It has been two weeks since we arrived in the beautiful Seychelles, normally this would be the time when we pack our bags and pop on the plane home, sad to be ending the holiday. But no, this is home; I still can’t quite believe it yet!
Our journey here was a long one; leaving Liverpool at 7am on a train to London Euston, we then found our way to Heathrow airport; with over-weight baggage in tow. After smiling and apologising our way through check in (and not getting charged the extra fee) we went through to departures and looked forward to meeting some of the other newbies!
For the last six months we have been waiting to move here, I found out I had the job in February. At times, it was hard knowing we had so long to wait, we were so excited we just wanted to get out there. However, it has meant that we have had a lot of time to prepare (we needed it moving from Spain, back to the UK and then the Seychelles) and time to research and find out everything we could about the Seychelles, Praslin and Island life before we made the move. The school have been fantastic through the whole process and during the six months before we were in constant contact. We also had a Whatsapp group with the other six new staff who were due to fly out with us; this was great because we could ask each other questions (no matter how daft) and share our excitement and anxiousness! It felt like we were all friends already but we hadn’t even met!
We met up in a restaurant and shared our last breakfast in the UK for a while then set off to Frankfurt. A super quick flight and a trip back through security, we then spent a while wandering around lost in the airport. After we found our way (no thanks to a grumpy airport lady) we picked up a few more essentials from duty free and the last two travellers and then we were off. Seychelles here we come!
Following nine and a half hours, bad choices of films and two fully reclined chairs (selfish people in front) we arrived in Mahe at 6:30 am. But only after four landing attempts! The plane would start the descent, then suddenly shoot back up into the clouds, they continued to try again and again as there was poor visibility.
When we finally touched down and stepped off the plane, it felt like a film set. Looking up to the green hills on the right with a spooky mist of cloud hanging around the mountain tops, to the left the beautiful blue sea.
Going through passport control we felt very satisfied, skipping the visitors queue and walking through to the residence section. Our first glimpse of island life was when we didn’t have enough room on the mini van for the cases, so someone put them all in the back of a pick up truck (for an agreed small fee) and drove them to the dock. There was a look of panic in everybody’s eyes; thinking we may never see all our clothes again and would be stuck on an island with nothing! Luckily everything was fine and as we have now found out, giving random lifts and helping each other out with favours is the norm here.
Next up, the dreaded boat crossing to Praslin Island, the Cat Coco. After the attempted landings on the plane and the view of the rough sea, this wasn’t something we were looking forward to. We popped some travel sickness tablets into our mouths and hoped for the best.
Unfortunately for me, the best moment of the journey was joining the many people vomiting into a bag in front of everyone else with eyes full of pity. At one point, I tried to walk to the bathroom (I say tried because it felt like my legs didn’t work anymore, it was more like a sway and clinging to peoples chairs than a walk) but some clever people had positioned themselves in the toilets at the start!
After an hour or so we arrived at Praslin Island, our new home! The first thing to notice was the water, I cannot even describe the colour, it’s just beautiful; so blue and clear. We got lifts to our new houses and everything felt a little strange, we were not on holiday in a hotel but given the keys to our new house with a giant garden full of life and a beach at the bottom of the garden, it was very surreal!