WOW! Two years have passed since we packed up our life in Havana, and flew off to Europe. Very soon we will celebrate our 2nd anniversary on this island and wow, what a journey it has been. Two years Locally Abroad in Malta and I so many things happened in that time.
Since I want to share more about me and my life, I thought this is an excellent opportunity for a more personal post about why we ended up in Malta, what happened in our two years here.
Exciting Move to an Unknown Island
The last two years have been a lot for me. I settled in a new country (ok to be fair: nothing I really struggle with). We have faced ups and downs, emotionally and financially. I went from my first full-time office job to a comfortable work in marketing, to a job that was ultimately off and became a freelancer and fully independent from my location. In these two years, we made terrific new friends, visited lots of new places and kind of grew up more. Well, at least we think we did…
I went from extreme highs to extreme lows, lied on the beach countless times, started working 12h+ on many many days, took a class, started a career and am now starting a business. I got sunburned, I thought I will freeze to death in the Mediterranean winter (I know a bit dramatic) and bought a whole new wardrobe.
During the two years, I did lots of new stuff, I went to a 5-star dinner and a rooftop pool-party for example, but I had the best food at BBQs on the beach with friends. I found back to my passion, and I am mixing work in front of my laptop with other activities.
Are you ready to get a glimpse on my two years locally abroad? A lot has changed since I first started this blog.
Settling in Malta
It was around February 2017 when we were visiting my family and friends in Germany and were about to head back to Havana when we decided to move to Europe. We were looking into some places until my boyfriend asked out of the blue: ” So what do you think about Malta.
“At the time I connected 2 things with Malta: The one counselor at an English camp (yeah that’s a thing) I went to when I was 13, who was from Malta and that I wanted to go there on a language course once when I was 16 but got sick and had to stay home instead. Now that I know what those look like I can assure my parents, that I would have probably learned more about partying than English.
Anyway, so Malta, a place that has never really been on my radar. But well, I am always open to new experiences. So I started googling, and it really ticked a couple of boxes for me. Work was apparently easy to find (which turned out to be true) and rent looked affordable (turned out to be slightly different).
How we arrived on the rock
So we went back to Cuba, I send out a couple of CVs tried to find a reliable person to take over my tours in Havana and started creating content on a freelance basis. We booked our tickets, cleaned out our apartment and clutters my in-laws’ house with our stuff. Since we did not know if we might move back eventually. Well, now we know, and I had to clean out a lot of clutter the last time we visited. However, I got my dream tattoo a couple of days before we left and we a small goodbye dinner with the family. And then we were off.
We had a week in Nuremberg before we finally touched the island. In that week, I secured my first interview. We arrived on a Friday, and I had the interview the following Monday. So enough time for a little sightseeing and oh yeah I had to buy some work attire. I then learned that you do not really need fancy business clothes in the iGaming industry.
Settling in Malta was reasonably easy for us. I got the job I interviewed for so we had a secure income, then we found a decent apartment and did your papers.
After a bit less than a year, we changed our apartment as we figured out that our landlord was about to sell and did not want to move in the summer. (I will write more about our apartment hunt you can, however, check this for some practical advice).
Anyway, for us settling here was quite easy and I have to say we were fortunate. Malta also turned out to be a good starting point for more journeys and travels all over Europe.
The biggest plus about our move here is the people we met. There is a weird bunch of expats in Malta, and that creates a beautiful community of people who are happy to make new friends. Our first contact, the couple and doggo Dama, we stayed with when we arrived became terrific friends, through them we met more friends and through them others.
We also met people randomly who became friends. I met lovely friends at work and can’t really complain. Since I started hosting photo walks in Valletta, I am also meeting a lot of interesting people from all over the world.
And even though is this island is a temporary solution for many people. Including me, but that is another story, friendships last. I love this community here. It is amazing how normal it is to have friends from so many different parts of the world. Everybody seems to fit in somehow. Of course, there are always people one does not, because let’s be honest that is how life works. I met a lot of those as well. Luckily they are not the majority.
Not everything has been roses, and even though I am pretty happy here, I am reaching out my feelers to see where to go next. But that is mainly because I am a bit restless. It has been a good two years here, and I learned so much. I started a completely new career, and I love it. Then I went to a class and made a marketing degree while working in the same field and learning on the job before I decided I was ready to give freelancing a try.
All the Emotions in Two Years
I had downs and really high highs, and I still do, struggling with life and work and my personal failures. Those sometimes just seem to be failures for me. I never was an ambitious person. I just started to become one now, and boy it is exhausting! Frequently I get stressed out because these two years passed so fast and it is so good to take a moment like this and let them pass by again, remembering everything I learned and achieved and the obstacles we pushed away. That I am still not super rich and travel as much as I want to. That is ok I realized, I came pretty close to that in a short time. I mentioned that in my post about being a part-time nomad, and I might write one about my dreams.
I started a new career, and I love what I am doing, and I hope that with my new skills I can create even more work I love. Well, I do get frustrated with this place at times and dream about living here in the summer and have a base somewhere in a big city at times, but it has been a great starting point and allowed me to learn so much and evolve a lot. Being so small and dynamic Malta has brought a lot of advantages for me and my career, it was a great environment to learn and grow. Who is to know what is next for us?
So, all in all, it has been a good two years on this island and as this was a more personal post about my journey here. I will add one focused more about living on the island and what you could expect.
There are already posts on how to find a job and an apartment on the island.
I am hoping for many new adventures now and muuuuuch more travel, did I mention that I am restless? There is just so much to see, and I want to live in many different places.
So let’s see where I’ll be locally abroad next!