I’ve often thought, if sustainability was a woman, it would surely explain her knack for keeping secrets. Sometimes as silent as an ancient goddess, lost to us as truth to myth over time and eventually forgotten between the indecipherable lines of an ancient book.
At times I’ve made her into a painter. A beautiful woman that paints on her stoep somewhere in the Klein Karoo, her contours as sensual as the flow of her long brown hair and the lines of paint that escape her paint brush – irresistibly sexy to those as attracted to creativity as metamorphose to imagination.
Once she introduced herself as a nymph, Selkie and water fairy in my dream. I watched her eyebrows rise to a certain Politics and Policy and I suddenly woke to her laughter when they claimed to know how or where to get hold of her these days.
It is hard not to give up on ever meeting her.
I’ll be honest: I never expected to find her in the Seychelles. She started whispering through the simplest of pleasures. I was so dumbfounded that I momentarily thought these 115 islands were some version of Utopia.
The Seychelles is honeymoon capital. Lovers flock from every corner of the earth to these infamous beaches. And I can understand why. These 115 islands have some of the best beaches I have ever practice my beach bumming on.
But back to the honeymooners, I remember lying in the sun one morning, watching a Russian couple struggling to take a selfie with the both of them. After I few minuets I felt so sorry for them that my hopeless romantic side dragged me out of the sun chair and walked me over to offer to take their picture. Afterwards I asked them if they were enjoying their honeymoon, if the stress of the wedding ceremony had subsided.
“Oh, no, we didn’t get married now. We are just on our honeymoon.”
“I see, so you decided to go on honeymoon much later?”
“No, no, we went on honeymoon directly after our wedding.”
I was confused. “So your’e just on a holiday then?”
“No! We are on honeymoon, it is just our third one.”
I have a great friend that read this post and added:
I think you should have a line somewhere that she would be horrified that in the end humans chose such an un-sexy name for her, one that is so misleading and can easily be influenced by captialist agendas and ‘ideas’ of protecting patriarchal norms. Surely if she was to name herself it wouldn’t be ‘sustainability’, it would be far more holistic … maybe even something like “Love”.
Sustainability requires empathy with everything you come in contact with, essentially caring for it as much as you would for yourself. I would think that love lies at the very heart of sustainability and love, let me assure you, is everywhere on these islands.
A Batfish comes up for air while we’re on an Island hop between three of Seychelles’ inner islands – Felicité Island, Isle Coco & Curieuse Island with Mason’s Travel. This DMC funds the Seychelles Island Foundation and although they (are one of) the biggest companies in the country, they’re certainly not unique. The sense of responsibility taken by Sechellios companies – without enforcing a strict CSI – just amazed me. Even the Boathouse Restaurant gives back.
A fellow traveller from Germany was so moving to watch. This little girl and this friendly Giant Tortoise totally had a connection. Maybe they were soul mates that met for a short while on Curieuse Island in the National Marine Park. Maybe this island, in protecting the eco-system, also protects moments like these, so every now and again they can inspire a gentler touch and true wonder for one another.
I travelled courtesy of Seychelles Tourism Board , Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label and Air Seychelles. Opinions expressed are my own.