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Looking back to how our Aride tropical adventure all started...

We managed to secure our positions on Aride Island, Seychelles in March, ready to start in November, giving us 7 months to prepare. This may sound like enough time to gear up to life in the tropics, after all how prepared do you need to be for such a remote idyllic existence? Well we soon found out that 7 months was never going to be long enough, each day was dominated by our forthcoming trip, accompanied with a complete rollercoaster of emotion, and filled with nervous excitement, as we prepared to embark on the most adventurous journey either of us had ever chosen. We prepared rigorously; this was a trait that we both shared. We both placed significance on the importance of attention to detail, like someone training for the London Marathon, but without the exercise! Melv researched on the internet for hours from diseases to delicacies, he found potions for coral ear and fishing techniques for yellowfin tuna. I equipped us with the technology we needed and sought to gain the knowledge of how to use it! Life took a completely different turn: we were about to venture into the unknown.

A big part of experiencing a different life was being able to share it, both with each other and also with people back at home. A little unsure about the forms of communication on the island, I wanted to be as prepared as I could. I started two blogs, one for family and friends and one as a tool for us to work with schools. Although not an experienced blogger by any stretch of the imagination, I felt that it could be a useful vehicle to communicate across the hundreds of miles that were going to separate us from family and friends. As a tool it would provide both Melv and I the opportunity to project our very different personalities and tell stories of our new lives in a manner that people could associate with. We were even approached by the BBC who were keen to follow our journey and gave us a video camera to record footage of our new lives for BBC Spotlight News.

Before our trip the BBC journalist recorded the first video footage, portrayed in the clip below:

It felt quite bizarre that going off to a remote island introduced me to new sophisticated technology and presented me with challenges like blogs, digital cameras and MP3s. For the first time I downloaded talking books and explored the wonders of putting thousands of music tracks on something the size of a match box!

The feature on Spotlight news only served to heighten our excitement, as people became intrigued about our forthcoming adventure, and what was a leap of faith into a completely new world. Like David McKee’s Mr Benn, an animated children’s television character from the early 70s, we were about to take on new identities; to cast off our scarves and put on our sunglasses. We had been given the chance to unlock our own magic door and swap Somerset security for the unknown of the Seychelles.

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