Posted in News on Monday, May 27, 2019 by The Beachcomber Tours Correspondent
Vanessa de Gersigny, Marketing Coordination Manager for the Beachcomber Group, loves surprises. Every year on Mother’s Day she is blessed with a new one. The Gersigny’s have a special lifestyle, where wellness of the body, soul and planet is key. All these elements are combined to celebrate critical thinking and imagination in all their splendor. This Mother’s Day, Sunday May 26, we invite you to meet an exceptional woman, a wife and a mother.
Artisan at Beachcomber for the past twelve years, and a married and mother of three children aged 11, 6 and 1 respectively, Vanessa de Gersigny juggles with statistics on a daily basis. She determines the pricing strategy and boosts the rates through special offers. She scrutinizes past records and plans for the future. She also directs the marketing trend of the group by coordinating with different partners based on the demands of the markets and operational challenges. There is also more to her skills! She liaises with internal departments namely, the IT, the content and the sales departments.
Vanessa de Gersigny was born in Mauritius. When she was just a year her parents left the island. She spent her childhood and teenage years on Reunion Island, the south of France and in Gabon before returning to Mauritius at the age of 15. After high school she enrolled in a five-year study program in business studies in Toulouse, France and went on to spend six months in Syndey, Australia, as part of her end of year internship. She then decided to return to Mauritius with her husband and start a family.
As a woman with important professional duties, a mother and a wife, she manages to strike the right balance between her two lives, thanks to a topnotch organization. “Everything is about being well organized. When I am at work, I give 200 percent and when I am at home, I am 200 percent mom. Your professional life and your family life should be kept separate. This distinction is vital for a good balance and for the wellbeing of the entire family. I will never be able to make it without one or the other. Work is important for personal growth: staying active, meeting people, taking on challenges and continuing to grow,” she affirms. Being a mum, she adds, allows her, “to let go, to return to her childhood days and be carefree”. One of her favorite sayings is, “Do things seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.”
« Laughing is primordial. »
Vanessa de Gersigny knows how to balance professional and family responsibilities and her family endorses her lifestyle. “It comes naturally from the moment everyone accepts the shift,” she states. She carries out her role as a mother with love, humour and patience. “Time is priceless nowadays. Allowing time for those we love is primordial,” she adds.
She also chooses to “give free space" to her children, to “teach them to fend for themselves.” She has learnt to “be there for them, to help them grow and be happy.” Her secret formula is to allow them to get bored, develop their own imagination and make their own mistakes. She guides them but lets them fall so that they can stand on their own feet. “The world they will live in will not be easy and I want to provide them with all the tools to help them make their way, be happy and develop their critical thinking. This is done daily with simplicity, lots of smiles and laughs. Laughter holds a special place in our family life.”
To her, values have to be put into practice on a daily basis, and among them, there is self-help. “I don’t think that a mother has to be at the service of her children. She has to be there for them but they also have a very important role within the family. We are here for each other. They learn from me as much as I learn from them.” If being a mother is to be a guide, Vanessa de Gersigny sees this role as “a relationship with privileged exchanges and sharing.” Without reciprocity, life is meaningless even if we give 200 percent of ourselves.
« Time is priceless nowadays. It is vital to dedicate time to those we love. »
The world has evolved in such a way that consumerism has expanded significantly. The evolution of technology and communications has transformed the planet into a global village. Instant news, Internet and the virtual world dominate. Vanessa de Gersigny knows that we have to protect our children from the pitfalls of progress and growth. This is where our choice of lifestyle becomes crucial. “To protect them, certainly, but how? Our children do not have a tablet, a mobile phone or video games. We only have one smartphone and one tablet for the whole family. Even as parents, we don't use them unless we really need to.”
However, the Gersigny’s, spend heartily on books, board games and everything that promotes their children's development of critical thinking and imagination. “We let them get bored voluntarily and they always find a way to entertain themselves whether it is through outdoor games, reading or building games.”
This method teaches them wellbeing: eat and drink healthily, live healthily, close to nature and do sports. It connects them with authenticity. It builds strong human relationships based on respect and effort.
"We try to educate our children on good values, whether they are physical, intellectual or good for the planet, through hours and hours outdoors playing sports, outdoor games or trekking. This also includes hours of voluntary reading and manual activities.”
A lifestyle is environment-friendly and based on values. “Absolutely. We try on a daily basis to respect the earth. We manufacture some of our own household items and try not to buy too many wrapped goods. We recycle some of the packaging that we don’t need and we try to make little use of our car. For instance, on weekends we do our groceries by bicycle.”
Every morning, each member of the family goes in a different direction, whether to go to school or work, and the house becomes an empty shell. When we see each other again in the afternoon, the family is a priority. Depending on the days, the weather, we go for a trip on our bikes or for a walk, we play board or construction games on the floor so that our one-year old can have fun too. We always eat together. It is an opportunity for us to talk about anything. There is no taboo. After dinner, we do some reading.”
“Weekends are all about the family and sports. We make sure that we do not have to do much grocery shopping or shopping in general. We dedicate our time to family sports activities – competition or not - nature walks, picnics, and plenitude. Each member of the family chooses an activity, DIY or gardening with the family, arts and craft activities. We are cool parents but we also encourage our children to take part in house chores and all, depending on their abilities of course.”
Another key component of this choice of lifestyle: “We are never in front of the TV and we watch it only twice per week and always on evenings together.” Afternoons, evenings, on open days and weekends are “sacred and indispensable spaces” in a week.
The Gersigny’s will celebrate all these values on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 26. “For me it is an opportunity to celebrate the family and the special moments we spend together.” Vanessa de Gersigny does not guess what the day will be like. “I love surprises and each year is different. We’ll see.” No doubt each family member will contribute to the joy of this special day.