Our dream office on the beach
This picture of a laptop on a small table, facing the sea at nightfall, depicts what we had in mind, Julie and I, when we decided to throw ourselves into this new adventure called Fabulous Island.
Living the island life, where the sun shines almost all year-round, getting closer to our children, enjoying life more easily in a peaceful way; it took time to set up this plan. Once we decided to move away with our children, we had to choose where to go and how to do it, feeling confident about our kids’ future.
Below, we will explain how we have organized our work life in order to move away and what have been the decisive criteria.
How to organize our work life in France
Getting our family on a schedule
One of the leading ideas of this project was to stay close to our children. Therefore, we had to make sure both our work schedules in France were in line with school holidays so that we could make the round-trip in family. Luckily, our close family lives nearby our workplaces in Aix-en-Provence, thus, children have to time to spend with old friends and relatives while we are at work.
It has required some reorganization to keep on managing both our businesses while living abroad. Julie, who has been running an image consulting institute for almost fifteen years, (www.jbm-consulting.com) has to rationalize her schedule in order to focus her business in France on our children’s holidays. She has built a strong network of partners with other image consultants she has personally trained and followed for several years.
As far as I am concerned, working as a brand representative for fifteen years, I have drastically reduced my professional activity in France, monitoring it from Mauritius, making the most of my time while I am in France. This was made possible thanks to a reliable team with whom I can talk on regular basis while I am away.
This new organization has nonetheless brought about few sacrifices (there is still an eleven-hour flight, fortunately flying at night and a glass of wine may help) because we wanted to keep professional relationships with our businesses and clients.
Reasons why we have chosen Mauritius
Once we have decided to go and live on an island, we had to choose which one. Actually, as we talked about it over time, the choice of Mauritius, the little paradise we where looking for, became obvious.
Production capacity and reliable fabric manufacturers
For professional reasons, I went to Mauritius several times. Those trips had helped me to build strong relationships with local fabric manufacturers, thus I could cope with the pre-production and the concept development of Fabulous Island with greater confidence. This may also be true on several other islands, but Mauritius offers many more advantages.
The language issue
One distinctive feature of the island is that The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language. The administration uses English and it is also the main language for business and education but the population speaks mainly French, Mauritian Creole, and French-based Creole. For us, as for the kids, it was easy to communicate with locals as soon as we arrived and it was really important.
The island’s unique infrastructure
Here, I won’t talk about white-sand beaches and warm turquoise waters year-round; we will have time to discuss this later.
Keep in mind, however, that beyond the picture-postcard landscape, Mauritius provides sound infrastructures and international banks throughout the whole island. Almost every city is currently being connected by fiber-optic cables. In every region, hospitals and dispensaries provide free-of-charge healthcare services for residents and international private clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in case of emergency.
Socially speaking, we were thrilled when we discovered that blend of cultures and the benevolent and warm welcome in Mauritius.
Education in Mauritius
There are several primary and secondary schools under contract with The Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) that provides the same teaching as in France. The start of the school year usually takes place in early September. For those who have the option to enroll their children in international schools, there are also many schools of very good academic reputation. Moreover, for several years, major international universities such as Vatel, Centrale in Nantes or more recently Middlesex University, have begun to set up international branch campuses in Mauritius to extend their reach in Africa.
Local development opportunities for our lines of business
Last but not least, Mauritius with a population of approximately 1,2 million people with fast-growing revenues is a booming island. That’s why we want to develop new business in line with our jobs in France. Later, we will talk about our “Retirement Project” (you know the one; when the kids are grown up and you are all alone with your spouse…)
In any case, if in the Mediterranean Sea, there are many beautiful and inviting islands ideal for our project, it is here that we have found our very own Fabulous Island which has triggered something off in our mind the first time we rest our gaze on its marvelous shore…