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I moved to the UK from the beautiful, tropical island of Mauritius when I was 9 years old. Having spent half my life here, growing up in the bustling city of London far from all things exotic, what I used to call home now feels like an ideal holiday destination and the wonder and fascination that I feel on my trips to the heart of the Indian Ocean are no lesser than that of a first time tourist.
Mark Twain had once said, ‘Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius’. Very little could oppose the fact that Mauritius is in fact heavenly. Think coral reefs, a hot climate and pristine beaches fringed by picturesque rows of palm trees. However, there is no denying that this heaven comes at a price. And a very high one at that. A plane ticket to Mauritius may exceed the average student budget but with a bit of research and advanced planning it is not impossible to find a good bargain and treat yourself to a tropical island holiday on the opposite side of the globe, as a post-graduation treat or if you manage to save up in between paying your rent over the summer if your pesky landlord, like most, refuses to give you anything shorter than a 52 week house contract. Although being an original island girl means that you can save money by staying with relatives rather than paying for a hotel like a regular tourist, Mauritius has a range of cheap hotel deals unless you want to enjoy the comfort and luxury of its 5* hotels to get rid of your jet lag after a 12 hour flight.
Are you are looking for the chance to feel united and at one with nature? Then there are many corners of wonder, dotted around this island that will leave you enthralled. Mauritius offers a range of activities that will leave you with life-long memories to cherish. From safari adventures if you fancy a walk with lions to scuba diving to uncover Mauritius’s underwater beauty, you will have the chance to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and natural beauty at its very finest. Mauritius is a green paradise and is renowned for its picture-perfect beaches, making it a top destination for honeymoons and romantic holidays. Due to the fact that each one of Mauritius’s beautiful beaches stretch out to miles of endless perfection, it is not uncommon to find that, unlike most European beaches that attract hundreds of visitors a day, the serenity and silence of a Mauritian beach may be all yours to enjoy. Therefore finding yourself on a Mauritian beach often feels like you have just stepped into a post-card where what you see is no lesser than the flawless perfection of the image you send to your loved ones (or upload to your Facebook profile) in order to show off your tropical holiday. Most visitors will agree that an experience that will blur the line dividing reality from fantasy is that of watching the sun set over a Mauritian beach while sipping on a freshly picked coconut and allowing the soothing waves of the ocean to drown out your thoughts.
If there is one thing that I miss the most away from home, it’s the food. Mauritian cuisine is a melting pot of flavours that is guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds. Mauritian food brings together different flavours to create something unique and therefore feels like a culinary expedition through India, China, Africa and various European countries.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Mauritius if you would like to experience something a little different. After witnessing the lush greenness, the immaculate beaches and beautiful mountain backdrops you’ll realise that I’m not at all biased towards my country. Or maybe just a little…
By Yashi Banymadhub
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham