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Leaving Malta…

10 December, 2015 13 comments

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.

Leaving Malta...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.

Leaving Malta...

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.

Leaving Malta...

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.


Selçuk Aytimur 10 December, 2015 - 9:00 am

I too like Malta very much. I do not know the reason you moved back to UK but it must be a strong reason to leave such a beautiful country.

Rhi 10 December, 2015 - 10:42 am

I only left for a visit to the UK.

selçuk aytimur 10 December, 2015 - 9:40 pm

Glad to hear that I misunderstood and you will return back :-)

Rhi 10 December, 2015 - 10:17 pm

My attempt to be funny

Kelly 10 December, 2015 - 1:44 pm

when are you going to visit you dad?

Rhi 10 December, 2015 - 2:48 pm

It’s hard to get over to you as we can only ever come over for a short trip and of course grandparents are the priority; we can’t always fit everyone in. Also, these are working trips, not holidays, so we only really have the evenings free meaning you’d need to come over to us and I don’t know how possible that is. I will let you know next time we’re over and if you can make it to us of an evening then of course we can do something.

Scott Lee Holloway 10 December, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Oh my god Rhi! Almost gave me a heart attack! I thought you were leaving Malta and returning to UK for good for a small second haha!

Your website is by far my favourite site/guide to life in Malta and I would miss it so much!

I might even start my own blog when I move as you’ve inspired me and it seems like great fun :-) I dabbled in blogging before but didn’t get much traffic so lost interest as only my close friends were really reading my posts haha!


Rhi 10 December, 2015 - 2:50 pm

Hehe just my idea of a little joke :D had the effect I hoped for and it’s actually so nice that people care! You absolutely should start your own, it was fun for me to blog in my excitement and for longer than a year it was only me and my closest friends too, it built up very slowly but it will happen if you keep up!

Scott Lee Holloway 10 December, 2015 - 3:07 pm

Amazing! I definitely will :)

Glad you’re not actually leaving Malta for good and that you still love life there. Always a bonus to prove the critics wrong who said it would never work out :)


annmucc 10 December, 2015 - 5:36 pm

You make me want to return home to Malta! Though like you where I am now in a way is ‘home’. I do love visiting on holiday though!

Beth 29 May, 2016 - 11:58 am

Reading this was like having my inner thoughts and feelings explained. I have not visited malta in 10 years and now my holiday to malta is imminent i really feel like i am heading home for the first time in years. I have always felt like i belong there especially as the island has special meaning to my family. My grandad spent the war in malta as an aircraft engineer and to us it is the special place that always makes us think of my amazing grandad. Going to malta makes me feel closer to him and i think this will be a way for me to be with him again in spirit after his death a year and a half ago. I really enjoy reading your posts! Please keep them coming!

Jasmine gill 26 October, 2016 - 7:53 pm

If my cousin is leaving Malta where she has lived since 14 but was born in the U.K. Her mother is Maltese but she wants to move here for a year to work? What does she need to inform hmrc of over here? She has dual citizenship and an national insurance number! What else does she need?

Kevin 28 October, 2016 - 9:51 am

I did leave Malta 5 years ago. Only to come back… :-)


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