Sunglasses at the ready, I have made it back home for the holidays and I am so happy about it!
I landed in Reunion Island, off the coast of Madagascar, already a few days ago and wanted to take a break from anything that required being on a computer for a while as it is how I spend most of my time back in London. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have left England, work, the cold weather and commuting. I always reach this point in the year where my body is screaming for going home, recharging the batteries and getting ready to face the new year thanks to some tropical loving.
Every year I am very lucky that I get to spend Christmas here, in the southern hemisphere with my parents. I bring one coat for the journey from England and back, but the rest of my suitcase is always filled with presents for my family, about 10 different sunglasses and bikinis. This is my happy place, where I grew up and where I always find my mind wandering to if I feel homesick back in the UK. It also gave me the inspiration for this blog’s name, the islander’s closet because deep down I know I will always be an islander at heart.
I think as an expat or not it’s quite healthy to have a happy place, somewhere physical where you can also go mentally when you feel the need to escape. Whether it is the place you grew up in, or a place you visited regularly that holds special memories , a happy place is your own little slice of heaven, somewhere that makes you…you.
For me, it’s this tiny French island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
It’s the harsh sun on your face in December so strong that when you come out of the airport the first day you feel like you are melting on the spot. It’s the lagoon and going snorkelling with my dad to see some tropical marine life (just two days ago I nearly had a heart attack when an octopus came out of the rock I was spying on). It’s the waterfalls where we go refresh ourselves in the pool of dark waters and the green mountains surrounding them. It’s the pineapples and the passion fruits and the vanilla. It’s my mum’s garden full of orchids and frangipani and hibiscus where I lie on a garden chair and read for hours. It’s my three dogs waiting for me every time I open the door in the morning when I get up. It’s sand in my toes and knotted hair from the ocean. It’s spying under my bed every night fearing the attack of the spiders that could compete with some Jumanji monster. It’s the smell of sun screen and mosquito repellent all blended in. It’s the hard hikes that last hours and make you feel like you will die but reward you with spectacular landscape views.
This island is so many things and I guess it would be quite hard to describe in one post but I will try and share some of it here, with you. In today’s post you can see one of my favourite places called “Grand Anse”. It’s a very beautiful looking beach with a natural pool to swim in on the south coast of the island. My mum and I spent a lovely afternoon there, walking along the beach, drinking fruit juice under the coconut trees and watching the waves roll. I know life is hard, kill me already… I am also so glad I brought the lightest clothing with me as every time I move I feel like a snowman in the sun. This one is from H&M and I love how it drapes just right. The sunglasses were found in a vintage shop and the bag bought here from the artisan market.
Now if you excuse me, I must go back to eating mangoes for breakfast and wearing flip-flops till my toes hurt, having three showers a day and listening to the sound of the ocean when i fall asleep. I will be enjoying my happy place because this is what this time of year is all about. Being happy with your loved ones, doing the things that make your soul lighter. I hope you do the same and have a fabulous time doing it.
Till next time,