Melanie Drury reveals her top five reasons why Malta is a happy place.
It can be hard to believe it, knowing how much we complain about everything, but Maltese people are among the happiest in the world. The World Happiness Report 2017, which was released in late March, showed that we rank 27th from 155 countries. My theory is that, as a people, we have it so good that little things spoil our perfect little heaven. Still, we vent it out, it passes, and we’re back in our bubble. Living in Malta is, indeed, marvellous, and I’ll tell you my top five reasons why.
Sun, sea and sand
It has to be said. We live in a tourist destination. People come to Malta on holiday, and we are blessed to live here. Not a bad stroke of luck, isn’t it? The sun shines in a vivid blue sky most days of the year and any road will eventually lead to the blue horizon stretched out before you. The sea is crystal clear in picturesque shades of green and blue – there’s nothing like a dip to cool down on a hot day. Starlit nights at the beach with friends and wine is something we indulge in six months a year. Sea, sun and sand are certainly among the prime joys of living on a Mediterranean island.
A melting pot of cultures
I enjoy Malta’s new-found cultural diversity emerging over the past decade or so. I have friends locally who are from Brazil, the Gambia and Finland, to name a few. Many first came to Malta on holiday or for work, but it is the weather and the lifestyle that play a big role in making them stick around. When they finally move on, I know it is only a matter of time before they return … and many will stay. Meanwhile, many Maltese love to travel to explore far-flung lands and their people, and I am one of them. To those who enjoy new faces and different ideas, these foreigners from all over the world bring additional interest to living in Malta. It certainly makes the local vibe more varied.
You can complain that Malta is “too small” … or embrace it! Malta is a place where in a single day, if you only want to, you could: watch the sunrise over the horizon, do a gym workout, go to work, meet a friend for lunch, go back to work, head to the beach, watch the sunset over the horizon, go home to eat and shower, head out to the party and be back home in time for a good sleep before work tomorrow. The fullness of lifestyle that is possible on a small island like Malta is a luxury that most nations do not offer. Whether you are exchanging second-hand goods or wishing to attend an event, no place on the island is too far out of reach. Of course, by local standards, any drive over 20 minutes is “far away,” but that’s just a matter of context.
You always know someone
In Malta, wherever you go, you will always meet someone you know. Always. Whether it is at the tax office or that bar you haven’t been to in years, there is that someone you sat next to at catechism, that old colleague you despised, or your ex-boyfriend. This is a country where you are forced to face your past quite unexpectedly but rather constantly. Meeting random people you know also has its pluses, of course. You can decide on the spur of the moment to venture alone to your favourite hangouts, sure to meet a friendly face. Furthermore, six degrees of separation in Malta is probably reduced to three (a wild guess) … you will always know someone who knows someone (who can help you out!).
Great fun for everyone
For a small island its size, Malta has a lot to offer! The vast variety of entertainment and activities available within an area of 316 square kilometres is remarkable. If you enjoy music festivals, nightclubs and pubs; if you prefer holistic retreats and workshops; if you are fascinated by archaeology, history and culture; if you like theatre, opera and fine dining; if you are thrilled by water sports and extreme sport (some ideas here); if you like to explore caves and walking trails; Malta has it all. Overall, the Maltese like to party and they organise all kinds of events, from the village festa to a chocolate festival and from a reggae boat party to a rock orchestra (read Some Reasons to Love Summer in Malta).
Malta is a safe and friendly playground for young and old. It suits different personalities from all backgrounds. It is living in Malta that sets us all off with a happy head start towards life.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments?