You have lived in Malta for many years now. What unique perspectives and insights has this given you?
My adventure living overseas started when I arrived in Malta on vacation in 2005. At that time, I did not know much about this little island, but I had seen Malta qualify for the Euro Football Championship and the World Cup. I have always been fascinated by small islands, and I thought this would be an interesting destination to travel to. It’s also sunny and summer year-round here!
I booked a flight, but no hotel room the first night. I only brought one bag. The first place I traveled to was the capital Valletta. I walked around to try to find a place to stay for the night. It was warm, but interesting walking around in the city. This old city has a rich history. After looking at various places to stay, I booked a room at a hotel. Later in the week, I traveled around and explored other parts of the island.
I enjoyed my time there so much I went to Malta for vacation another two times. This was when Malta had its own currency, Maltese lire, though now they use the Euro.
In 2008, I decided to move to Malta
It was in 2008 I decided to move to Malta. I applied for a job on the island I got accepted. I took a chance to try something new and moved here. The great weather around the Mediterranean Sea was also a huge plus.
Laid Back Atmosphere
We have a very comfortable lifestyle here in Malta. The Maltese are very “laid back” in many ways, and it’s something that is contagious. Exercising just kind of goes away..! It’s walking distance to cafes and eateries, and it’s easy to eat a little too much at times. On top of that, the portions are huge.
My adventure on Malta started with me being tired of my current job. I desired to try something new. A new culture and more pleasant weather. As the years go by, I have continued to stay here. Time flies here as well. Outside of work I enjoy a very pleasant warm temperature with great food and drinks, swimming, diving, and traveling around experiencing the local culture here.
It’s also a large football interest here on the island, and when the popular football teams are playing, you can always watch your team play. I think I’ve watched a little too much football while I have been here though!
Malta has given me many positive experiences, and during my time here I have met a broad international community with people with nationalities from all over the world. People from all over Europe, many countries in Asia, South America and Africa.
Have you had any unique cultural experiences during your time there?
I had many interesting cultural experiences while on vacation at various places on the island. Currently, I do work a lot, but on the weekends I get the opportunity to travel the island. Visiting the neighboring islands Gozo and Comino is fun. Both of these islands belong to Malta, and you can travel there with a ferry or go on a guided tour. Gozo is smaller than Malta, and a quieter place. Comino is even smaller, and you can experience The Blue Lagoon which has an idyllic swimming spot. The island has its own hotel, but very few residents live there year round.
When it comes to culture shock to my own culture, It’s a very relaxed lifestyle here. If you need something fixed in your apartment, you have to be patient as things tend to take a little longer in this very “laid back” culture…
On a positive note, Malta is a very peaceful island. It has a very low crime rate, and you really feel safe here.
I have a story from when I lost my wallet. I went to the police station to fill out a report about it. That evening my doorbell rung, and the police said they had found my wallet. I went with them, and to my surprise, all the money and my bank cards were in the wallet! I told them I wanted to give them a finder’s fee, but they said they did not need a finder’s fee for this. But they said they would really appreciate a cold beer in the hot weather I went to the local pub and got each of the policemen a cold beer. I think this could only happen in Malta.
For others traveling or moving overseas, any advice to give? Anything you now know that you wish you knew then?
I have to say that it’s very exciting to move to another country. It can sound a little scary if you’ve never done it before, but you’ll quickly get connected through people at work or others you’ve met in the city.
If you’re planning on staying in Malta over a longer period of time, I would recommend looking into buying an apartment instead of renting. I would have purchased an apartment earlier, though when I moved here, I did not know I would be living here this long.
For others traveling to Malta, any recommendations for others to do that are lesser known?
If you’ve never been to Malta, I would recommend some of the places where you can experience more of the culture. St. Paul’s Cathedral is very impressive. In Valletta, you have to see the view at Upper Baracca Garden and Fort St. Elmo. In Sliema and Mellieha you can experience popular beaches, restaurants, and shopping. Mdina also has to be experienced, which was the previous capital. It’s now a relaxing place with a rich history. A Visit to Gozo and Comino can absolutely be recommended, and you’ll then get to see The Blue Lagoon.
Any interesting cuisine you recommend others to try?
As a tourist on Malta, it can be fun to try the local food. The national dish is rabbit, and you can order it at many locations around the island.