What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

Okay so you’re thinking about moving to Seychelles?  Or, even better you are definitely moving to Seychelles wohooo!!

You’ve seen the pictures, the beaches are beautiful there is tropical greenery every where. It’s always warm……

But then you start thinking about what you will take with you…..You realise that you’ll actually be living there and you have to do normal life stuff that you did wherever you’re living now, it’s not all beaches and boat trips (although they happen a lot too!!).  What are you going to pack?  How are you going to sleep in that heat?   You get the idea!

I’ve put together a list of things that help to make our life here easier on a daily basis.  I’m not saying that *I couldn’t live without* these items, but sometimes island life is a little more rugged than you might expect so these things help make your new home a bit more home like!  Some of these things you can buy here and some you’ll want to bring out with you!

So here it is my list of what to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier!

what to buy to make expat life in seychelles easier

Water Cooler

As much as I’ve just said this list is things I couldn’t live without……I really would miss my water cooler most of all if it went!!

I must stress that water here IS safe to drink here. It just doesn’t really taste all that nice.  Also, you really do have to drink lots of water here and tepid tap water is just not very appealing.

Most people drink bottled water.  When we moved here we just bought 5l bottles and kept them in our fridge all the time.  Honestly that is very impractical since it takes up so much space.

We bought our water cooler in our second year of living here. It was seriously the best thing we have ever bought.  We get through around 10 5 gallon bottles a month.  Each bottle is 50scr and we get them delivered to the house for free.  You can buy the water coolers here in a few different shops.  The guy who delivers the water bottles on Praslin also sells them, and will try and fix them if there is a problem with them too!

Fans

Your house may have ceiling fans, it may not.  Either way you will probably still want to invest in a few stand up fans.  They are great to have next to your bed at night, one to keep you cooler but also it helps keep any mosquitos away!  I’ve become a little addicted to the sound of fans though and struggle to sleep without them now!

Transport

Everyone (including us) thinks that they won’t need transport, particularly if moving to Praslin as its small.    But don’t be fooled by the size of the islands.  I can’t tell you how much easier it makes life.

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

The bus service here is great, don’t get me wrong (and very cheap at only 7scr for any journey).  But, they stop running at 6pm leaving you stuck in the evenings.  Buses can also be REALLY busy, and like bus services anywhere the world, you can be left waiting a good while for your bus.  You’ll also quickly discover that for food shopping you can’t just go to one shop, you have to go to a variety of different places to get products you need or like better.  Many are not walking distance apart and doing multiple busses is just going to make it take ALL DAY! (I’ll cover shopping in a future post)

Taxis are expensive.  There are a bunch of ‘pirate taxis’ who are just guys who run unlicensed cabs, even they are expensive….but useful from time to time!

Many people also think that a push bike would be sufficient, and depending where you live and how close your work will be it could work.  But keep in mind that cycling after about 8am is very hot, and on really rainy days – which we get our fair amount of, it’s not very practical.  Also, people’s driving here can be pretty crazy here sometimes so you might not feel all that safe cycling, especially if you’re thinking about doing it with kids on the back.  There’s also just so many hills on all of the islands, so unless you’re super fit it’s going to be a big struggle!

I feel there is probably a whole post just talking about the realities of transport here, so i’ll leave it there for now and come back to it at another time!  In short I would highly recommend a scooter or a car!

Entertainment

TV, games, whatever!

When moving somewhere like the Seychelles, you’ll probably convince yourself you won’t want a TV….after all you’ll be outdoors all the time right!?

We lasted a year, which is longer than a lot of people! The evenings are when it makes the most difference.  It’s dark here year round by around 7pm and evening entertainment can be quite hard up.  We are now using Cable and Wireless TV package, i’ve linked to their site with a bit more information if you want to take a look!  Our little community has been a huge help with this and we find ourselves either with people at our house or us being at others for dinner at least once a week, usually twice.

We’ve also totally fallen in love with board games, I know, we are the coolest!

Internet

The internet in Seychelles is unimaginably better than when we moved here 6 years ago.  It’s still not all that cheap though.  We use cable and wireless for ours.  Here is the link to their home internet packages so you can get an idea of costs and packages available.  **SIDE NOTE I’M NOT BEING PAID BY CABLE AND WIRELESS FOR THIS POST 🙂 **

Foreign Credit Card/Bank Account

Your standard ATM card here does not work outside of Seychelles.  So, you’ll want a credit card or bank card that you can use for purchases outside of Seychelles.  It also helps to keep your credit rating up in your ‘home’ country incase you ever decide to move back!

A good camera

This doesn’t really need explaining!  Get yourself a decent camera, doesn’t need to be a big one.  You want to be able to share the amazing place you live with your friends and families….or at least make your instagram friends jealous!

Good quality Sunglasses

I was once told by an optician that cheap sunglasses do more damage to your eyes than if you wore none at all…..Something to do with the fact that putting dark lenses causes your pupils to dilate letting more light into your eyes and therefore causing more damage.

Anyway, that has stuck with me big time and I only ever wear decent sunglasses now.  I probably paid about £150 for my most recent pair (You probably don’t even have to spend as much as that).  I literally wear mine every day, even cloudy days are bright, and they will probably do me 2 years before I need to replace them.  So i reckon that works out at like 20p a day…..bargain!

 

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

 

 

Writing this post has given me loads more ideas for different posts about living here and moving here so I’m super excited to get going on those including a bit of a packing list!  Is there anything obvious you think is missing!  Or anything you don’t think should be on there?  Let me know, I always love to hear!

Come and follow me!

The Expat Tag: UK to Seychelles

There has been a lovely tag going around recently called ‘The Expat Tag’ where expat bloggers around the world are sharing their answers to the same 10 questions.  Its a great way to share a real insight into what expat life is like all around the world!

Ive been tagged by Adventures Of A Jersey Girl and by Wandermustfamily thanks ladies for the tag!  I have to say, that normally, I am terrible at keeping up with tags and things.  But, I really liked the idea of this one, plus I’m on a ‘be a super organised blogger’ mission right now!

So, here are my answers to the 10 expat tag questions!  Hope you enjoy 🙂

The Expat Tag

1. Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I was born in Wales, UK.  I lived there until I was about 6 and then moved to Plymouth in the South West of England and stayed there until I was 17.  At 17 I moved to San Diego California with my Mum, Dad and Brother for a military posting for around 2 and a half years.  After that I went back to Plymouth for University, that’s where I met Mark.  We moved to Seychelles together in 2012 and have been here for almost 5 years now!

2. What made you leave your home country?

Having lived abroad for a couple years already, I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life living in the UK.  Mark is a teacher and was working just ridiculous hours.  He definitely needed a better work/life balance.  We also knew we wanted to start a family at some point, and that we wanted to raise our kids somewhere abroad.  We started to look for teaching jobs abroad for Mark as that seemed like the best, and most straightforward way for us to be able to move.

3. What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

When we tell people we live in Seychelles there tends to be one of these reactions:

  • You live in Paradise! You are so lucky!
  • Where is that? (I’ll admit, I didn’t know where it was until Mark got the interview for the job!!)

4. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

The hardest part was how terrible the internet was!  Coming from the UK and having unlimited internet at home and pretty much free wifi everywhere, it was so tough to get used to having only 9GB a month!  It was really expensive too!  Thankfully, it has improved in the 5 years we have been here but its still no where near unlimited and we would love to be able to call home more often than we can.

The easiest part for us was that we came out with a group of other people.  There were 4 other new teachers starting at the school the same time as Mark.So, we had each other to lean on for support, and to bounce excitement, frustrations, fears and everything else that comes with moving to a new country off each other!  Of course, moving to a beautiful country didn’t hurt in making the transition easy too!

expat tag: beautiful beaches

5. Images, words, or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far

5 years have gone by in a blur, i feel like we arrived, had kids and are now a family all in 5 minutes!!  So here is our first glimpse of our new island home Praslin, arriving on the inter island flight from Mahe island,the expat tag: arriving at our new home

Me just before my c-section with Arthur!

expat tag

Finally, here is us pretty much as we are now….This was taken on Christmas day 2016 on the beach near our house!

Expat Tag: being out with the family

6. Your favourite food or drink item in your new country?

My favourite local food is without doubt grilled fish, especially Red Snapper.  Always super fresh and locally caught, you really can’t beat it!  People that know me, know how weird it is for me to say that.  I never ate fish before we moved to Seychelles.  When we moved here, we really didn’t get much information about the place at all.  We genuinely bought fishing rod out thinking we were going to be having to go fishing for our dinner every night! We were over the moon when we went to the shop and found some frozen chicken and minced beef!!!

 

7. What is the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to back home?

Aside from eating fish, seriously that was a big deal for me!!  I guess

8. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you can not stand?

The thing that annoys me the most, is also something that I really love about Seychelles.  I know, that’s weird!  But it is that EVERYTHING closes at midday on Saturday and all day on Sunday!   Even on weekdays the banks close at 2pm!  It can be frustrating getting things done here, there are no direct debits or online payments for things.  But, as I said, I do also love that about Seychelles.  It means that there’s no waiting on the phone for hours to speak to a call centre. If you have a problem with something, you go to the right people and get it sorted.  That of course, becomes easier the longer you are here and the more people you know!

9. What do you most enjoy doing in your new country?

Without doubt my favourite thing is being out as a family.  It always reaffirms why we moved here!  To have a great outdoors life with our children!

 

10. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

Honestly, as much as it will upset my parents and mark’s to read this, I can’t see it.  I would be foolish to say that we will definitely not go back, because who knows what the future holds.  Right now, the Seychelles feels like home to us.  Its a lovely place to raise kids in a relaxed outdoors lifestyle, that is exactly what we wanted when we had kids. I don’t think we will necessarily be in Seychelles forever, but again who knows!?

 

So that’s it for my expat tag!  I hope you enjoyed!  Because i’ve been a little slow on the uptake of this, I tag any expats that want to join in that haven’t already!!!

Come and follow me!

Crime In The Seychelles – A reflection on being the victim of theft.

Crime in the Seychelles

It’s been about a year and a half since I wrote the post The Darker Side of Expat Life In The Seychelles and it’s still the most viewed page on my blog.  I read it again the other day. It made me reflect on how I felt about being broken in to, and about crime in the Seychelles in general.

I thought I’d start writing those feelings down. I know that many of the people reading that post are researching if it’s safe to live in Seychelles and about crime in the Seychelles in general. Hopefully this post will give a bit more of a rational insight into how safe it feels to live here.

The original post was written a couple weeks after our house was broken in to while we were all asleep. Despite waiting those couple of weeks, I was still feeling very raw and vulnerable about it all.

At the time of writing I was wrestling with wanting to move from the house we were in. We have now moved. I must stress that the main reason was that Mark was promoted and we needed to be nearer to school. I was happy to move though, despite the house being made a lot more secure. When something like that happens it’s difficult to forget it. I was not sleeping properly and was paranoid about any person around. That would be the case wherever in the world it happened, of course!

crime in the seychelles

 

Is it safe to live on Praslin?

I feel safe here. If I didn’t feel safe we would have moved on by now, without a doubt. No matter how much we love it here, or how well Mark’s career is going, our family safety will always come first.

We are all living safer though, which is important. By that, I mean we are all more aware of keeping ourselves and our valuables safe. That seems a bit ridiculous to read. I don’t mean that we ever felt like we weren’t looking after ourselves properly, but we have certainly been guilty of living naively of the fact that crime existed.

At night I still wake up thinking I can hear someone in the house, I hate that. I don’t know if that will ever go away. Maybe it’s best if it doesn’t though. Perhaps living with that fear will help to keep us safe. I hope so.

Do I think expats are targeted for crime? In short, yes.  Someone did comment on the post saying that I was arrogant to think that (I chose not to publish that one!!!) I don’t think that all expats are targeted, it is a generalisation, and of course Seychellois are also victims of robberies too.

Crime in the Seychelles

Is there a safer side of the island?

We have been in our new house for over a year now and I do feel pretty safe here. There was a feeling at the time that the side we are living now is safer. Honestly, I don’t think that is the case. I know of break ins all over the island.
Sadly a house very near to ours was recently broken into. It was a reality check and a reminder that it can happen anywhere.

crime in the seychelles

What type of crime happens here?

I’m pleased to say that on Praslin (I don’t want to say for Mahe as I really don’t know!) I have not heard of any violent crime towards expats. There is very little violent crime at all. This definitely helps in feeling safer.

The main type of crime undoubtedly is theft. Mostly it will be for small easy to sell items such as hard drives, tablets, smart phones and jewellery.  Perhaps the saddest thing is that things stolen are mostly sold for drug money.

Drugs are undoubtedly, a growing problem here.  I’m told its worse on Mahe than Praslin.  I will say that it is, by no means, at the point where you can feel or sense that when you’re out and about.  I don’t ever feel unsafe when I’m out.  Of course, you wouldn’t want to leave valuables lying around anywhere, but that is no different to anywhere else in the world.

Will it happen again?

I spoke to Mark about this and if he felt it would ever happen again. Sadly, we agreed, the answer to that is almost certainly, yes.  The house we are living in is a lot more secure, and as I mentioned we live a lot more aware of the possibility of theft and act accordingly.  But, no house is perfect and we are not perfect.

We don’t live in fear of it happening again, we lead normal daily lives.  Now we just live with our eyes more open to the fact that theft happens.  We keep our valuables secure and have a bit of a routine to ensure that no doors or windows are left unlocked while we are out, or at night.  Nothing major, just normal sensible security.  We should have done it from the start, but I don’t mind admitting that I did love that little safe bubble we felt like we lived in for the first couple of years here!

 

 

Come and follow me!

Splish Splash Splosh

You may have seen on my Instagram that we’ve had a fair bit of rain here recently!  I thought it was only right that I wrote a little post about it!

Rain babies

Arthur has always loved the rain!  He absolutely loves to be out in it.  He’s been like that since he was so small.

As soon as it starts to rain, he runs out and splashes in the puddles.   Now he’s even started to know that it might rain when it goes all dark and cloudy, so the excitement begins even before the drops start to fall!

In the last month or so, Freddie has started to show lots of interest in the rain too.  He is ALWAYS outside anyway but he’s starting to figure out that the rain is lots of fun!

We definitely do have two little rain babies!

Splish Splash Splosh

Last week was half term so Arthur was home from school.  We had quite a lot of rain, it started the afternoon that school finished!!

Arthur being a true nature boy, generally likes to take all his clothes off to be out in the rain but this time I managed to persuade him to keep his T-Shirt on!  Freddie, totally not fussed went out as is!!

splish splash splosh

This was the first time Arthur had actually used his umbrella in the rain.  Usually he likes to take it out and about when its dry, but not when it’s raining.  You know, because it was stopping him getting wet and what’s the point of going out in the rain if you’re going to be dry right?

splish splash splosh

On days like this, even with an umbrella you’re going to get soaking wet!

This was the first time that the boys had really had the chance to be out in the rain together!  It was so much fun to watch!

Splish Splash Splosh! Rain in Seychelles

You can definitely see that they were enjoying each others company out there and it really did add to the fun for them both! It was so amazing to watch them both having so much fun together.   Arthur was teaching Freddie to go “splish splash splosh” in the puddles!!

Splish Splash Splosh! Rain babies, loving the rain

Freddie discovered an extra bonus, the rain drops are even bigger running off the roof!
splish splash splosh

We are so lucky that it is so warm here because we don’t have to worry about them being cold in the rain!  If we lived somewhere else it would be a nightmare trying to get them to get dressed before they ran out the door!!

 

All together now!

Arthur was not going to let me off just sat taking pictures.   Yep, Mama had to go out in the rain too!  We all ran around like crazy and got soaking wet, Daddy had to join too of course! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!) we were all too busy having fun at this point to take photos so you’ll just have to take my word that we really did all get out there!

This was repeated several times over the half term!  I hope that it continues to be something that they love to do together, and with us for a long long time!!

 

Do you have little rain babies too?

splish splash splosh

 

 

Come and follow me!

Our first crop!!

It’s taken almost 4 years but we finally have had our first crop of Bananas!!
We have attempted to grow bananas once before but it failed….which is pretty impressive considering they grow wild here!

When we moved into this house there were already banana plants growing here so I don’t think we can take too much credit for these, but hey we didn’t kill them so I think we will take that for now!

About three months ago we noticed that one of our plants had flowered and there were teeny tiny little bananas growing.
After a quick search online we discovered we would be waiting for around 3 months until they would be ready to eat. It seemed like a really like time, and a lot of time for something to go wrong!

This Friday, Mark came home from school and very excitedly proclaimed that there was a yellow banana so it was time to chop them down!
We had learned that you just have to wait for one banana to be yellow to chop them down, not all of them!

Our first crop of bananas

So we got the machete and the camera and we headed out to the garden- yep it’s totally normal to have a machete here!

Our first crop of bananas
The bananas here are about half the size of ones you get in the UK but with twice the flavour!! They are so so delicious and are a perfect size for baby led weaning! The boys absolutely love them!

Our first crop of bananas

Arthur has been giving a running commentary on the bananas pretty much every day since we first spotted them and loved to tell us about the “green bananas” so it was cool to show him that they had now started turning yellow!
Our first crop of bananas

After they had been chopped down, we showered off the bananas to make sure there weren’t any beasties living in and amongst them – luckily there weren’t!   Arthur had the honour of having the first banana from our first crop.  We have all since had one and they are so good!

Bananas are super cheap to buy here so it’s not like having them will be saving us lots of money but it’s definitely satisfying to know that these have grown in our garden!  It’s been fun to show Arthur how they grow (and for us to learn about it too)

There is already another lot of bananas growing in the garden, we think they will be ready just in time for us coming back after the summer!!

 

Come and follow me!

When your skin starts to fall off!

So I’m not going to include any pictures in this post, when your skin starts to fall off I don’t think any pics are required (or wanted!!)

Around two weeks ago now I noticed a weird thing on my leg.
This thing was around the size of a 10p piece, and looked like a burn. The skin had just come off. I hadn’t done anything to it, no cuts scrapes bangs etc I just had this weird thing on my leg!

I didn’t think too much of it, it didn’t hurt or anything so I just left it.

I happened to be at the hospital to have Freddie’s eye checked (more on that) and I asked the nurse to look at it. She said i should have it ‘dressed’ so she put some cream on and stuck a massive great big plaster on it (you know that old school red bandage tape stuff)

A couple hours later I took it off. i figured if i wanted this thing to heal it would need to dry out.

Well, turned out I was wrong. It didn’t dry out, it did’t do anything just stayed as a bit of a disgusting thing on my leg.

A few days later I had pretty savage allergic reaction to a kitten we had homed the day before; I came out in a huge hive type rash on my chest neck and arms that was burning my skin. We then of course had to give her back much to my dismay. Ive never had an allergic reaction before so I was pretty freaked out.

The next day it wasn’t looking any better despite having anti-histamine cream and tablets. So I took a trip to see the doctor at the hospital. (Just a regular GP I wasn’t being dramatic and taking myself off to hospital FYI!!)

He said that he could see there was an allergic reaction but that it also looked like I had a Staph infection. He was pretty confident that it was the case when I then showed him the thing on my leg.

So, he packed me off with some antibiotics and some creams and off I went.

Fast forward a week and my antibiotics have finished. The original sore has pretty much closed over but it has been joined by a bunch of new ones. The cat allergy rash had gone though so that was a bonus. I have realised that I can tell when a new sore is going to appear because that area of skin burns and goes very red, like a very small specific patch of sunburn. Then the skin just kinda falls off….nice!

I went back to the doctors on the 3rd, this time I saw a doctor who had once described my skin colour as ‘a bit yellow’ so my expectations weren’t high. I don’t think she initially understood that I had finished the antibiotics I was taking because she kept saying ‘but that is the treatment’. Very helpful.
Once she finally got that I’d finished the tablets she prescribed me more. Different antibiotics this time. So I’m currently on them for another week.

over the last few days the ‘cat rash’ seems to have made a return in random patches. I’m hoping that this is just been brought back out by the fact that I had around a 24 hour gap in antibiotics (between old and new).
It has made me wonder if it was indeed the cat that made me have this reaction in the first place since the cat has been gone for over a week now.

 

anyway it seems that it’s not all fully resolved yet, hopefully it will be by the end of the week!!

Come and follow me!

Expat family guilt

Expat life can be AMAZING, but there are times, when expat life can be tough.  I think adding children into that mix can make the highs and lows even more extreme.
 

Expat family guilt

Without doubt we are really happy with our choice to have and live with our boys abroad; if you’re a regular reader of my blog I think that’s pretty obvious to see.  We love the life that we have here.

Expat Family guilt

We are lucky that we don’t really get external guilt put on to us by our families, its just the guilt we put on ourselves!  I know that some people’s families don’t hide their displeasure or disapproval at the expat life!

But the days when it is hard, it really is hard.  Well often it’s not even days, but moments, when the expat family guilt kicks in.

Moments where the difference in timezones mean I can’t just pick up the call for a chat.

Moments where our restricted internet means I can’t just video call if the boys are doing something fun!

Times where I’d love to send the boys off for an afternoon to spend time with their grandparents (and give me an afternoon off!!)

Times when I feel truly awful for how much our family is missing out on with the boys growing up so fast.

This month I’ve been feeling some serious expat guilt.  I think it comes from Arthur getting older and being able to communicate more.  I’m pretty sure that our upcoming trip to the UK this summer is  having an impact on it too.

It hit me really badly the other day when after a Skype chat with my Mum.  Arthur got really upset and said “see nana please mama.”  I can’t express how awful I felt.  I would have loved more than anything at that moment to be able to pop round to visit her so Arthur could see his Nana.

Arthur really likes planes and so I tell him whenever we send something to the UK or someone has sent something to us how it has been put on a plane.

I think he’s starting to comprehend that our family doesn’t live close by.  That we can’t just go and see them whenever we want.  When he asked to “see nana” the other day, it made me realise that his understanding is more than I had given him credit for.

The moments may be fleeting, often they are just thoughts that are coming to the forefront of my mind.  But it’s undeniable.  Expat family guilt is real.  The best way I have found to deal with it is to take advantage of something that you couldn’t do at ‘home’.  For us that can be something as simple as getting out in the garden and enjoying some sun for instant gratification, or take a walk to the beach or the pool.  Even just looking at some pictures of the boys and appreciating what opportunities they get here that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.

How do you do deal with your expat family guilt?

Seychelles Mama
Come and follow me!