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When I got to the end of my teaching contract in April, I had a big decision to make: do I go home to my family, my friends, my home, everything I know and love? Or do I stay in this place I have been discovering over the last seven months, where I have found friendship, love and, most importantly, a tan.

Both options were exciting and I knew I was going to learn a lot no matter the outcome.

I have to say it was a very difficult choice. I’m very close to my family, and the thought of being far away from them pinches my heart when I let myself think about it. I have to stop myself when I imagine all the Sunday roasts I miss, my father's crazy cackle when he watches his favourite comedy show on TV and my mother's sweet voice when she sings in the car.

You might wonder why, then, did I choose to stay?

Well, I simply asked myself these questions:

Firstly, where in England could I wake up to the heat of the sun beating down on me, motivating me to start my morning almost every day? Back home, the only way to get me up on a cold British morning is as follows: plug hair dryer in next to bed, turn hairdryer on, blow hot air under my duvet to defrost and prepare myself for the cold day ahead. It's not the best kind of motivation!

Secondly, where else can you pick up a week's worth of delicious free mangos and lychees off the road on your walk to work? In England you'd pay a fortune for those types of exotic fruits, but here mother nature just gives them to you for free!

Finally, where else can you get on a bus and feel like you have walked into a disco? Every time I get on a bus here I feel like dancing along to the sega or maloya music they have blasting out of the radio. I really don't know how everyone manages to stay still, my feet always tap along to the beat. You just don’t get that loud appreciation for music and life on public transport in Britain.

Of course, I love my home country and everything that comes with it, even the frosty mornings and silent bus rides, because they are all part of my story. And in an ideal world, my family and friends would move to Reunion and we would all live happily ever after in the sunshine on the beach. But for now, I am going to stick with this Island, see where it takes me and who knows maybe one day I will call it home.

Vocabulary

tan - bronzage
outcome - résultat
close - proche
thought - idée
roast - rôti

cackle - gloussement
to wonder - se demander
plug - prise électrique
hairdryer - sèche-cheveux
duvet - couette

to defrost - décongeler
blasting - à fond
to manage - arriver à
beat - rythme
frosty - glacial
to stick - rester