The Call of Duty
To the majority, a chance to visit Malta is an opportunity to experience life in a Mediterranean hot-spot; a chance to soak in the culture, odd landscape and, of course, the sun. When you’ve spent many years living on the island, however, a trip to Malta is more of a duty than an exciting travelling experience. The same can be said for any country you have lived in and left behind.
Eleven days away from work, spent in the sun and with friends and family instead, is hardly the most arduous duty one could have but let’s face it: if you had spent sixteen years living somewhere, would you really go back twice a year if you hadn’t left behind anyone important to you? Since moving to Dublin back in 2010, I haven’t travelled anywhere new other than a short stay in Brighton and a few nights away in various parts of Ireland. Thankfully, I’ll be breaking the dry spell later on this year 🙂
When I first started coming back to Malta after moving away, I had one question to answer: What do I do with myself when I have already visited most of the nooks and crannies the place has to offer? I’ll let you in on a little secret: There are always new discoveries to be made. Now, Malta is ridiculously tiny and you are highly unlikely to stumble upon a brand new theme park with the most exhilirating rides you have ever been on in the middle of nowhere but there are always new places opening up that are worth visiting. All you need to do is ask around or have a flip through recent newspapers or magazines. Oh hey, there’s that thing called the Internet too.
Another trick I have learnt is: Embrace the tourist within. Minus the white socks and jesus sandals, of course. All those times you scoffed at tourists asking for directions to the Craft Village or Hypogeum? Well, when was the last time you went there? I have been having a pretty good time re-visiting places I had passed by without so much as a second glance for years, and for the most part the friends I have taken with me have made comments to the effect of, “Why haven’t I come here in so long?”
What self-respecting tourist would pass up on a shot like this?
At the end of the day, I’m in Malta to visit the people I miss when I’m away, but there’s no harm in being a little creative with my free time while I’m here. Margo needs a good tour round the island, anyway.