In less than a month, I’ll be flying back to Mauritius to attend the family wedding of the year (yes, I know it’s only March and no it’s not my wedding) and amongst sorting out dresses and accessories – mainly via Whatsapp and Viber -, I also got myself a travel guide to Mauritius. Given, I’m only going to be in tropical paradise for only 10 days most of which would be devoted to running around like a headless chicken getting last minute wedding preps done, I’m also hoping to have at least a day or two to myself for some exploring (Dear bride-to-be, if you’re reading this, I still love you and promise to be at your beck and call whenever you need me – within reason.)
Other than the 8 months I spent gallivanting around the forests of Mauritius back in 2013 – which barely counts since I was away from civilisation for the most of it –, I haven’t lived there for almost five years and before that, most of my time was spent catching up with all the private tuition my parents and our elitist society in general forced me into (that’s yet another story). It’s quite embarrassing to admit that I probably know the streets of London or Ankara better than the tiny country I’ve lived in for the first 19 years of my life, barely as big as the afore mentioned cities. Briefly put, I get lost within five minutes of being out of my hometown, other than if I’m going to the south east of the island which happens to be my favourite hangout place.
Mauritius is much more about its beautiful beaches although the sun, sea and sand remain its key selling point to tourists. From hiking in the nature reserves to snorkelling with the sea horses and other marine animals to indulging in gorgeous street food in the capital, there’s something out there to make everyone tick.
I went for the Kindle version of Rough Guide to Mauritius costing £4.99 on Amazon instead of my usual Lonely Planet choice because 1) it was much cheaper and 2) I thought it suited best my needs. It had the most up-to-date information about travelling to Mauritius – it only got published today! – and also I was in no need of a complete breakdown of everything about a country that I’ve lived in most of my life but rather the in-depth sightseeing information which Rough Guides tend to be more well-known for.
Where do I plan to go?
Given that I’m only going to be in the country for a few days only, I’ve decided to focus a bit more on the capital and finally learn my way around, like a local. I’m definitely better than I was a year before at least – I was let loose in the capital last summer when I worked as a Turkish-English translator at a firm based in the capital last summer for a few days. I do find it outrageous that I’ve never actually been to Chinatown which is found at the heart of the capital given my love for Chinese culture and food. Especially when there a Loving Hut there – one of the world’s largest international chain of vegan restaurants – which I’m definitely eager to try.
I’m definitely looking forward to exploring my country through the eyes of a traveller and discover new things about this country which I used to call home and which people seem to think worth of the 20+ hour flight. My own trip there includes an overnight bus to Istanbul, several hours of roaming aimlessly in the city waiting for my flight to Dubai and then another one to Mauritius. My bum already hurts at the thought of it.
Do you own a guide to your city or country? How do you explore your own backyard?