Love and life in the Seychelles

John's one way journey from York to Praslin Island

by John Purvis | May 2020

I first hitch-hiked, with my girlfriend, in the middle of 1978, overland across the Sahara to Nigeria from where we flew to her country, the Seychelles.

We had met in York. I was a Mathematics teacher and she, with a degree in Sociology, was bonded to work for her government for three years. We soon both had jobs and rented apartments for several years.

We married. The first property in the Seychelles we had built for us was on the main island of Mahe. Our son was born in 1990.

For several personal reasons, we divorced in the year 2000. By now, I had stopped teaching. I came to the island of Praslin with my new partner. We now have three children.Our house was built in the year 2000. Initially rented out to residents and then, after some modifications, rented to tourists. It is advertised on Airbnb and occupancy was around 60% before the virus. This has been a successful business and with the proceeds I am building a three bedroom hotel

Here in Seychelles there were a small number of "imported" cases of the virus from tourists and returning residents. Identifying, tracking and tracing started straight away in early March without the use of any apps! It has proven very effective and there have been no deaths at all from corona. Less than 100 were isolated or put in quarantine in hotels (otherwise empty!)

I have no inclination to return to England, my place of birth. As a Seychellois (I am also British) I can own property. For foreigners there needs to be an application forgovernment sanction and the stamp duty for a purchase of property is higher than for a local.

The life is slow moving which suits the Giant Tortoises and me. Everything essential is available in the shops and prices are similar to Europe. The Internet is excellent. I was watching live coverage of Nottingham Forest every Saturday with only three hours difference. Come and stay in the guest-house for a week: you will find that It would make a fine family home.