This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but when something is so emotional, it can be hard to find the words. They only came to me as I was sitting on the plane, watching Malta get smaller and smaller until it faded away into the distance…
When we first told people we were moving to Malta, most people were not all that supportive. More than anything I found myself listening to assurances that ‘it would never work’ or ‘it wont last’. Well, after exactly five and a half years, I think I can confidently say that they were all wrong and that whatever happens now, I can look back on those years and know I did the best I could. I firmly believe that something doesn’t have to last forever in order to be deemed a success. Joe and I built a life here, from scratch, (a good life at that) and that’s something I can be proud of, without ever having to look back and wonder ‘what if?’. We did it, we had a great time and that is all that matters.
After you’ve been in Malta for 3 years, whenever you meet new people they almost demand to know if you’ll be staying forever, and whilst Malta has felt like home since the day I stepped off that plane, it’s not a question I’ve ever been able to answer. Yes, five and a half years have absolutely flown by, but that doesn’t mean I can commit to another five and a half years, let alone forever. Forever is a long time and there are a lot of things about Malta that make it hard to consider a ‘forever home’. Most people leave at around the 2-3 year mark, so I think that making it almost six years is really quite remarkable.
But, however many things I may miss when I’m in Malta, or however many things I wish would improve, when, like now, I’m leaving Malta for a UK visit, I don’t really enjoy all those things that Malta is missing, as the overwhelming sense of missing Malta is much, much stronger. Malta really and truely, is my home. In my heart, it’s the place I long for. Not my apartment, not the bed I’m used to, but Malta. That silly little country in the Mediterranean. It’s still very much where I belong and I cannot even imagine myself living anywhere else.
I visit the UK quite a lot, as I have family here who I want to see as much as possible and I always have an amazing time catching up with everyone, but whether I’m here for 3 days or 3 weeks, I spend my whole time missing Malta, missing home. Yes, being in Tesco makes me miss proper supermarkets. Yes, car journeys make me miss proper road trips. Yes, the countryside makes me miss proper forests and wilderness. But yet, as soon as I land in the UK, I just want to go back home.
Malta, I love your climate. I love that even on the coldest days, it’s still warmer than most of Europe and the sun is almost always shining. I love that it doesn’t rain for most of the year, and when it does rain, it’s generally hard and fast, not a long, drawn out drizzle. Malta, I love that I don’t have to wake up in the dark, go to work in the frost, and come home after sunset. Malta, I love that I am never far from the sea, whether it’s calm and swimmable, or crashing 5 foot waves, I can enjoy it basically whenever I want.
Malta, I love that I can get a huge, delicious coffee for €1.50, or dine out without breaking the bank. Malta, I love that, whilst not as lush and green as other countries, your landscape is still beautiful and diverse. I love that after 5 years in Malta, I’m still discovering new places to see, new sites, new interesting facts and history. Malta, I love how parts of you remain so charmingly old fashioned and quaint, whilst other parts are really starting to catch up with the modern world and give me some of the ‘vibe’ and choice I miss from the rest of Europe.
But most of all Malta, I love how you’ve allowed me to become the person I was always supposed to be, by providing me with somewhere that feels like home. Somewhere I feel like I belong, so I’m glad that, in just a few days after this trip is done, I’ll be right back on my little rock. I may leave you sometimes Malta, but rest assured I will always be home soon.