Malta is awash with expats these days. Brits may dominate but there are large communities of other nationalities – Swedes being a prime example. Judging by the enquiries we get, a good portion of our site visitors are Malta expats or wannabe expats to the islands. From time to time, we cater to their issues in particular through our expat insight articles on topics ranging from moving with family to car imports and quality of life.
When you drill down the expat blogs that crop up in searches, you find a lot abandonned; the blogger moved countries; had a baby; got absorbed so much in local life that the expat urge to critique Malta evapourated. All reasons we’ve come across for leaving blogging behind. Most expat blogs focus on the problems encountered with sorting out the move, job, school, finding friends and so on. Expat blogs tend to fit a genre and fizzle out when the author has crossed the Rubicon or left.
Here, we’ve found some of the most prolific and long-time Malta expat bloggers. These six represent those who stick at it, for a variety of reasons, and have gone beyond writing a diary for folks back home. All are women. We discovered that men tend to be more in evidence on expat forums. Nearly all our bloggers have jobs and some work manic hours juggling work, family and other business interests as well. All the more credit to them for finding time to blog. Our listing is in no particular order.
Joe & Harry Abroad
Joe & Harry is about a young Brit couple and their time in Malta over the past year or so. A dose of trials and tribulations. In igaming, or one half of the duo is still. A typical latest post starts with a note about culture shock: ‘…even though I only moved within Europe I still experienced this [culture shock] to a degree. I didn’t think Malta would be so different..’. What makes this blog stand out is the fluid writing and a tone of voice that’s fun but dishes out useful info. It’s grounded in its view about the place.
Malta 4 Me – living the dream one day at a time
American Wendie Vandenbuesque on hubby and moving from Minnesota to Malta. The blog charts the roller coaster ride of the couple after they put a pin in the map, found Malta and washed up here. Wendie is an aspiring author and the blog is background material for her book. It’s been far from a dream (take the whole visa issue for a start!), and certainly all about one day at a time. Well written, a nice change from Brit-centric views, and includes insights and advice on the language conundrum, bureaucracy and the foibles of Maltese life.
The blog title says it all – this nearly 30-year-old Canadian gal (married to a Maltese) has no set theme for her diary-style blog, which started in mid 2009, but it is none the less endearing reading for it. The author is into crafts and will need her practical skills big time as we follow her in renovating an old town house. Her experiences are a lesson to those who imagine a house of character bliss! Here’s an excerpt:” I couldn’t wrap my head around how a house could be left in this condition,…did people really live here like this? …we have A LOT of work to do and where do we even start?! Honestly I went home that night disheartened, a little upset and stressed out.”
An American in Malta
Ilene crops up a lot if you’re into the blogosphere in Malta. She moved here in 2008 citing reasons to leave the USA as: exorbitant healthcare and the need for neutral place to call home with European partner. She also felt the call of Mediterranean blood somewhere down her family line. Like Wendie, she’s not found it plain sailing but she’s carved her niche, is leaving her mark and is damned dogged about making life start at 55 somewhere new, with all that visa and job issues throw at her. A medley of info, tips, personal ups and downs.
Capers & Olives
This is a quiet, unassuming blog with some wonderful photography and personal, heartfelt text. It belongs to Juniper, a 30-something mum, an American married to a Maltese. It contains vignettes of Maltese family life; affectionate and gentle. “The ponderings and small adventures of a 30 something mum, the Mr. and their troublesome trio, readjusting to life in Malta.” Juniper posts almost daily which is amazing as she works full time, has a busy crafts business, and copes with three young kids as well as studying. A lesson in life is what you make it wherever you happen to be. A different tone I feel to most expat blogs – no gripes here!
Sabine in Gozo (d. 1st July, 2011):
We’ve kept this entry on Sabine in her memory and because she was such as pioneer and dedicated blogger; a lone voice in Gozo when she started out. Sabine passed away on 1st July, 2011. Here’s what we wrote about her when we crafted this post. We kept it in the present tense:
“Sabine Cassar-Alpert has been here well over 20 years, living in Gozo. She is a pioneer blogger in Malta, having started out in 2006. In fact, her personal blogging came to the notice of her employer and she managed to re-engineer her job at the five-star hotel & resort in Gozo where she was, until recently, e-commerce and marketing manager. Sabine has a wealth of info and stunning photos on her 6 yr-old blog and is a well known figure on the islands. Cultured and very knowledgeable on all things Gozo.”
Photo: Gege Gatt