Saturday, 9 July 2016

IF I had to describe this past month using one word it would have to be crazy! So many assessments and assignments were taken and handed in. Thankfully that is now over and done with and I have now started my holidays. During my ninth month in London I visited home for the second time since I moved, so I thought of dedicating this post to sharing my experience with home visits.

I must admit, I do get excited about the prospect of visiting home, especially when it starts getting closer and once I start filling up my diary with activities and meetings with people I haven't seen in months. It also makes me realise that I have actually been missing the country and of course, the people.

There's something special about glancing through the window on the plane (I get too anxious if I don't get a window seat) and seeing this beautiful, tiny island. It looks wonderful from above. At this point, I am most excited because I know I'm minutes away from reuniting with my parents and brother. I might not ever be homesick, but at landing point I realise I've actually missed being in the same room as them.

tanya burr
Got to meet Tanya Burr!!
The first thing I do after reuniting with my family is I drive us all home. I don't desperately miss driving. Traffic is something I detest with a passion and Malta is full of it. But I also love hopping into the car and driving myself somewhere.

So far, I have only visited Malta twice; and both trips were less than 4 days long. It's a bit of a hassle to fit everyone who wishes to meet up in such a short time. I actually find this a little funny - how we all do our utmost to meet up with someone who lives abroad when none of us realised that urgency when we were all living in the same country. But it's nice. Living abroad gives new opportunities to familiar relationships and friendships; ones which usually would be taken for granted. I'm getting accustomed to the "let's make the most of it" attitude. 

Visiting home for the first time last January was weird. I didn't have too much time at home to actually get used to it again and the slightest things - such as a simple getting ready ritual- were confusing me. Driving came naturally to me immediately, but making my way around my childhood home wasn’t so easy. Upon entering my room, I was shocked at its size. I got so accustomed to my super tiny London bedroom that my normal sized Malta bedroom looked huge after 4 months away. The second visit was 5 months after the initial one, and it was a lot easier. It almost felt as though I never left. (Keyword: almost).

london, birthday, lucky, travel   
Celebrated early my 21st with the fam!
I am spending this summer here in London and visiting Malta for two weeks next month. Even though it would have been nice to spend solid time there, I believe it’s so much better to pop in for a short time every few months. Sometimes I forget that it’s not just me that’s changed my life and been affected (by my own decision to leave), but also my family and friends too. Yes, their lives didn’t stop because of my absence, but staying for too long might make things harder when saying our goodbyes at the airport. Personally, I feel that every goodbye has been getting slightly easier. Mostly because I always have another trip to look forward to, or I know I will be getting a visit from a family member. However, I have to also think of my family. It’s not easy for them to see me off at the airport, and I feel as though spending more than a week there would make it all too comfortable again. The short time I spend there is the best decision for everyone. It also gives me a reality check that my life is now based in London, and Malta visits are holidays.

It’s nice to visit home, but it can never be as it used to be. I spend most of my hours there outside catching up with people and touring the island. That’s actually one of my favourite things to do - be a tourist in my own home country. I love it. Visiting Malta as a short holiday aids me to look at this beautiful island from a new pair of eyes. It’s cliche, I know, but it’s true. You never truly appreciate something or see it’s inner beauty unless you’ve been away. I’m so used to London buildings and architecture and roads now that I literally stop and acknowledge how different Malta is. And I love it. I love cherishing moments with  the people I love more than I ever did before. 

Popping by every few months for a short time is the best way to do things. I believe that, anyway. For now, London is my home, and Malta shall be my number one tourist destination - with the difference that there’s always someone to welcome me with open arms at the airport.

Until next month!

Maria x

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