My friend has a theory that sharing woes is a form of cultural bonding in this country, perhaps due to its history. Complain about the weather, Government, the Maltese drivers, just about anything, and you will immediately be met with empathy from a stranger and strike up a friendly conversation. That’s only if both are Maltese. If a foreigner dares complain, it might stir up patriotic feelings and a tendency to inform you that “If you don’t like it, you can go back to your country.” Funny people, the Maltese.
Despite this widespread cultural oddity with regards to complaints, Malta ranks 22nd from 156 countries in The World Happiness Report 2018. This supports the idea that the Maltese complain out of habit, but deep down, are really content. I can certainly see the good side of living in Malta, and here are my top reasons for loving it!
We live in an exotic tourist destination
Thousands of people flock to the Maltese Islands for their holidays, to enjoy what for the locals is the ordinary run of the mill: sea, sun and fun. Unless you’re a weirdo, you must love the 300 days of sunshine and clear blue skies. No, seriously, this is not just a thing we tell tourists, it is actual statistics. A crystal clear, inviting Mediterranean Sea surrounds the islands, offering ample beach days, watersports and boating opportunities as well as some of the best diving in the world. Night gatherings at the beach, al fresco dining and music gigs under starry skies are a thing for at least six months a year. Not bad for a place you call home, isn't it?
Malta is traditional, contemporary and cosmopolitan all rolled into one
Head to a village festa to experience local traditions spanning hundreds of years. Go to Sliema and St Julian's to experience the trendy, hip and 'high life' scene. Enjoy Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture for the best of traditional and contemporary art and culture. And just live in Malta to experience the melting pot of cultures it has become, as more and more expats settle here, attracted by work opportunities, the good weather and easy lifestyle. Brazil, Finland, Ghana, Thailand, Japan… you’ll meet people from all over the world living in Malta. For those who like diversity, there’s a lot to keep you interested.
Everything is within reach
Small as Malta is, no place is too far and nothing is too much trouble to get to. This promises a fullness of lifestyle akin to living in a city, which is albeit surrounded by a beautiful blue horizon and all the elements of nature.
Driving to the other side of the country to enjoy a moonrise BBQ or to the next island for an event and then returning back home that night is not extraordinary. And the next day could go like this: watch the sunrise over the horizon, have a swim, go to work in another town, meet a friend in the next town for lunch, go back to work, go for after-work drinks and sunset over the horizon, stop at home, head back out to the party zone and return home in time for a good sleep before work tomorrow. While this is all true, due to the context, many locals feel that any drive over 20 minutes is 'far away', but once you overcome this, the whole country is at your fingertips.
You’re never alone
I don’t mean because Malta is overpopulated - which it is - because that’s still concentrated in certain areas, leaving plenty of places to find solitude. What I mean is that, in Malta, wherever you go, you will always meet someone you know. People with common interests frequent the same venues, faces quickly become familiar and people are generally open and friendly. You can strike up a conversation with a shop owner or the person you sit next to on the bus. In Malta, you can have 400 Facebook friends in common (no kidding) with another person. The value this adds is that you feel more free to venture out anywhere on the spur of the moment, knowing you’ll find company. Plus there’s always someone who knows someone (who can help you out!)
Malta really has it all
Think festivals, nightclubs and pubs; holistic retreats and workshops; archaeology, history and culture; theatre, opera and fine dining; water sports and extreme sport; caves and walking trails; the traditional village festa to a chocolate festival; a reggae boat party to the Isle of MTV concert… all within 316 square kilometres. Especially in recent years, there has been a boom in events and activities available in Malta, brought about by the inspiration of many of the expats settled here: frome pole dancing and aerial hoops to slacklining. Let’s call it the land of entertainment and skill opportunity. You gotta love that!
Malta offers several lifestyle opportunities to suit any personality. If you feel alive and make the most of what it has to offer, Malta certainly has the potential to set you off with a happy headstart towards life.