x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Buy a second home or holiday in the Seychelles? It’s a tricky decision.

I’d like to buy a second property in April this year. I ‘d also like to go on holiday to the Seychelles in the same month. Both have been big dreams for a while. The second home is part of my financial plan to invest more and diversify my portfolio. And the Seychelles? Well, who doesn’t want to go on holiday there?
I grew up living in Mauritius. And on the flight back to the island from my native home in the United Kingdom, the plane often stopped off to refuel in the Seychelles. At that point, all the well-heeled passengers from first and business class disembarked leaving the rest of us in economy looking on enviously. I determined then, as a young child of about seven, that one day I would return.
But to time my dream trip with the same month I’m buying a second property makes for a very expensive month. I decided one of the dreams had to go on hold. Basically I was torn between making a sensible investment that would benefit my family in years to come - an investment that should be made quickly as property prices in the UK are shooting upwards - and a luxury holiday in a stunning location. 
Yes, life is about balance and we must all relax in beautiful environments to get the best out of it but the Seychelles was one luxury I could live without. Or could I?  The prospect of another staycation in the UAE just didn’t offer the same excitement so I started researching my options.
My favoured airline, Emirates, was actually doing me a disservice on this trip. Return flights for a family of four were going to cost a small fortune and they weren’t even delivering us to the island we planned to stay on.  Etihad on the other hand could fly us to the island with one change for over Dh4,000 less.
Then I needed to rethink the accommodation. Five-star hotels are always a pleasure but we have an abundance of them right here in the UAE. So, the bespoke luxury hotel was quickly replaced with a modest self-catering wooden chalet right on the beach. 
There are kayaks my family and I can paddle to neighbouring beaches, daily fishing and snorkelling trips and giant tortoises roaming around the property. It’s beautiful, it’s remote and it’s going to deliver the type of rustic, fuss-free holiday I used to enjoy in Mauritius many moons ago - before all the big hotel chains carved up the island.
And the second property? Mortgage approval is in process so all I have to do now is to find a house I want to buy.  It seems that sometimes, with some careful financial planning, you can have your cake and eat it.