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  • Writer's pictureRachel Kiely

NOTES FROM PARADISE: What living on an island taught me about life, love and myself

I spent three years and seven months living on the island Mahe of the Seychelles islands, due to my fiancées, now Husband’s posting there as Director of Engineering at a 5 star luxury resort. I was what people call an “Expat wife” and because of my Husband’s position I was unable to work.

This is my learning’s and lessons from time on the beautiful paradise islands of the Seychelles.


Living on a tiny island you quickly learn the true meaning of patience, or as some like to call it “Island Time” like waiting 6 weeks for the boat to come in with your favourite Nescafe coffee, or driving an hour into town to visit the Dr on a scheduled appointment only to get there and find he’s closed for the afternoon to go fishing. Or waiting 3 hours for a pizza at the café, to then find out the chef has gone home and they’ve closed the kitchen without informing you.


Massive gratitude for the life experience’s I had while in the Seychelles, I was lucky enough to volunteer at the local orphanage, where I feel I could make some kind of an impact on the children that lived there, they had come from broken families, spending time with these children, some as young as 5 weeks old, was heart wrenching at times and yet at the same time so incredibly rewarding seeing the smiles on their faces and trust of a cuddle or snuggle made everything else pale in comparison.

In our last Christmas on the island my husband was Father Christmas at the orphanage which was an honour and an experience we will both treasure for ever.


That turn into sisterhood, when you live as an expat you are forced into situations and friendships with people you wouldn’t usually be friends with back home, as one wife said to me “I’m only your friend because I have to be” she turned into my best friend and biggest support, because your all in the same situation, you understand each other, even a look with out words and we instantly understand how the other is feeling or what your going through. You become friends for a short time or for a lifetime, but you share an unbreakable bond, that no one else will ever understand unless they’ve walked in your shoes, even your husbands cannot understand.

Even their children look up to you as an Aunt or Uncle, you are honoured to be a part of these young peoples lives and in same way have a small part in there up bringing.


You realise very quickly, living on an island that time means everything to you from, watching the clock till your sweetheart comes home again after 18 hours at work, to wishing it would stop before he has to go back again. In saying that having so much time to you is actually a gift to yourself to ponder, reflect, meditate, journal, exercise, study and go within.


Before I moved to the Seychelles I took a lot for granted, like Laities with fresh milk and freshly baked muffins from my local friendly café, or discounted Tuesday nights at the local Cinema, More than 1 variety of peanut butter to choose from at the supermarket, Even fresh strawberries. In Saying that yes I went without those little luxuries but I got to experience other luxuries that most people would only dream about, We were lucky enough to stay 2 nights on North Island for free, and enjoy a private beach dinner of the fresh Tuna we had caught that afternoon, the same private island Prince William and Kate stayed on their honeymoon, we had another 2 free nights for my husband’s birthday at Fregate island another private luxury resort island the same one Paul McCartney had his honeymoon, we were lucky enough to go deep sea fishing on the yacht owned by the owner of an airline and treated like royalty. I was privileged to experience Christmas and New Years on the Beach of the four seasons resort for the last four years, and many other life changing experiences, these are the moments that make you realise fresh milk and peanut butter are not that important after all.


You’re stronger than you realise, A lot of people have an image of Island life as “cocktails and dreams” or “Floating in hammocks all day, while getting a great tan, with a coconut water in hand” let me just clear that myth up right now, yes the 7 night package you buy from your local travel agent is and can be exactly like that, however reality of living in Paradise is really different, usually if I wanted a coconut water it involved my sweetheart and a machete, fun do it yourself times. Living in the Seychelles I grew a strength of resilience I never knew I had, but I also grew a deeper love and understanding of people and of myself.

Writing this article has given me the chance to reflect on my island time, in a whole new way of gratitude for all the lessons and learning’s I was given. Would I go back to live No, but Seychelles will always have a small place in my heart.

With Love and Light RachelXxx

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