David: How to Malta
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Malta, etc.
My name is David, originally from Dublin in Ireland, and I moved over here in 2011 with my fiancée Daniela.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
For me, blogging started off as a way to remember simple things like which government office I needed to go to, and which bus to take to Paradise Bay. It seems like a lot of people look for the same kind of information, and the site has grown from there.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I wrote a piece about Xemxija Heritage Trail which I quite like. It’s a place the average tourist has never heard of, and couldn’t even pronounce if they had, but maybe a couple of people will consider a visit after reading about it.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Malta differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
If you are coming from Ireland or the UK, I certainly don’t think Malta will strike you as massively strange or different – there are too many commonalities following on from close to 200 years of British rule. For me, the main difference is the opportunities presented by the weather: going to the beach at weekends; long walks in the sunshine; swimming in the sea!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Malta? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Preparations!? We discussed moving to sunny climes for a while, located Malta on the map and then took a 5 day holiday to check the place out. Within the month, we had moved over. It’s possible to over-think a move like this, sometimes there is no harm in just making the leap.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Malta?
- Be prepared for winters that are bitingly cold, inside and out.
- Not everything moves as quickly as you would like it to - from traffic to service providers – so just take a deep breath and count to ten.
- Salaries can be low relative to Northern Europe/America, and if you are not careful you can spend a lot on household goods and rent.
How is the expat community in Malta? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Malta is full of expats, particularly from Britain, and during summer season foreigners outnumber the locals by 5 to 1 in touristy areas. I like beer and football, so finding like-minded souls is not too difficult!
How would you summarize your expat life in Malta in a single, catchy sentence?
A mash-up of cultures on a hot rock in the Med.