Creating a new normal. This is a saying that I have ‘stolen’ from my SIL Rachelle that lost her hubby in August 2018 when he passed away unexpectedly and online friend Liezel Freeman from Breast Assured whom have relocated to the UK a mere week or two before we left for our new life in Mauritius.
Creating a new normal seems the way of life for our family. This new normal is about living on an island. Adjusting to the fact that many of the creature comforts of SA is not as readily available and if they are they often come at a premium price.
Even though the MUR is not as strong as the ZAR that doesn’t mean that one is in the pound seats living here as the cost of living is way higher due to everything needing to be imported. *see the money converter below credit to the https://themoneyconverter.com/ZAR/MUR.aspx
On paper the conversion looks great as you can withdraw Rs5000 and your bank account will only show a R2100 (approximate) deficit making you feel rich in rupees but reality steps in once you enter a shop and you have to stretch that money to buy groceries for a family of 4. Trust me, I am a walking money converter once I enter the aisles of the local Intermart to make sure I stick to my budget. We are fortunate though to have many local markets, a bevy of different supermarkets to choose from and a wide choice of very tasty frozen products which helps when the imported fresh goods are too expensive.
I have been in Mauritius for 18 days now and we’re slowly but surely adjusting to living on an island. It’s not all bad. Living 300 meters from the beach means that we are on the beach at least once a day even though we are blessed with a pool at home too. For myself; I cherish the opportunity of being able to amble down to the beach with my camera in hand, sunny’s on and only wearing a costume, a sarong and flip flops which have become my new daily go to. The ultimate spoil and ever so blessed.
Life is not all about the beach though. As the X-man still has to attend school we are down with twice a day school runs which entails an 80km round-trip too Trianon and back. Not a joke I assure you. Luckily for us we can get on the highway and stick to it all the way to the school and back ensuring we don’t get caught in the hectic island traffic as one can easily spend the morning in your car trying to get from point A to point B if you don’t know which roads to avoid.
Adjusting means getting used to living in a house with furniture that you did not choose nor buy, from your pots and pans to the TV. It is a strange sentiment and much more of an American mindset than a South African one to rent a furnished house for longer than your average holiday. When I visited hubby in October in order to house hunt we spent many hours looking at different homes, beautiful duplexes in complexes, some less nice places and often homes that did not have very functional furniture considering what we’ve left behind. We got real lucky and found a home that ticked all the boxes re: location, bedrooms, furniture etc considering that I had to consider the needs and wants of 4 different people..It’s a mom’s life.
We still have to do the laundry, make the beds, wash the dishes, cook every day, do a food-shop etc, so life on an island is very similar to life everywhere. Whilst hubby is onshore he takes a turn dropping and fetching the X-man at school and I can enjoy a lie-in before I start my day.
The girl-child and I are slowly creating a new normal routine of spending a couple of hours on the computer in the morning getting some work done and thereafter preparing lunch for the men and doing some chores. Afternoons are very laid-back and is spent either swimming, walking, reading or just relaxing with a puzzle, writing a blog or even taking a nap. For myself learning to relax and just being in the moment is a lesson I am still learning daily. Back at home there was always something to do, someone to go see, somewhere to be. For now we are just enjoying our new surroundings, getting used to our new life and enjoying some much needed family time together.