Situation in Reunion Island

Hi Everyone!
I'm Jonathan from the UK and I have just moved here with my wife Ilvira and our 2 young children - Byron 6yo and Edith 2yo.
In the UK I ran a IT Consultancy business specializing in SharePoint solutions - we moved here due to my wife's health - actually she was so ill she moved out with the kids in January and I have only now arrived as I had to complete my contracts and close down the business in the UK.
So now we are both unemployed and in debt but Ilvira is thriving in this climate and the kids are happy - Byron is at school and learning French. Now I frantically trying to work out how to make a living here!
Ilvira speaks French but I am just learning. Naturally I am looking for IT opportunities here but they seem to be very limited/non-existent - Can anyone tell me what the situation is here? If I learn decent French do I stand a chance of getting an IT job?
Anyway I taught EFL in Japan for 7 years when I was younger (I'm 45 now!) - so I'm taking on online course to get re qualified and then I plan to start teaching while I study French - We're based in St Pierre - anyone had any experience of teaching down here/anywhere on the island
Life here is great - In the UK life is work, work, work - here values are different and I can see that people have more time for each other and of course the climate is just awesome.
Look forward to meeting other expats on this site and hopefully making it work here in Reunion!


Hi Jonathan,

We're a Franco-Irish family with a 7 and 5 y.o.s also in Saint Pierre, my wife is teaching English part time so it can be done.  As for IT I'm afraid I have no idea but you will need French what ever the story is.

Best of luck


Hi Stephen
Thank you for replying and good to know that it can be done!
Yes French is everything here so already I'm studying every day - long way to go though
Cheers and best of luck to you too


Hi Jonathan,

I created a new topic with your posts on the Reunion Island, it may help you to receive more specific anwers. :)

Thank you,

Priscilla  :cheers:

hi jonathan,

welcome to reunion island!! i'm happy to know that your wife is thriving here!!

I wish you good luck here on my island!!

I wish i had known you before!! right this morning my computer wouldn't start.... I managed to get it started again but i lost everything!!!POOR ME!!

In each family, you have someone who is a computer whizz (I was so impatient to do it by myself and my cousin lives in saint paul!! I thought I could do it!) and they don't do it for a living!! you can probably make it otherwise, i don't know...
if ever you needed some help, do not hesitate!!

Hi Jonathan,
Am Corinne from Mauritius and I also live in Reunion Island as am my husband is from Reunion. Well, for sure its not going to be That easy for you to get a job here if you dont speak french. Anyway, if you need friends, you are most welcome.

Hi Jonathon,
I have just read your blog and I have to say I am intrigued. It looks like your the kind of guy who just up and does it. My wife and I have itchy feet. We lived in France for 16 months and then returned to the UK but have not settled here at all.

Whilst in France my wife missed being in the UK, however after returning here she discovered that she preferred the quality of life in France. It was a big move for her and it opened her eyes slowly to the fact that the UK doesn't have much to offer.
My dream was to retire to France and spend my remaining days on this earth restoring our 700 year old farm. In some ways I want to continue doing that but our experience has led us to look further afield and Reunion Island cropped up as we have a friend in the UK who is an Islander.

I started a small business here in England in 2012 ( We specialise in cleaning the anti-foul paint off marine craft. The machine I use is a Farrow system F185. It has a plethora of applications and is potentially a lucrative business. I am slowly getting more interest in my services here. I understand that there are incentives for businesses to move to Reunion Island and I know that there is probably a good market there for these services for obvious reasons.

If we can get our act together the plan would be to move there lock stock and barrel. We own a house here in London which we would sell along with the place in France. I am particularly drawn to the climate there and of course Reunion is spectacularly beautiful!

I also have developed minor health problems which are exacerbated by the cold climate here. In fact I feel cold all the time in the UK even though we are in the merry month of May.

Sorry for rambling on but long story short if I moved there I would definitely be intersted in your services in respect of IT and help to setup, you might even want to get your hands dirty.

I really hope you make it, you sound like a resourceful guy so I am sure you will! I think you have done exactly the right thing, a little bit in at the deep end but a small sacrifice to make in light of your situation and your wife's failing health which I hope is on the mend!

If we moved there I have calculated that we would probably be able to buy a small house and establish the business with what's left over. Of course there will be obsacles to overcome and from my research Reunion has a high cost of living.

Let me know your thoughts, my email is info[at],
Bon courage

Julian you say that "whilst in France my wife missed being in the UK" - if you move here that will be exacerbated x10.

Hi Champacs,
Moving to France and then back to the UK served to open her eyes and her mind to other possibilities and changed her preconceptions about life in the UK. Actually I was suprised by her change of mind about remaining in the UK as she is not normally given to being fickle. She initially went along with what was my dream which put us into rather basic living conditions compared to our comfortable UK lifestyle. Going to France knocked her out of her comfort zone and it was only after returning to the UK that she realised how much fun it was doing something very different which involved drawing on all our resources!
Actually we are now as a  couple more in sync than ever because of our French experience and share a common purpose which has definitely enhanced our marriage and friendship!
Kind regards

I have to say that what you say is thought provoking especially in light of our recent failed attempt at relocating but on this occasion the impetus for this is more from my wife than me and I am sure that she certain in her mind that she will make it work come what may. I am aware that it is easy to sound reasonable and justify our desires and I am also aware that moving to such a far flung and remote place in the world such as Reuinion Island is no small undertaking but I/we cannot get this urge to migrate out of our system and I cannot understand or fully explain this suffice to say that it just won't go away. I am scared rigid by the prospect of moving yet again and the thought of it is exhausting. It is bourne not out of a lack in our lives but rather an innate urge to break free of a constraining cycle of sameness even though on the face of it there is no rational reason for such a move as there is a lot we can do and be involved in here. Yes I am to a certain degree a restless spirit and in some respects looking for a Utopian fictional island society which probably doesn't exist. So far I have not been propelled to action as I still have certain reservations primarily the most concerning of which is the upheaval to my family.
More thought and good counsel required methinks!

JC5 :

an innate urge to break free of a constraining cycle of sameness

Once you've settled in you could well find that you experience the 'cycle of sameness' here... I know I certainly do.

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