As cliché as it sounds, I will say, my, oh my, how time flies! I can’t believe that a year has gone by since we first arrived here. How did this happen? How did I also hit the big 30, all at once? I still have a vivid memory of our first arrival at the Roland Garros Airport, the initial impressions of the island and our first Car Jaune ride to Saint Louis along the sinuous mountain roads.
In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many colourful personalities with gripping life stories from Reunion, France, England, Canada etc. It was a journey of self-discovery, with lots of introspection as I sought to find my way around socially, culturally and professionally. Like every other person who has relocated from one country to another, you will know that it’s no walk in the park, with plenty of high and low moments. However, it was really through meeting these people and listening to their life passions, decisions and interests that I was able to reaffirm my own; and inadvertently rewire my thoughts and expectations of myself.
It was only here that I took the time to pursue other interests. Not that anything was stopping me back home (apart from the lack of time), but it is most certainly the natural energy in Reunion that gets people upbeat about getting their feet wet in everything and carve out new life paths if they want to. The fact that people ‘take the time’ to ‘make the time’ (if this makes sense) (a) to think of other things outside of their careers and (b) prioritise quality of life over money and societal expectations. Funnily enough, it was only here that I tried paragliding, meditating, diving, hiking, pottery and the list goes on. Suffice to say, I can proclaim that I recently jump-started my life, from simply being a cog in the wheel in the corporate world to becoming a trier of new experiences far away from home.
When you are jump-starting, you are basically starting a new life chapter in an active way while being open to different experiences. If you take a closer look at the people around you, don’t be surprised to see other fellow life jump-starters randomly learning sign language just because they want to, slack lining in the forests because they can and doing yoga on paddle boards in the lagoon simply because they feel like it’s the way to ‘be’ (mentally, physically, spiritually). There are no lack of options here for a tiny faraway island.
So, before you think of booking your next flight to go across the ocean for a new experience, ask yourself the following: when was the last time you did something different here? When was your last jump-start in Reunion?
How time flies – le temps passe vite
gripping – passionnant
it’s no walk in the park – Ce n’est pas du gateau
plenty – assez
rewire – refaire
lack – manque
upbeat – optimiste
getting ones feet wet – essayer de nouvelles choses
carve out – créer
cog – dent
wheel – roues