car, I knew nothing about it and even less about the Mauritian market but I was lucky to be helped by my family in this venture and to have found the nugget!
What if you were offered a new opportunity abroad? Would you go back?
Today, this is not part of my plans. Maybe one day when I have a family, I would like to consider a short expatriation experience. JI've already had the opportunity to live abroad a lot and it was an incredible experience. To make a long-term life for myself, however, I always knew that it would be between Mauritius and France.
And finally: do you have any advice for a Mauritian who wishes to return to the country?
Moris pe attan twa! 🌞
It is important to bear in mind that going to Mauritius can have a cost in terms of investment (car, housing, schools, etc.) and salary (Mauritian salaries being lower). But the living environment more than compensates for this! Moreover, having worked abroad before and having made some savings contributes to the success of this return.
On addition to the benefits put in under the Diaspora Scheme, there is also a a real satisfaction in conducting of projects projects impactful projects in Mauritius. He is possible to create and innovate here much more easily than elsewhere.
Finally, you will regret to reconnecting with our beautiful island with the allure of a paradise compared to the greyness Parisian greyness... A bon entendeur !
Are you planning to move to Mauritius? 😊