Firstly, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Gaius, I'm currently a 2nd year student living on the east coast of the US, majoring in Information Technology with focus in Network Security and Administration. I'm pursuing at least a Bachelors in the subject, but am hoping to head for a Masters before I ever leave the US. Now, onto the true body of this...
I've always loved the idea of living and working abroad. Throughout my youth and young adulthood, I've been very well traveled, being to almost every state in the US, (curses, Hawaii was just too expensive for a newly-graduated minimum-wage teen) including a several month stay in Alaska, as well as exploring Canada, and have visited the UK, France, Russia, and Germany. I've known of Mauritius since I was a child and discovered it's name in an odd little children's book about where extinct animals lived, with the letters spelling Mauritius spelled out through it. I've been fascinated ever since, and have truly pondered the aspect of dropping everything here and moving to work across the globe. I really have no issue with completely resigning my citizenship in the US and attempting to become a commonwealth citizen in Mauritius. I also am not starstruck by the dream of living on an untamed island, I've just always liked isolation, and understand that I'd be working full-time to support myself there, certainly not living beachfront and drinking a fruity drink, though there's a retirement goal to aim for.
As well, this isn't an immediate plan. I'm a very cautious and careful person, and like to plan out my every move far in advance before I make it. I'd not even have the finances to make the move for around 3-5 years, let alone the education and confidence. I'm just wanting to get an idea right now as to whether or not life in Mauritius would be a viable option for myself.
Now, onto my questions. Even if a single of these can get answered, I'd be immensely grateful. Firstly... What is the process of obtaining work as an Expat like? Particularly challenging to find work, or arrange a place of living on the island? As well, how is the pay compared to most Information Technology careers in the US? (Say... $50,000 USD a year average) As well, if I potentially had a spouse when I made the move, say she's something along the lines of a Music major with a degree in both Music and Education. Would she be able to find a job with some effort, or would she have to settle for something more practical? (I know even in the US music major jobs are incredibly scarce, just making sure the Education degree wouldn't help) As well, do any Expat careers allow for a "looking" trip to the island, to get the feel for the land and see how it is? That would be ideal, as traveling there on a vacation is completely out of my price range right now.
Next, what is the transition like once you've touched down and started to settle in? I'm trying to simply avoid a total culture shock with this, and making sure I won't be universally hated by a group of people. (I live in the South of the US, and am accustomed to receiving mass hatred and threats from people who disagree with any of my beliefs, so I can adapt to it if I move) Just is the transition into the culture a very hard one to make, or would doing some research and talking with other Expats and locals help the process? This would be the hardest process for my spouse, as she has fairly strong ties to her home, while I could care less to leave it tomorrow.
Lastly, and somewhat related to the last question, what is day-to-day life like on Mauritius for a working man? I expect to obviously work, but what are the day-to-day hassles and happenings of life? Pros/Cons of the island life? I've read the argument that's 8 pages long in another forum post, and it's just got me worried about life, pollution, trash everywhere, ect, though I expect they were exaggerating to an extent. How do the marketplaces operate, the haggling and such? (Also, is the skin tax a sincere issue? I don't mind paying more as a visitor for a while, but would like to be treated as a local if I chose to stay for my lifetime.) As well, how are amenities and services on the island? Just a general picture of a week would be perfect.
I thank anyone who read all the way through this very much for looking at my questions, and a special thanks for any answers. I would just like to make sure this would be the life for me before I move somewhere the total size of the county in which I grew up in.