After a more than tumultuous night and day of transit (Alex and I may or may not have attempted to sit outside all night in Catania as we were left without accommodation), we finally made it to Valletta, capitol of Malta.
Visiting Malta was something I had dreamed of as far back as I can remember. If you know me you know that I have a huge Maltese family that I am both extremely proud of and close with. Having grown up surrounded by multitudes of Maltese aunties, uncles and cousins-who all spoke of their home country so fondly- it was ingrained into me that this country was something special and all my life I waited patiently until I could finally see it.
Alex and I stayed in Sliema, the more central part of the country, and spent our first night in a traditional Maltese restaurant which felt almost exactly like sitting in my Nana’s kitchen as a child. Our trip started off perfectly and I could not wait for it to continue. After a few days of exploring beaches, lagoons and grotto’s, my sister arrived with her fiancé, and we headed out together for another day of exploring.
Although in the middle of a heatwave (it was minimum 40 degrees every day), nothing could wipe the smile off my face as I soaked in as much of the country as I could. Even though being there made me miss my family, especially my dad, it also afforded me a clearer knowledge of my family’s history and for that I am eternally grateful.
Over our last few days I had planned on visiting with cousins I had never met before in their home of Hamrun, the city my Nana was born in over 100 years ago. However our plans were cut short as bad organisation (on my part) proved we were leaving a day earlier than we had anticipated. This meant I would be unable to meet my uncle Spiro, my dads eldest brother, who has not left Malta in over 30 years. This realisation hit home hard and was one of the toughest thing’s I faced on my trip. Luckily I was still able to meet with Spiro’s daughters, my cousins, and their own children. Meeting family I had never met before was an experience almost unexplainable. Although on the other side of the world I had the feeling I was home.