Sir Richard Branson once said: “If happiness is the goal – and it should be – then adventures should be top priority.” But we are creatures of habit and sometimes need a little extra help shifting out of our comfort zones.
For me, that extra push came in the form of an all-inclusive holiday to the picturesque island of Mauritius, courtesy of Club Med. As a first-time guest at a Club Med resort, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Nothing prepared me for La Plantation d’Albion. The resort, which recently underwent an upgrade, is set along one of the wildest beaches on the west coast of Mauritius.
La Plantation d’Albion is one of the resorts in Club Med’s Exclusive Collection. What this means is that luxury-loving travellers can enjoy everything the resort has to offer while staying in the luxury villas. We were fortunate enough to call one of these locally crafted Albion Villas home for the duration of our stay.
We arrived at our villa just a little after 9pm and we were greeted by Daisy, our own private butler. Daisy gave us the lay of the land and offered us a dinner she had prepared just in case we weren’t up to the task of heading to the resort to catch the buffet before it closed.
The light dinner was perfect following the day’s travels and one of my villa mates, Natasha, and I spent the rest of the evening out on our private terrace taking in the beauty of our surroundings. As we got acquainted with the villa and each other, we were treated to the sight of a rabbit skittering across the property between the vegetation.
We were intrigued by what our stay would hold since Club Med’s all-inclusive offering gives guests access to over 30 activities. Natasha mentioned that she had always wanted to try archery and seeing as how it was one of the activities available to us, now was the time. While I hadn’t given much thought to what I wanted to try, Natasha’s enthusiasm got me thinking.
When one thinks of island vacations, lounging around lazily with a cocktail in hand is usually high on the list of things to do. However, the array of land and water activities included in Club Med’s offering left me wondering what would happen if I tried something new?
So, in the spirit of research and being open-minded, I scanned the Club Med app for a suitable activity and prepared myself to step outside of my comfort zone.
Unlocking new hobbies
The next morning, we were off to a late start and were treated to breakfast at the villa, lovingly prepared by Daisy, before we set out on a quick tour of the resort. The activities offered at d’Albion allow you to get back in touch with yourself, your passions and your loved ones. They also offer you the opportunity to try something new and as we made our way around the resort stopping at the different areas, I decided I would face my fear of “death by adventure” once and for all.
After a hearty lunch with the rest of our group at La Phare restaurant, we headed back to the villa for a dip in our private infinity pool. Daisy called the boathouse and made a booking for us to go sailing and just like, that the wheels were in motion for me to face my fears. First, however, I committed to joining Natasha on her dream of trying out archery.
We arrived at the archery house and were met by Adrien, the friendly Gentle Organiser (GO) running the activity. Club Med resort staff are known as Gentle Organisers, and they have quite an important role to play around the resort.
The resort is family focused and fun forward and the GOs are some of the friendliest, most supportive people to help ease the anxiety associated with trying new things. Adrien gave us the rundown on how the activity worked and shared a few tips to make sure we wouldn’t get hurt in the process.
“Pull the bow away from your body like a ballerina,” he said and soon our arrows were whizzing through the air towards the target like we were pros. I’m glad I joined Natasha on her escapade because it revealed my undiscovered affinity for archery. Still on a high from having discovered a new hobby, I readied myself for the real challenge.
We arrived at the boathouse and while Natasha had to chase down a deadline, I was joined on my quest to conquer the open ocean by another member of our group, Joni. Both Joni and I were quite nervous about the idea of sailing.
My palms were clammy, and my mind flooded with thoughts of everything that could go wrong. The fear was probably written all over my face because the GOs at the boathouse had to reassure me that everything would be alright. “You’re going out with Dylan. He is the best at sailing,” said one of them.
We put on our life jackets, hopped onto the sailboat and clung onto it for dear life. The water was relatively calm, but I was weary of what would happen once we left the bay. To my surprise, Dylan’s calm demeanour helped me relax more and more.
The further we got into the deep water, the more I was overcome with a sense of peace and calm. Nothing brings you face to face with mortality like jumping onto a little boat and heading out on the open sea and by following through and finishing what I had started, I opened myself up to the possibility that good things happen when you are open to new experiences no matter how scary it may seem at first.
While scanning the Club Med app the day before, I came across trapeze as an activity. Next on my list was to conquer my fear of heights. But that’s a story for another day.