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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 22 Dec 2014
KATHERINE BOYNS FROM HORSES TO RIDING THE WAVES

DEAR KATHERINE, WHERE DO YOU HAIL FROM?
I spent my childhood in the UK, born in London, in the same year as the brand I work for (Rip Curl 1969)! My parents had differing views about where we should live so when I was 7, we moved to the New Forest, rural South of England. The New Forest is particularly special as it includes one of the largest remaining tracts of un-enclosed pasture land, a haven for horse owners. Ponies still roam free today on the forest. This was the be-ginning of my love of the outdoors.

YOUR CHILDHOOD MUST HAVE BEEN FULL OF FUN, WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE?
Life in the country in the UK was very peaceful, rather like where I live in Mauritius today. Without mobiles or tablets, we spent more time outdoors, but for me it was really all about horses, with most weekends spent at horse events or dog shows. Crufts  Dog Show which we attended annually in London was quite spectacular and my mum would compete in the event with our Border Collies.
One thing our kids today have missed out on is the ability to walk where they want. Living in Burley as a kid, I remember walking and running on my own in isolated areas such as through forests and along country lanes, never once feeling in danger. 
Thanks to my parents, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to own horses and compete at Area level events such as Pony Club Eventing, Showing Jumping and Tetrathlons, the latter consisting of 4 events (running, swimming, horse riding and pistol shooting). Some of my happiest child-hood memories involve the people surrounding these events, who showed me what teamwork’s all about and how to be strong and push your-self when it matters.
My interest in Media started in my teens – My first job was in a bustling local radio Newsroom and I completely embarrassed myself by trying my hand at live broadcasting. Not to go into too much detail here, but one thing I will say is that while reporting on an extra wide ‘Abnormal load’ (ie. Oil tanker) traveling by road to Poole, Dorset, I said the load was 60km wide, instead of 6 metres, on live radio!  Another time, I had to fly in a Cesna plane for the first time, feeling nauseous, trying to make out which road is which while trying to do a live morning Traffic Report.

PLEASE SHARE INFO ABOUT ANY IMPORTANT MILESTONES  IN YOUR LIFE
My two lovely girls were born in  Mauritius in 1998 and 2000, and I’m happily remarried in 2009, all very special times in my life. I became a Mauritian citizen in 2006.

HOW DID YOU LAND ON THE ROCK?
After working in London for 7 years with the BBC and Ernst & Young, I arrived in Mauritius in 1995 to spend one year on the island. “I thought it would be cool to take a break and spend a year on the beach”. Little did I know this was the beginning of a 19 year journey with many experiences on the ‘rock’. The island was very different back in 1995.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I’ve had a varied work career in different fields, with my latest venture into Retail being the most stimulating and exciting. As Regional Manager of Rip Curl Mauritius, it’s kind of hands on in every respect. I love communicating with people, hearing their stories and Rip Curl gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Rip Curl is the ULTIMATE SURF
COMPANY, a manufacturer and retailer of quality surf products, clothing and accessories. In Mauritius, our stores at Grand Bay and Trou aux Biches offer the latest Authentic Rip Curl beach, fashion and casual wear plus many accessories including watches, bags, wallets, caps and hats. We also exclusively stock some other international brands: Reef Brazil footwear, Oakley eyewear, Dot Dash & Neff sunglasses as well as Australian Gold sunscreen products.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?
After starting out in London, followed by such an outdoor later childhood, then back to London, Mauritius has offered me the chance to juggle a satisfying job with an outdoor life and a lifestyle that’s not too confining and has a bit of both worlds. I’ve always lived in the north of Mauritius and  love driving to work with sugar cane trucks and tractors, seeing Peter  Both and Le Pouce mountains in the distance. Mauritius has amazing sunsets and double rainbows, what’s not to like!

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