Wendie Vandenbeusque came to Malta a year ago from the States. It wasn’t quite a ‘put-a-pin-in-the map’ choice, but she and her husband had few expectations, not knowing much about the place. They had a steep learning curve, and some ups and downs along the way. Would they do it all over again if they knew what they know now? Read on…
Our Malta Anniversary
It seems hard to believe that we have been living on Malta for an entire year. We have come so far since we first arrived and even though we are still waiting to hear if my husband is going to be deported (well, deported isn’t really the right word, but I love teasing him), we have done quite well and we are pretty proud of ourselves. I’m working full-time, my husband has finally had a chance to take some time off of work to decide what his next goal in life may be and we have met so many cool people, friends for life from all over the world that we never would have met if we hadn’t taken the chance of following a dream.
There are many things we miss from the States, but when you come right down to it, other than family and friends, it’s all material. There are so many contrasts from our former life, but in other ways, our daily life is not that much different. I’m working everyday, in an office where I’m the minority. It is a really different feeling and I’m not sure I like it all that much, but it offers a sense of perspective I never would have gotten in the States. My colleagues automatically speak Maltese not to shut me out of the conversation, but because it’s their language and I have to remind myself daily not to take it personally. The husband and I are taking a conversational Maltese language course in January, so I hope to at least understand some of the language before we go home for a long visit next summer.
We are feeling pretty comfortable in our surroundings and now dress like the locals and not the tourists in November! We know where to shop, what trucks to buy our produce from, where to get the freshest seafood and what Maltese wine tastes the best. We know how to take the bus wherever we need to go and when we go for walks we almost always run into someone we know.
I should have my Maltese ID card soon and with that I can finally open a bank account here, but it amazes me how easy its been to be able to live completely on cash, without checks or a debit card or any credit cards. It has also been rather easy living without a mobile phone, (I vowed to go a year without one, just to prove that I could) although there have been some days when it would have come in handy. It’s been easy living without a car, almost a blessing really with the parking issues here and auto congestion. If we need a ride anywhere our friends pick us up or the Wembley cab will take you mostly anywhere for €10-12.
We are used to watching the Weakest Link instead of Wheel of Fortune, having ham for breakfast instead of bacon and watching Eurosport instead of ESPN. We went to Africa and will be spending Christmas in Sicily and find ourselves blessed to be able to travel all over Europe for so little. We are now used to thinking in terms of Euros, kilos, kilometers and meters. Lots of Brits migrate to the island and I find myself saying things like brilliant, straight-away and bloody hell! I go out for a fag and say Cheers! before even thinking of drinking before anyone else at the table or bar.
Skype and Facebook keep us connected with friends and family and sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are over 4,000 miles away from home. But now that we are at the one year mark and have taken a moment to reflect on all that we have been through with the visas, finding work and fitting in to a land where we had never even visited prior to moving to, I can honestly say that moving to Malta has turned into an adventure of a lifetime and we’ve never been happier!
Find out more about Wendie Vandenbeusque’s adventure in Malta here.
Photo: courtesy: Leslie Vella
ursula krause says
Hi, Wendie, I just reAD YOUR GREAT POST. i JUST MOVED TO gOZO FROM oRLANDO 4 days ago. Somethings may be easier for me as I am an EU citizen and also teach online, but other things already are hitting home. Hope I feel the same as you do after my first year. Happy holidays
Amy Brown says
Wendie, this was a great post. It takes enormous courage to make a move like you and Roger did, not many Americans take such a leap, so take time to feel proud of this one-year mark and celebrate with the finest Maltese wine you can get your hands on! Cheers!