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From France to Wallis Island: Life experience in Wallis Island

11 June, 2018 09:55  Erin Erin

Wallis Island Hello! My blog name is Naniwallisienne. I come from France. I am a resident of Wallis Island (which is a French territory) since the 1st of January 2018.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
My husband and I had a passion for travelling and discovering new way of living. Last year, my husband told me that he has a job opportunity in Wallis Island. I immediately said yes and I joined him with my son early this year.

2.    How do you make a living?
The first month was devoted to the discovery of this new life on a small island. Since February, I've been a volunteer in an association that helps entrepreneurs to create their own company.

3.    How often do you communicate with home and how?
A big issue is the time difference between Wallis Island in the Pacific and Europe : 10 or 11 hours depending on the winter or summer time. Every 2 weeks, we organize a Skype session during 1 or 2 hours with family and friends.

4.    What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Wallis Island?
Actually, there are three things I like. The first one is to live in a paradisiacal place. A lot of people would like to be in our shoes, even if there are constraints (small territory, prices of imported products, etc). The second thing is to wear light clothes and flip-flops all the time. And the last point is to eat the best grapefruit in the world.

5.    What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Wallis Island?
Without hesitation, it’s the distance from family and friends in Europe. We're really on the other side of the world with difficult access.

6.    What do you miss most?
Cheese and chocolate ;)

7.    What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
To integrate, I try to participate in the island's activities. I also meet a lot of people through my son's school. Thanks to my volunteer activities, I also understand how life in Wallis works. I think it's important to integrate into economic life and share our knowledge with people who need it.

8.    What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
Wallisian culture is very religion-oriented. Life is punctuated by religious celebrations. You have to get used to living at the rhythm of the church.

9.    What is a myth about your adopted country?
Before I came, I thought I'd never eat meat. That's totally false. Here there is better meat than where I was in Europe. Normal ´üŐ the meat comes from New Zealand and prices are quite correct.

10.    Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
The cost of imported products is 3 to 4 times higher than in metropolitan France, which seems normal because we're on an island. At the same time, salaries are also higher.

11.    What advice would you give other expats?
I would just advise them to think carefully about their project before leaving. Moreover, through my blog, I advise people who wish to come to Wallis for professional or personal reasons.

And once they get here, it is important to remain humble and open to difference. It helps to better understand the territory.

Wallis Island 12.    When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog before coming with the objective to show what life in paradise is really like here and of course to give news to family and friends.

I write an article every week with very concrete elements on jet lag, cost of living, etc and globally on my daily experience.

Blog LinkNaniwallisienne's blog, Life experience in Wallis Island

 

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