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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 01 Nov 2011
HUGO NUNES

The Portugal native lives an active lifestyle. This is something that’s typical for him and has been ever since he was eight years old and discovered how much he loved sports.

Hugo starts his day off early, at around 7: am. He typically does his morning workout and goes for a run before heading to work at the hotel. Depending on how busy the hotel is and the time of year, he could be giving a few tennis lessons or could be busy for the entire day with up to twelve lessons. He also works hard on the administrative side of things and says he’s lucky to work with a great team at the sport and tennis center.

 An Active Early Life in Portugal

Hugo, who speaks five different languages, grew up being raised, mostly, by his mother and grandmother as his father spent a lot of time working overseas. He says he was a bit of a spoiled and indulged child by his mother and grandmother but looks back fondly at a very happy and busy childhood. He was kept busy with a lot of different sports activities because frankly, he couldn’t handle being still for too long and his mother and grandmother knew that he’d be happiest spending his energy on sports. Besides, they needed an occasional rest! He found outlets for his boundless energy with tennis, football, soccer, and gymnastics starting at the age of 8. Hugo excelled in school and immersed himself in language but was always filled with so much energy that he had difficulty staying still for too long. As much as he loved learning, he preferred walking, running, and playing sports. Good thing he eventually moved to Mauritius!

After high school, his college studies were interrupted for mandatory military duty in Portugal. After the military, he started coaching tennis and came to work in Mauritius after a good friend suggested he apply.

Journey to Mauritius

Hugo received a call one day from a childhood friend who had come to Mauritius to work and contacted him when the company was hiring. Hugo was happy working as a tennis coach in a Portugal resort but decided to come and check it out for a three month stay after his friend convinced him of the beauty and opportunities for work and play here. That three months was three years ago.

Moving here and only knowing one person in the country was a big transition for the 31 year old who is single and has never been so far from home before. He quickly adapted and made plenty of friends.

Sadly, after moving here, Hugo’s grandmother passed away. This made a big impact on his life and his philosophy. Not being able to attend the funeral was difficult, especially given how close he was to her and how instrumental she was in his upbringing. But this event taught Hugo something valuable. It taught him not to take anything for granted in life and he does his best to treasure every moment he has.

When he’s not working and teaching tennis, he absolutely loves motorbikes. Whenever there’s a free moment, Hugo and his best friends, Marcel (Director at Team Advantage) and Joseph (of Clique Photography) with some other friends go for long motorcycle rides on the island. Another person who is very dear to him is his girlfriend, Claudia. Back when Hugo lived in Portugal, he used to go to the Moto GP Grand Prix every year. To this day, if there is a race on TV, you cannot move him from it.

When asked what he likes most about living here he said “The people. I have made many friends here and if one day I do go back to my country or go work somewhere else, I will never forget the friends I have here.”

Hugo says that his philosophy in life might be considered corny or cheesy to some but he firmly believes that he needs to keep moving and loves to quote the movie Top Gun. “I feel the need, the need for speed.”

This is how Hugo lives his life. He says “Ask me anything; just don’t ask me to stand still!”

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