Hi! My name is Julz, I am born in Denmark, but grew up in France. At the moment I live with my husband and 2 kiddos on the east coast of Mauritius.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I chose to study Hotel Management and when I graduated, I started to travel where I fancied to go working. When I got married and our little girl came we decided to move to the Middle East where the lifestyle would allow me to stay at home and look after her and then the little brother as well. A few countries later that’s still our lifestyle today.
2. How do you make a living?
My husband is the one bringing the money home - same trade as me! When the kids are a bit bigger I might start working again. For the moment I enjoy the time I can spend with them.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I talk to my parents a few times a week, mostly via Skype. I suspect it is not so much for me as it is to have look at the grand kids and see how much they have grown! A part from that Whats app and Facebook let me keep in touch with the rest of the family and friends as well.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Mauritius?
We have been quite a few places and I have to say that Mauritius is so easy to live in compared to Maldives or even Bali. The Island is small, yet big enough. There are lots of out door activities, people are very nice and helpful…
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Mauritius?
I don’t know! I guess I have to say traffic. I spend a lot of time in the car and the colourful driving style is a bit difficult to always accept
6. What do you miss most?
Food. I mean food in Mauritius is awesome and very diverse. There are some food stuff I miss from all the places we have lived: fresh produced from markets in France, smørrebrød in Denmark, Mansaf in Jordan or Nasi Lemak in Bali!
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
With kids it’s always fairly easy to meet other parents. Schools are always a great place.
Otherwise when we first moved to Mauritius we lived in a small complex in Grand Baie and I met a lot of the neighbours that became friends. We have moved so much and have wait sometimes very long to get our shipments so I am used to just move in and put my luggage down. It’s part of who I am - I don’t mind where I am, as long as I have my husband and my kids, I am at home anywhere - even when we were on a tiny island in the Maldives.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
Mauritians are very nosy - they comment on everything and know all you do, always - like living in a small village, except here it kind of covers the whole country. Also, water distribution is a fun thing on the island and all houses have a water tank and a pump, because you never know when there will be water in the tap. This means that if you have a power cut, well you might have no water as well! Most places in Rodrigues (a little island that belongs to Mauritius) only have water once a week or worse.
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
Ganga Talao…According to a Hindu Legend, God Shiva, accompanied by his wife, was circling earth with the sacred River Ganges balancing on his head. When he saw Mauritius, then a beautiful and inhabited island, he wanted to have a closer look, and a few drops of sacred water fell down and touched the land. The Ganges river was not happy about this though, but Lord Shiva told her that some day people would come all the way from India to this small l island. They would settle down and worship her here. Today the Hindus make up a big part of the Mauritian population and Ganga Talao is the largest Hindu Pilgrimage outside of India.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Well, before Mauritius we were in the Maldives, so nothing much to pay for or buy there! If I compare with Bali, it is probably the same thing. Electricity bills go drastically up if you put on the A/C for exemple! The thing about destinations like Mauritius or Bali… You can make it very cheap and very expensive, it’s the lifestyle that matters. We can have lunch for a dollar, if we eat local food from a small stand and we can have lunch for $50, if we go to a hotel.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Choose well when you decide where to live! If possible get a place not too far from your work/kids school etc. We live on the east coast because of my husband’s work and I drive 4 hours everyday to bring the kids to school! the 38km drive takes an hour. Traffic at peak time is bad on the island…
12. When and why did you start your blog?
This blog, I started at the beginning of the year. I used to blog a lot when we moved to Jordan in 2010 and I was missing it, but in the Maldives there wasn’t much to blog about and in Bali, the kids were too small! Now with both kiddos at school, and despite the driving, I have some time for myself. I enjoy it and if I can help expats and tourists with a bit of info on Mauritius along the way, well, it makes me happy!
Julz's blog, Wandering Expat Family
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