Breaking away from the city to live on an island for a few days taught us so much as a family. The bright blue Indian Ocean of the Seychelles was a constant sage, accompanying us on our adventure at North Island, a private island with only a handful of villas set between the trees on the beach’s edge. An island with conservation at its heart, a safe nesting place for turtles, a coconut plantation returned to a natural, indigenous Eden, and, for us, a place where our wild spirits could truly breathe.
The ocean told us to be kind (don’t be shellfish) – leading by example, with the way it welcomes everyone. It reminded us to surrender and go with the flow, it called us to look beneath the surface and to never give up – to just keep swimming, sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
It was a chance to play and dive fearlessly into life (to seas the day). It was also a prompt to take care. As much fun, freedom and peace as the ocean presents – there is always the element of danger. It’s what makes it real, it’s what keeps us on our toes (or flippers), it’s what creates courageous spirits. In the ocean, we tested ourselves, learnt to dive, learnt to fish, and paddled and played until sunset.
There are two memories that stand out the most from North Island. The blueberry catastrophe and the turtle lesson.
Let’s start with the blueberries. After a morning of eating, eating, and more eating, Renzi decided he wanted something extra still. Blueberry pancakes! All the blueberries, please! After devouring all the berries the island had and heading out on a boat, the waves in his own body hit fiercely.
When he recuperated, Renzi did not want to see another blueberry. But the lodge now had it in their minds that this little boy loved blueberries! Renzi didn’t equate getting sick with eating too much and getting on a boat in the sea. He assumed the blueberries did it. By themselves. He just didn’t have the heart to tell the lodge this and so silently, gracefully, he bit his tongue with every new blueberry concoction the kind waiters and butlers presented him with. There was a deluge of blueberries! To this day, he cannot stomach the thought of them.
And then there’s the very important lesson from a turtle.
One day, we were late getting back from deep sea fishing – on account of having too much fun with the guides. When we arrived on land, we were told that there was a turtle lecture at the piazza. Being lovers of any opportunity to take notes, this made us beam with excitement! We were beside ourselves. But when we arrived at the piazza, CJ, the environmentalist told us, “I’ve got something special to share.” We were torn… we wanted a presentation! The boys’ hands were itching to scribble. But we followed CJ, down to the beach, to find a huge hawksbill turtle laying eggs. It was the most unexpected and magical experience! A once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watching her in the moonlight… it didn’t get much better than this! But Renzi had his mind set on the earlier promise.
“This is great, but aren’t we going to be late to the turtle lecture?” he said.
Had we stuck to the programme, we would have missed the magic. In the end, by giving in to the spontaneous, we got to enjoy the presentation in real-life as well as, a little later, in the lecture room. Prepare for surprises, the turtles had taught us.
Below are snapshots from our Seychelles sojourn
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts (they’re lovely) There they are all standing in a row (one, two, three, four) Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head (and bigger) …
Thank you to North Island for an unforgettable family experience.
Discover more about the island here: www.north-island.com