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I’m sharing this article today I found that was written by The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF). I thought it was a really great piece with lots of useful information for visiting Seychelles. I got in touch and they were happy for me to share it (the images I’ve added after). Enjoy!

As you step off the plane, you begin a trail of footprints in a hotspot of oceanic biodiversity and geographic uniqueness. It is no mystery that a biodiverse ecosystem of this kind will attract visitors from all over the world and thus makes tourism the economic pillar of Seychelles. This brings us to our vital role as travelers and visitors to help preserve this nation’s natural and cultural heritage for generations to come. 

The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) presents a few ways and tips how you can make a difference:

1. Say no to plastic water bottles and be conscious about plastics

As you are getting yourself ready to start the day, filling up your reusable water bottle should be part of the routine. There are no public water fountains installed on the islands, but thankfully there are always other alternatives to prevent yourself from buying plastic water bottles. You can buy large bottles of five liters to refill your reusable bottle at your hotel/guesthouse or ask for filtered water at your accommodation or any restaurant. The quality of tap water varies depending on the island you are visiting and where you are located. To be on the safe side, bring a water bottle with an integrated filter so that you can fill up your bottle with any tap water, where ever you are! 

Please note that as a small tropical island, Seychelles has very limited landfill space and very few recycling initiatives. Please carry around a reusable spoon for the typical local take-aways and become part of the local campaign, “The Last Straw Seychelles”, to reduce the use of plastic straws in the country. Bring along your own reusable straw or buy one locally through The Ocean Project!

2. Show off your beautiful reusable bags

Seychelles announced exciting news in July 2017: a national ban on plastic bags!

This is all the more reason to bring your own reusable bag to carry your groceries and souvenir shopping. This can even be part of one of your souvenir gifts to friends and family, as Seychelles has its own reusable bags for sale! 

3. Tour wisely

Most cars are run on petroleum-based fuels in Seychelles, making it a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. TATA buses are the main mode of public transport and have become part of the Seychelles experience. Make sure to enjoy this affordable, typical ride! 

4. Buy local, discover locals

There are so many reasons to why we should all buy local products, some more obvious than others: Buying locally usually means fresher and healthier food. The beauty of having such small islands means that local markets offer food originating from crop fields and trees only a few 1000 meters, or less, away. Buying locally leads to lower transport emissions, reducing the product’s carbon footprint. Buying locally supports less food packaging. All imported food needs to be well conserved, which means that most are wrapped in layers of plastic. Buying locally means supporting the local economy. This is money that Seychellois are directly benefiting from. Through this, jobs are also created. Buying locally invites you to meet more Seychellois and discover the Creole life. Showing interest in the culture stimulates cultural preservation, bringing us to the next tip.

5. Visit cultural heritage sites

By visiting important cultural sites, money is generated to help maintaining and preserving them. The act of visiting gives locals the initiative to preserve these sites.

6. Choose sustainable seafood 

This is very important, as fish supply is the main source of local food in the country. Choosing sustainable seafood means choosing one that was fished from a healthy population, with minimal impacts on the marine environment and in a zone that is effectively and responsibly managed. It is hard to know whether a type of seafood respects that criteria, but it is good to at least know which are the most vulnerable and overfished. For example, in Seychelles you should avoid yellowfin tuna, certain groupers (blacksaddled coral grouper, brown-marbled coral grouper, camouflage grouper, roving coral grouper) and small-sized parrotfish. Also, the SSTF recommends refraining from eating sharks.

7. Be responsible sea explorers 

Coral reefs are one of Seychelles’ most important tourist attractions, but also one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. To become responsible snorkelers and divers, you need to remember never to touch anything underwater so as to not disturb wildlife and stir up sediment that could smother corals. Remember to use eco-friendly sun screen or cover up with a rash guard! 

8. Keep an eye out for sustainable labels

When looking to book hotels, find out whether they are certified with a sustainable label. In Seychelles, 18 hotels are now certified with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL). 

Pick an establishment that takes environmental responsibilities seriously and ask the staff if they can tell you about some ongoing initiatives!

Be sure to check out the Seychelles Tourism Board website for more info. You can also find them on Facebook @seychellessustainable

The post Sustainable travel tips for your journey to Seychelles appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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It can be easy to overlook the importance of organising your international removals when moving abroad. Choosing to live overseas is one of the most exciting decisions you can make. It is also one of the biggest, and there are a number of factors to take into account before you take the plunge. 

Moving yourself, your family, and your possessions overseas is one of the primary costs you face when emigrating. It is also your first logistical challenge. But international removals don’t have to be a hassle. 

This guide to international removals will help ensure a stress-free move overseas.

Determine your budget for shipping belongings overseas

There are several costs to consider when emigrating. As well as your initial transport, you may have to pay for accommodation rental or further transport when you arrive in your destination.

Your costs may include passports, visas and insurance for yourself and your family. Certain visas may require health checks, so this is a less obvious expense to consider.

You should also take in to account cost of living differences. Your initial living expenses will depend hugely on your circumstances, so it’s important to be realistic about your employment and living situation. Being honest with yourself about the cost of each of these factors should ensure a fool-proof budget.

If you are moving for work it’s so important to find out what costs you will be accountable for and what will be covered by your employer. 

Decide which possessions you want to take with you

The cost of international removals can vary greatly. Often it comes down to how far you are travelling and which belongings you want to take with you.

A popular solution is to leave larger pieces behind, and only take the bare minimum. But you shouldn’t have to part with possessions that you love, or that carry sentimental value.

Carefully planning your budget means that you should be able to account for moving all of the possessions that mean the most to you. A reputable mover such as Excess International can guarantee that your most precious belongings arrive with you, for a reasonable cost. Sending your household contents across the world is their specialty, so they can ensure it’s hassle-free. 

Start packing early

It’s all too tempting to leave packing to the last minute. With so many exciting things to consider when moving abroad, organising your things can fall by the wayside. But starting early can make one of the most mundane moving chores more manageable.

Research and find out availability of things in your new country. This will save you packing unnecessary things. Or give you a chance to stock up on items you won’t be able to get!

International shipping warrants a certain standard of packing – especially for fragile goods or valuables. Being proactive with careful packing is the key to avoiding breakages. A useful packing tip is to line crates with bubble wrap and load heavier items first. 

Get advice from international movers

Talking to experts in international removals is the best way to gauge the scale of the operation. Some international removals companies offer free quotes, to help you budget for your move. If you’re having a hard time conceptualising shipping your belongings across the world, getting some clarity from experts about the best way to do it is the best solution. 

Every move is different, with its own unique circumstances and challenges. But these guidelines will help you take care of the international removal aspect, so that you can focus on enjoying an exciting new chapter in your life. 

,


The post A Guide to International Removals for a Stress-Free Move Overseas. appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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If you are lucky enough to be visiting a tropical place like Seychelles this year, you will find this packing advice to be particularly helpful. It is not a comprehensive packing list, more general guidance that will ensure that you pack wisely for what is likely a very different climate from the one you are used to.

The right holiday dresses

Dresses are great for wearing while on holiday. They are comfortable and cool to wear during the day because they let the air circulate. Most summer dresses are also smart and classy enough to wear for a meal out, in a nice restaurant. There are plenty to choose from. For example, Fashion World stocks dozens of them.

However, for a tropical climate, you need to choose your dresses carefully. Ideally, you want something that is made from a fabric like cotton, which enables your skin to breathe naturally and wicks moisture away from the skin. 

Bamboo, hemp, and linen are also a good choice, which is fortuitous because all of these fabrics are coming back into fashion. The fact that these are relatively environmentally friendly fabrics appeals to a lot of modern consumers.

Shorts and tees

Most of the day it is going to be quite hot, so you are going to want to wear clothing that is cut to keep you cool. It is best to opt for loose-fitting clothing rather than something that hugs the body. This allows more air to circulate, which will help to keep your skin relatively dry.

Wear colors that reflect the sun

It is best to avoid dark colors when travelling to a tropical climate. These will not reflect the sun, which can leave you feeling uncomfortably hot.

Choose lightweight fabrics

Avoid heavy-duty fabrics like denim. Instead, opt for poplin or seersucker. Lightweight fabrics will keep you cooler and dry faster when you end up sweating. The more open weaves are usually the best option.

Protect yourself from the sun

It is really important to pack a broad-brimmed hat, good sunglasses, and high factor sun cream.

An unlined lightweight coat

For the evenings, it can be good idea to have a lightweight cotton or linen coat available to put on just in case you start to feel cold. Make sure that it does not have a manmade lining. It is typically cooler in the evenings, which is why a coat or shawl is a good idea. But, certain areas of you, for example, under your arms will still get hot. So, you need the material your coat is made from to allow your skin to continue to breathe.

There are certain times in the year where there isn’t a huge difference in temperature from day to night. But, you can be certain there will be air con blasting in your hotel room and in indoor restaurants. It can also feel great to put something long sleeved on after a day in the sun!

If you are not used to buying, wearing and caring for these types of fabrics, I suggest you read this article before you travel. It tells you everything you need to know to make sure that your clothes stay in good condition and continue to look nice.

Packing for a trip with a toddler

If you are planning to travel with a toddler, you may enjoy reading this post and find it helpful. I wrote it a few years ago when we took a trip to Sri Lanka with Arthur, who was only 3 at the time. It covers most of what you need to know.

If you are looking at coming to Seychelles with your little one, be sure to check out my tips for taking babies or toddlers to the Seychelles

Arghhh this picture of Arthur has given me all of the feels. Look how tiny he was!!!

The post Packing For A Tropical Getaway appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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Over this half term a friend of ours invited the boys and I to go on a trip to Aride Island. We had never been before, so we jumped at the opportunity. I thought I would share our experiences mixed in as part of a little travel guide! I hope you enjoy!

Getting To Aride Island

Aride is only open for visits when the sea conditions are good (i’ll explain why in just a second!). Typically, this means it is closed May – September due to strong surf which makes it very difficult to land by boat. It is also closed on weekends.

From Côte D’Or on Praslin it took us just over 30 minutes by boat to arrive. The conditions were really lovely so I think that is pretty much as quick as the journey would be. There isn’t a lot more my kids love than a boat trip. So for them, the longer the trip the better! They were on super good behaviour so it was really lovely (and a big relief since I was without Mark!)

As the whole island is a nature reserve you can only get onto Aride on their boats, which takes you right up onto the beach. This is to help stop any invasive species finding it’s way onto the island. So whatever boat you arrive in, you stop just off the island and then switch into one of their little boats. All in all this part of the journey added probably another 10-15 minutes to the trip. The kids were super excited about having to get on the speedy little boat!!

Cost of Visiting Aride Island

To visit Aride is free for Seychelles residents but for tourists the price is 650scr per adult. I’m not sure on the age brackets but the guy told me that Arthur would have been half that price (he’s 5) and Freddie would have been free (he is 3).

Prices to get to Aride vary from different vendors. We went with Starfish Boat Charter who are based on Praslin. I would definitely recommend them. They charge 130 euro per adult and that is including the fee mentioned above.

The Tour of Aride Island

With the island being such an important nature reserve, you can’t just wonder off on your own there. When we arrived on the island (after a short but exciting trip right up onto the beach on their little rubber dinghy boats) we were greeted by the conservation team.

Then we met our guide for our trip. He offered us the choice to walk just the flat area or to go up to the view point. It was unanimously decided to go up to the view point…..and I’ll say now, that is definitely the option to choose. The view is stunning, but more on that in a minute.

The walk started off very flat with lots of shade. We came across one of the resident giant tortoises and the boys loved that it followed us for ages.

We then reached the most beautiful Banyan tree. Honestly, I’ve never seen one so amazing as this. So sprawling and just look how it has grown around all of the rocks. Seriously, I could have stayed here all day.

Of course the best bit about this for the kids was that they could play Tarzan on it (we were totally given the permission of the guide by the way!) It took a lot of self control for me not to jump on and have a swing too!

We walked on, surrounded by nesting birds of all kinds. It was so beautiful. There are lots of big skinks there too which are bigger than any others you’ll find around here. The kids were really excited by them.

After a little while we came out at the most beautiful beach. I loved how rugged it was. You can feel how unspoiled this place really is. Coming out from the shade of the trees really added to the ‘wow’ moment of this beautiful little spot, just look at those colours!

The Climb To the Viewpoint

So I feel like this needed it’s own little section. Because seriously, the climb was not easy. The kids really did not manage. So, I ended up carrying Freddie the whole way up (and down again!!!) and I was lucky that a kind guide from another group offered to put Arthur on his shoulders. Obviously, if Mark had been there we would have been fine managing together but this time I was flying solo!

I did have a lovely friend of mine with me who said she would wait down at the bottom with the boys so I could climb to the top. But, I was determined the kids would get up there! I knew they would love the viewpoint so I struggled on.

As you might imagine, I didn’t actually stop and take any pictures of our way up the hill. It was more of a head down and get on with it kind of a deal!!

With older kids, or without kids at all the walk up is totally manageable, although still not what I would consider easy!

The Viewpoint

We made it to the top!!! Phew! Let me tell you, my face was the reddest of red, and my legs were pretty shaky. Freddie is over 13kgs now so that’s a lot of extra weight to haul up a hill! But it was so worth it (not least because I needed that exercise!). The boys were absolutely delighted!

We are lucky that there are lots of places to get beautiful views here in Seychelles. Aride has something very special though. It is the most Northern island in the Seychelles. This means you get uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. It’s so beautiful! You really do feel like you’re at the edge of the world!

What impressed the boys most of all, was the Frigatebirds. These huge birds reminded them of Pterodactyl’s. With a wing span over up to almost 2.5m I can see why! I can’t tell you how much this delighted Freddie who is utterly obsessed with Dinosaurs!! We were told that outside of the Aldabra Atol, you won’t find anywhere else in Seychelles you can get so close to these high flying birds!

From where we were stood, there was another drop down you could reach but I wasn’t going to risk that with the kids. It was pretty precarious looking! Anyway, we were more than satisfied with the views we were getting.

I also took the opportunity to let the boys rest a little in the shade and refuel on some crackers I had brought up with me.

The way back down was much easier, although Freddie did still insist on being carried!!

Back at Sea Level

Back down on the beach we were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a couple of baby turtles hatching! The guide told us most of them would wait until the evening to hatch as the tide was very low and it was very hot outside. This was actually my first time seeing hatching turtles, I used to monitor turtles nesting back when we first moved here but I’ve never seen them hatch! It was such an amazing moment, the boys were beside themselves with excitement! I’m afraid to say I don’t actually have any pictures of this, we were far too caught up in the moment.

We then made our way back to where we started our walk. The boys had a little more to eat and then we took a well deserved swim, before it was time to get back on the boat and head home.


We got home around 2:30 and it’s safe to say we all slept very well that night. Such a fantastic day, I can’t wait to visit again. I was a little nervous about taking a trip like this alone with the kids but they were so well behaved and had such a great time. Next time though it would be great to go with Mark too!

I’ve written a post about boat trips you can do from Praslin Island.  I would definitely add this one to your list!

Aride: Did you know?

A few little facts about Aride Island!

  • Aside Island was once owned by a member of the Cadbury Family! He ensured that the island became the nature reserve that it is today after realising it’s importance for global seabird populations.
  • The name ‘Aride’ comes from the fact that there is no natural regular source of fresh water….i.e it’s Arid and dry
  • Over 1million seabirds breed on Aride, including 5 species only found in Seychelles.
  • The island has one of the highest densities of lizards in the world!
  • The nature reserve continues 200m out into the ocean, ensuring the protection of marine life as well around the island.
  • You can volunteer to work as part of the conservation team on Aride island.
  • The volunteers and island manager are the only people to inhabit the island.

The post Visiting Aride Island appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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So it feels like it’s time for a little update. I don’t have any huge or particularly exciting news to share. But, I thought it might be nice to write about (and hopefully read about!) what we have been getting up to since the Christmas Holidays. I promised myself I would do more of this kind of writing this year, as I really do love it. It is always good for making me get out my proper camera too – I’ve been terrible with that recently. So, here it is a little bit of our life lately.

Right now!

Currently, Mark is away in the UK doing interviews for new staff in September. It’s always tough when he goes away, but I feel like the boys and I are starting to get into the swing of it a little now. Like we kind of have this mutual understanding that things are a bit different and we go a bit easier with each other.

This morning, for example the boys got into bed with me and we watched a movie, snuggled up together. I know that’s nothing ground breaking or exciting to most but it’s something we don’t do all that often, and it was lovely. So lovely in fact, that the boys insisted we did the same at lunch time. So, we took a little picnic onto my bed! The boys thought it was the best thing ever!

Time With Friends

With the boys getting older they are more and more keen to do stuff with their friends. This is great because they have friends whose parents are our friends (yay!) so we get to do stuff all together! The cinema on Praslin has just started getting more reliable again, after a LONG time of closure/total unreliability. There seems to be two movies on every weekend with one being aimed at kids. So, a new routine is emerging where a few of us take the kids to the Sunday afternoon showing. At 75scr a ticket it’s not too expensive either! You can even book online (when the website isn’t down!)

My Mum and Dad ordered bikes for the boys for Christmas. They only arrived at the end of last month #smallislandproblems . I must say though that it is actually kind of nice that they came later as they had a lovely Christmas with lots of gifts and this was like Christmas all over again for them. Honestly, they are obsessed with their bikes. They are riding them as much as they can (even around the house!!). They are getting so confident on them I’m sure it won’t be long until they are riding without stabelisers. The nicest thing is that they love riding their bikes with the girls down the road (their mum and I are obviously out there with them too.)

School

School has been going pretty well for the boys so far this year. They were both off for a little while with being unwell but they are both fine and back at school now!

I’m really happy that they are both SO happy to go into school every day. I think while they are both still so young (5 and 3) there is not a whole lot more that I could ask for.

Freddie’s teacher tells me that it’s like he has always been there. He fitted in straight away and just laps it all up. He really loves it all. I do laugh though whenever anyone tells me how well behaved he is though. He is without doubt the mini dictator at home, I guess I should be happy that he is such a good boy at school!

Arthur has made huge improvements with his reading and he is now starting to really enjoy it. You can see how proud of himself he is and it’s honestly beautiful! It’s not all fantastic though, I had to speak to his teacher on Friday because he apparently has developed a little bit of an attitude of late. I’m hoping it’s just a little phase! I love that we can work on it together with school to try and get to the bottom of it!

Family Time

A positive to the end of nap times in the day (mostly) is that our days can be so much more flexible. We can head out when we like without having to work around nap times. It is really nice! Lately we have been loving taking longer walks all together which has been so fun.

Of course, with the novelty of new bikes we have spent a lot of time up and down our road with the kids too!

Me

I feel like I’m pretty settled into life with both of the kids at school now. It definitely took longer than I thought it would to feel normal! I’m currently looking at ways I can start working here. I won’t say too much right now in case it doesn’t work out but I’ll be sure to update on here if and when I have some news on that!

In related news I’ve been doing an online course in Social Media Management. It’s been so nice to do a course. I’ve never done one online before and I have really enjoyed it.

Mark and I had an absolutely amazing night out just before he went away. He took me to Les Rochers restaurant for dinner on Valentines Day. We’ve never eaten there before – although I have been for coffee a few times in the day time. It was honestly so fantastic. I 100% recommend a visit there, although it is not cheap at all, it’s an unforgetable visit for special occasions!

So I think that’s kind of all for now! We get Mark back with us on Sunday and we can not wait! He has no more work trips planned now and so we can start to get excited about our own travel plans in July! It’s been so nice writing this post. It has reminded me of when I first started my blog, and I always used to write posts about what we were up to!

The post Life Lately appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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Finding out you’re pregnant and are going to have a baby is a very exciting time in your life. That doesn’t mean you won’t have mixed emotions about it.  Of course, you’ll have several questions running through your head right from the start.  This is true whether its your first, second baby or fifth!

The unknown can be a bit scary and nerve-wracking, so know that you’re not alone if this is how you’re feeling. What’s important is that you take the time to know and better understand all that goes into preparing for a new baby and what to expect.  Enjoy the process and your pregnancy, because it’s sure to go by fast…. Except those last couple weeks of course, which I swear are longer than any other in your life!!

There’s A Lot To Do & Learn

No matter who you are, preparing for a new baby is a tough job.  There’s a lot to do and learn especially if you have no experience with kids.  This was definitely the case for me!

The good news is that there are countless resources, tools and books both online and offline for you to read. This will give you some confidence in caring for a new born!  It can be easy to get yourself overwhelmed and anxious because there is so much advice around.  Take it easy on yourself and trust that you will do what’s right for you and your baby!

  It Can Be Costly

The truth is that having kids isn’t cheap. You’re likely going to have to adjust your lifestyle a bit when you welcome a new child into your life. One idea is to open a credit card so you can put big purchases on this card and pay it off over time. Rest easy knowing that even if you have bad credit there are options for you out there that you can take advantage of. Take the time to go online and read more about this topic so you can move forward in confidence knowing you’ll be able to cover all the costs that come with welcoming a new baby into your home.

Remember that babies are big business for companies, so don’t feel forced into buying something you don’t think is necessary!

  It Takes A Team

Although you may feel all alone at times, it takes a team of people to prepare for a new baby. It’s a wise idea to reach out to your spouse, parents and friends and let them know that you could use an extra hand preparing for your little one.  Accept assistance when people offer it to you, people will genuinely be happy to help. All parents need support and encouragement every once in a while.

  It’s Important to Take Care of Yourself

Being pregnant, trying to work, taking care of a household and planning for a new baby can be stressful. It’s very important that you commit to taking care of yourself throughout your pregnancy.  This includes exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep each night. You’ll have much more energy when you put self-care at the top of your to-do list.  After you have the baby, self care is perhaps even more important.  So, learn best practices for doing so now while you have the time.  Identify when you feel your stress building up and take action right away to reduce your anxieties the best you can before they get out of control.

  Others Will Offer Advice

Even when you don’t ask for it, people are going to offer you advice.  Be open to listening to them and hearing them out.  But, know that it doesn’t mean you always have to take advantage of their suggestions. Mostly, people mean well and are just trying to help.  It can definitely be a bit irritating and frustrating when others try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing.  Gather all the information you can and then come to your own conclusion.  Be prepared that unsolicited advice will continue well after pregnancy and into parenthood!

  Work Ahead as Much as Possible

Caring for a newborn is going to take up a lot of your time and energy.  So, while resting during pregnancy is super important, being organised is going to help you out big time when the baby arrives.  For instance, complete upcoming work tasks, go get your hair done, clean the house and cook and freeze meals.  Frozen meals will be your new best friend when the baby arrives! Clearing your plate as much as you can will make things easier when the new baby comes.  It will allow you to focus all of your energy on your family!

Your Life is about to Change

The one major piece of information you should know when preparing for a new baby is that your life is about to change drastically. While there will be challenges, there will also be a lot of love to share and go around. You’ll grow and mature as a person and your motherly instincts will kick in right away.

In addition, your relationship with your spouse or partner is going to change as well. Have conversations in advance about how you’ll work together to manage the household and make sure the baby is kept safe and sound. You may have to move schedules around a bit or take some time off of work, so plan in advance and prepare yourself for these modifications to your lifestyle and relationship.

  Conclusion

These are a few details that you should be aware of and know about when it comes to preparing for a new baby.  Be patient with yourself as you adjust to this new way of life and having a child around your house. Some of it will come easier to you than the rest so do your best and learn from your mistakes along the way. Most importantly, enjoy your precious time with your newborn and be kind to yourself throughout your journey.

The post What You Need To Know About Preparing For A New Baby appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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The Christmas holidays are over, so its definitely time I came back and spent some time on this little space of mine!

Our Christmas Holidays.

We have had such a wonderful few weeks all off together.  The boys were off school for 4 weeks so we definitely fully switched off and relaxed.  Mark had to go to the UK to do some interviews for new staff but other than that he was home with us the whole time.

I think having the 4 weeks over Christmas helped to have other focuses apart from Christmas day itself.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but with a shorter holiday I feel like that is all you have time to think about and it can be a bit intense!

We took a night away at Paradise Sun Hotel as a treat for Mark’s birthday.  It’s a hotel that we visit very often for lunch but we have never stayed there until now.  It was so nice to spend the night there, the rooms are really lovely.  The hotel has such a good atmosphere, it’s so relaxed and welcoming.  Honestly, I love it.  We didn’t have the best weather but as we live here that didn’t matter all that much to us!  We still took out a couple of kayaks, swam in the pool, and played on the beach.  It was perfect.

Seychelles is typically pretty busy over the Christmas holidays.  So, other than our night at Paradise Sun we tried to stay away from the hotels as much as possible.  We are lucky enough that so many hotels here are kind enough to let us use their facilities throughout the year, so we always make sure not to push our luck during busy times of the year!! We did loads of beach days and walks in the Vallee de Mai.  Just really, easy family days out.  I feel like we all really thrived from the time together.

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve!  We were really organised this year and got all the wrapping out the way so we could just relax!  Mark and I have a little tradition of getting a new game to play for Christmas Eve.  We love board games!  The boys were very helpful getting everything ready for Father Christmas.  They left out mince pie and some Whiskey for him (father christmas loves whisky don’t you know!!) and some Carrots for the Reindeer.  We also left out the magic key so that he could get in the house (As you might guess, there aren’t many chimneys here!)

Unsurprisingly, the bedtime routine wasn’t as slick as usual, there was a lot of getting out of bed!  Freddie was complaining that night time took too long, it took him about an hour to get to sleep.

Arthur probably took about the same, but then woke up from midnight onwards in the hope it was morning!  Mark and I took it in turns going back into bed with him to try and get him to sleep!  He was SO excited!

Christmas Day

Despite a distinct lack of sleep all round, we had such a lovely day.  It was just the four of us this year.  We always love to be able to share Christmas with friends and family, but it was kinda nice this year for it to be just us.

After the boys opened the presents from us we took a little wander down to the beach.  The novelty of taking a walk on the beach on Christmas day has still not worn off after all these years!

Over Christmas the time difference to the UK is four hours (the clocks don’t go back or forward here so the time difference to the UK varies between 3 and 4 hours depending on the time of the year).   The good thing about the time difference is it helps to spread the day out for the kids!  We waited until the Grandparents were up before we opened gifts from them so they could see the boys opening their gifts.  Thank goodness for video calling!!

Mark cooked an amazing Christmas lunch, it really was the full works.  We definitely could have fed about 10 people, but that meant yummy left overs for the next few days!

And the Rest!

The rest of the school holidays was pretty quiet.  Mark’s birthday is on Boxing Day and this year we kept it really low key, still it was a lovely day.

Mark and I went out for New Years Eve.  We usually like to go to Les Laurier for New Year (I’d go every day if I could!).  They are currently having major renovations so the owner, a friend of ours, hosted the evening at her house!  As always, the food was amazing! We had a babysitter for the evening, shared with some friends of ours who also put their little boy to sleep at our house.  Freddie woke up in the night – something he NEVER does but was not at all upset by us not being there!  By the time we came home he was fast asleep again, having been up for about an hour with the babysitter having a good time!   Unfortunately, the late night wake up did not reward us with a lie in the next morning!!

Once Christmas was over we spent more time seeing friends and having a few playdates for the kids.  Of course there was more beach time too (sand fights are a new favourite for the boys!)

We also took a day over on La Digue.   It always feels like we have had a real holiday even when we just go for a day!  It’s so fun to be on bikes all day and go round exploring.  The boys love visiting different beaches, feeding the giant tortoises and seeing the cows (a bit of a rarity here in Seychelles!) and of course the boat ride!

 Back to Normality.

It was sad when the time came to start winding back up to get ready for school starting again.  I think, we were probably all ready for it though really!

The boys are now back at school and so the chaos of pack lunch making and school runs has started again!  It’s the start of the second term with both of them being in school.  I feel it took me most of the first term to get used to having time alone.  I’ve made a promise to myself to make more time for writing this term, so hopefully there will be a few more posts from me on here!

 

The post Our Christmas Holidays 2018 appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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I’m sharing this article today I found that was written by The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF). I thought it was a really great piece with lots of useful information for visiting Seychelles. I got in touch and they were happy for me to share it (the images I’ve added after). Enjoy!

As you step off the plane, you begin a trail of footprints in a hotspot of oceanic biodiversity and geographic uniqueness. It is no mystery that a biodiverse ecosystem of this kind will attract visitors from all over the world and thus makes tourism the economic pillar of Seychelles. This brings us to our vital role as travelers and visitors to help preserve this nation’s natural and cultural heritage for generations to come. 

The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) presents a few ways and tips how you can make a difference:

1. Say no to plastic water bottles and be conscious about plastics

As you are getting yourself ready to start the day, filling up your reusable water bottle should be part of the routine. There are no public water fountains installed on the islands, but thankfully there are always other alternatives to prevent yourself from buying plastic water bottles. You can buy large bottles of five liters to refill your reusable bottle at your hotel/guesthouse or ask for filtered water at your accommodation or any restaurant. The quality of tap water varies depending on the island you are visiting and where you are located. To be on the safe side, bring a water bottle with an integrated filter so that you can fill up your bottle with any tap water, where ever you are! 

Please note that as a small tropical island, Seychelles has very limited landfill space and very few recycling initiatives. Please carry around a reusable spoon for the typical local take-aways and become part of the local campaign, “The Last Straw Seychelles”, to reduce the use of plastic straws in the country. Bring along your own reusable straw or buy one locally through The Ocean Project!

2. Show off your beautiful reusable bags

Seychelles announced exciting news in July 2017: a national ban on plastic bags!

This is all the more reason to bring your own reusable bag to carry your groceries and souvenir shopping. This can even be part of one of your souvenir gifts to friends and family, as Seychelles has its own reusable bags for sale! 

3. Tour wisely

Most cars are run on petroleum-based fuels in Seychelles, making it a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. TATA buses are the main mode of public transport and have become part of the Seychelles experience. Make sure to enjoy this affordable, typical ride! 

4. Buy local, discover locals

There are so many reasons to why we should all buy local products, some more obvious than others: Buying locally usually means fresher and healthier food. The beauty of having such small islands means that local markets offer food originating from crop fields and trees only a few 1000 meters, or less, away. Buying locally leads to lower transport emissions, reducing the product’s carbon footprint. Buying locally supports less food packaging. All imported food needs to be well conserved, which means that most are wrapped in layers of plastic. Buying locally means supporting the local economy. This is money that Seychellois are directly benefiting from. Through this, jobs are also created. Buying locally invites you to meet more Seychellois and discover the Creole life. Showing interest in the culture stimulates cultural preservation, bringing us to the next tip.

5. Visit cultural heritage sites

By visiting important cultural sites, money is generated to help maintaining and preserving them. The act of visiting gives locals the initiative to preserve these sites.

6. Choose sustainable seafood 

This is very important, as fish supply is the main source of local food in the country. Choosing sustainable seafood means choosing one that was fished from a healthy population, with minimal impacts on the marine environment and in a zone that is effectively and responsibly managed. It is hard to know whether a type of seafood respects that criteria, but it is good to at least know which are the most vulnerable and overfished. For example, in Seychelles you should avoid yellowfin tuna, certain groupers (blacksaddled coral grouper, brown-marbled coral grouper, camouflage grouper, roving coral grouper) and small-sized parrotfish. Also, the SSTF recommends refraining from eating sharks.

7. Be responsible sea explorers 

Coral reefs are one of Seychelles’ most important tourist attractions, but also one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. To become responsible snorkelers and divers, you need to remember never to touch anything underwater so as to not disturb wildlife and stir up sediment that could smother corals. Remember to use eco-friendly sun screen or cover up with a rash guard! 

8. Keep an eye out for sustainable labels

When looking to book hotels, find out whether they are certified with a sustainable label. In Seychelles, 18 hotels are now certified with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL). 

Pick an establishment that takes environmental responsibilities seriously and ask the staff if they can tell you about some ongoing initiatives!

Be sure to check out the Seychelles Tourism Board website for more info. You can also find them on Facebook @seychellessustainable

The post Sustainable travel tips for your journey to Seychelles appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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It can be easy to overlook the importance of organising your international removals when moving abroad. Choosing to live overseas is one of the most exciting decisions you can make. It is also one of the biggest, and there are a number of factors to take into account before you take the plunge. 

Moving yourself, your family, and your possessions overseas is one of the primary costs you face when emigrating. It is also your first logistical challenge. But international removals don’t have to be a hassle. 

This guide to international removals will help ensure a stress-free move overseas.

Determine your budget for shipping belongings overseas

There are several costs to consider when emigrating. As well as your initial transport, you may have to pay for accommodation rental or further transport when you arrive in your destination.

Your costs may include passports, visas and insurance for yourself and your family. Certain visas may require health checks, so this is a less obvious expense to consider.

You should also take in to account cost of living differences. Your initial living expenses will depend hugely on your circumstances, so it’s important to be realistic about your employment and living situation. Being honest with yourself about the cost of each of these factors should ensure a fool-proof budget.

If you are moving for work it’s so important to find out what costs you will be accountable for and what will be covered by your employer. 

Decide which possessions you want to take with you

The cost of international removals can vary greatly. Often it comes down to how far you are travelling and which belongings you want to take with you.

A popular solution is to leave larger pieces behind, and only take the bare minimum. But you shouldn’t have to part with possessions that you love, or that carry sentimental value.

Carefully planning your budget means that you should be able to account for moving all of the possessions that mean the most to you. A reputable mover such as Excess International can guarantee that your most precious belongings arrive with you, for a reasonable cost. Sending your household contents across the world is their specialty, so they can ensure it’s hassle-free. 

Start packing early

It’s all too tempting to leave packing to the last minute. With so many exciting things to consider when moving abroad, organising your things can fall by the wayside. But starting early can make one of the most mundane moving chores more manageable.

Research and find out availability of things in your new country. This will save you packing unnecessary things. Or give you a chance to stock up on items you won’t be able to get!

International shipping warrants a certain standard of packing – especially for fragile goods or valuables. Being proactive with careful packing is the key to avoiding breakages. A useful packing tip is to line crates with bubble wrap and load heavier items first. 

Get advice from international movers

Talking to experts in international removals is the best way to gauge the scale of the operation. Some international removals companies offer free quotes, to help you budget for your move. If you’re having a hard time conceptualising shipping your belongings across the world, getting some clarity from experts about the best way to do it is the best solution. 

Every move is different, with its own unique circumstances and challenges. But these guidelines will help you take care of the international removal aspect, so that you can focus on enjoying an exciting new chapter in your life. 

,


The post A Guide to International Removals for a Stress-Free Move Overseas. appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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If you are lucky enough to be visiting a tropical place like Seychelles this year, you will find this packing advice to be particularly helpful. It is not a comprehensive packing list, more general guidance that will ensure that you pack wisely for what is likely a very different climate from the one you are used to.

The right holiday dresses

Dresses are great for wearing while on holiday. They are comfortable and cool to wear during the day because they let the air circulate. Most summer dresses are also smart and classy enough to wear for a meal out, in a nice restaurant. There are plenty to choose from. For example, Fashion World stocks dozens of them.

However, for a tropical climate, you need to choose your dresses carefully. Ideally, you want something that is made from a fabric like cotton, which enables your skin to breathe naturally and wicks moisture away from the skin. 

Bamboo, hemp, and linen are also a good choice, which is fortuitous because all of these fabrics are coming back into fashion. The fact that these are relatively environmentally friendly fabrics appeals to a lot of modern consumers.

Shorts and tees

Most of the day it is going to be quite hot, so you are going to want to wear clothing that is cut to keep you cool. It is best to opt for loose-fitting clothing rather than something that hugs the body. This allows more air to circulate, which will help to keep your skin relatively dry.

Wear colors that reflect the sun

It is best to avoid dark colors when travelling to a tropical climate. These will not reflect the sun, which can leave you feeling uncomfortably hot.

Choose lightweight fabrics

Avoid heavy-duty fabrics like denim. Instead, opt for poplin or seersucker. Lightweight fabrics will keep you cooler and dry faster when you end up sweating. The more open weaves are usually the best option.

Protect yourself from the sun

It is really important to pack a broad-brimmed hat, good sunglasses, and high factor sun cream.

An unlined lightweight coat

For the evenings, it can be good idea to have a lightweight cotton or linen coat available to put on just in case you start to feel cold. Make sure that it does not have a manmade lining. It is typically cooler in the evenings, which is why a coat or shawl is a good idea. But, certain areas of you, for example, under your arms will still get hot. So, you need the material your coat is made from to allow your skin to continue to breathe.

There are certain times in the year where there isn’t a huge difference in temperature from day to night. But, you can be certain there will be air con blasting in your hotel room and in indoor restaurants. It can also feel great to put something long sleeved on after a day in the sun!

If you are not used to buying, wearing and caring for these types of fabrics, I suggest you read this article before you travel. It tells you everything you need to know to make sure that your clothes stay in good condition and continue to look nice.

Packing for a trip with a toddler

If you are planning to travel with a toddler, you may enjoy reading this post and find it helpful. I wrote it a few years ago when we took a trip to Sri Lanka with Arthur, who was only 3 at the time. It covers most of what you need to know.

If you are looking at coming to Seychelles with your little one, be sure to check out my tips for taking babies or toddlers to the Seychelles

Arghhh this picture of Arthur has given me all of the feels. Look how tiny he was!!!

The post Packing For A Tropical Getaway appeared first on Seychelles Mama.

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