Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cheap flights around Europe!

One of the best things about being based in Malta, is the fact we can get on a flight for $30 AU and head to Rome for the weekend - and of course we did!

And we also went to Dusseldorf, Madrid and Sicily!

Rome is our favourite Italian city to visit. We love the history, the culture, the shops, the cafes, the monuments...I can't get enough of the Vatican... the ease of walking around. We have so many 'locals' there (because we've been so many times) and we know our way around like it was our own home (it is definately one of our many 'homes').

Dusseldorf was to visit my wonderful friend Amy and her family. It was also a chance to celebrate her 40th! We had a fantastic time there. She lives in a gorgeous little town, and Dusseldorf is a great city. It was also before Christmas, so all the decorations were beautiful. Germany really does know how to celebrate the festive season!

Madrid was to visit my 'cousin' Beth and her husband. We had never been before and again, loved it! It's got a fab cultural vibe (not as touristy as Barcelona). The streets in the city are wide and easy to walk - the shops are brilliant, the food - YUMMO! But we did get stuck a few times because our Spanish isn't the best...and not many of them speak English.

Sicily was so I could really tick it off my list (went to Palermo on the cruise but still had never spent real time in this part of Italy), and so we could EAT! Catania is a groovy, vibrant, cool city - the food is exceptional. Honestly the best food I've ever had! Taormina and Syracuse are gorgeous towns. Friendly people, excellent coffee, good service...loved it, and will be back!

I am so glad we have taken the opportunity to travel around Europe while we've been living here in Malta. It's just another reason why living over this side of the world is AWESOME!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Meeting new people

One of the best things about this adventure is the chance for us to get out of our comfort zones and go out and meet new people.

We have joined the expat community here in Malta (a group called InterNations), and already we have attended 3 events and have met heaps of interesting people.

The first one we went to was held at this great bar by the waterfront at Valletta, it was a drinks 'get together' for all the members. The next was at another cool bar at Silema, this one was an 'after work drinks networking' event (met some potential clients!), then there was an olive oil tasting event, and tonight there's an Italian dinner. YAY!

And not only are we meeting people and making contacts, we are checking out new and funky places.

So far we've met people from America, Belgium, Italy, UK, Poland, and Germany.

And not only is it nice to get out and chat with others who have taken the leap to base themselves here for however long, it's so interesting to learn what they all do and what brought them to this fabulous Mediterranean island.

We all share a passion for travel, adventure, experiencing new things, networking and the desire to make our own little community.

I love heading to these events and can't wait to meet more people.

Thank you InterNations in Malta!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Starting a new routine

So with my holidays now over - with a side-trip/mini break to Paris Disneyland for my birthday (it was SO much fun!) - we are now settling into a new routine. And all is going really well. We love it here!

Each morning I am up and walking/running along the gorgeous promenade that follows the shore for many kilometres. Then it's time to get sorted and start my working day. At the moment I am writing copy for a company's website as well as doing some edits. It's a good mix. Lots on and hopefully lots more to come my way...

Heading out for a mid-morn coffee, by the sea, it a simple delight. Just getting some sun, fresh air, looking at the water, and getting away from the computer does wonders. Then it's back to work. After shutting up the office I again will head for a walk along the beach or take my book for a little read by the water or on most arvos, while we can, I am in the water having a swim. So yes, I do have a slight tan. :)

Ahhhh the is heavenly here. Sure, there's no great sweeping beaches of comfy sand to lie on, but the water is the highlight. It's just how I like it - calm and clear. No big waves to try and struggle through. It's like a big ocean pool! I just have to put on my goggles and drift out. The goggles are great as there's loads of fish to check out. So yes, we are doing lots of swimming.

We have even found that the local cinema is only a 5 min walk from us (seriously, everything is a 5 min walk!!!). And the best part is, for 2 tickets, large coke and popcorn, it's only A$20! We are definitely going to take advantage of that and check out all the new movies. And they're in English.

Anton is keen to make sure we take advantage of this wonderful weather while it lasts and so we took a boat trip to the other islands, Gozo, and then to Comino to swim in another bay and the 'ultimate' swimming area - The Blue Lagoon. It was incredible. Cruising was a delight, and swimming in the clearest water I have ever experienced was brilliant. This is 'the place' to check out if you love swimming and snorkelling!

So we are definately making the most of this seaside living.

It's still quite busy here, especially at night. Lots of drunk Poms. :) But they are all very friendly and lively - there's still quite a 'buzz' around.

One thing that is annoying me though...BUSES! There's not enough buses and they don't come regularly. So if you get to the bus stop for the 12.00 bus, you will probably find that the bus will go right past you because it's already FULL. So you have to wait another 30 mins, and again you can't be sure to get on that one either...SO ANNOYING. Makes getting around a little difficult. Mind you, once you're on, you don't have to travel that far to find other hidden Maltese gems. 

Fingers crossed the bus situation get a little better once all the tourists go. HA - I am even starting to sound like a 'local'.

Time to get some work done, and head out for my morning coffee soon...

Monday, October 5, 2015

So here we are!

After weeks of travelling in Italy having loads of fun on our cruise and with Mum and Dad, we have finally arrived in our new home of Bugibba, Malta. And it's pretty fab.

Our apartment is light, airy and huge! 3 bedrooms, so plenty of room for visitors. :) We are a 5 min walk to the beach and the main square. And in any direction there are local shops, pubs, cafes, supermarkets, the cinemas ($6 AU to go to the flicks) and even 2 bookshops!!!!

Our landlords have been really welcoming and friendly. They even had the apartment all set up with the basics - toilet paper, garbage bags, even some things in the pantry. And of course all the furniture, sheets, towels etc. are here.  The bed is a little too soft for our liking; however, there is another in the other room that feels firmer, so we're going to swap them this arvo.

Our first few days were spent exploring our little seaside town. Bugibba is still full of tourists, mostly from Europe and England, who have been spending the summer months here. We really do agree with those that say Malta is the Bali for the Poms! There is a great 'holiday' vibe with loads of people out drinking, eating, shopping and swimming. It will be interesting to see how the crowds lessen as the weather starts to cool down. At the moment it's perfect for arvo swims.

We have even been into the capital city of Valletta.  This walled city centre has so much history, which I can't wait to explore. When it was built by the Knights of St John in the 16th and 17th centuries, its founder decreed that is should be elegant - and that it is. UNESCO has even named it a World Heritage Site and described it as 'one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world'. And it has all the clothing shops, bigger bars and cafes you need. And I can't wait to check out the library! It's so lovely to walk through all the narrow streets and see what's on offer. It's about a 1 hour bus ride (a beautiful drive along the coast) so easy for us to get to. From there we took a ferry to another little place called Sliema. This is where we found the 'largest shopping mall in Malta' - it's about the size of Toowong (for my Brissie friends). But it has all the shops - so I can certainly do some damage to the budget if I wanted to. :)

After another few days of wandering around Bugibba and familiarising ourselves with the layout (with a delightful swim in the Med) I am now back in my 'office'. And what a gorgeous office to have!

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's nearly time...

After a very hectic week of packing up and moving everything we own into storage, I am now on the coast staying with Anton's dad. Now it's time to focus on our 'holiday' and move to Malta.

My mind has started to relax a little more and I am starting to get excited about the adventures ahead. Yes, I am nervous and anxious about having the world as our home - but I do feel confident that no matter whatever happens, we will be fine. And it's going to be fun!

I will miss my dear family and friends so very, very much. But thanks to the wonders of technology, I know you will only be an email/post/skype call away.

Take care everyone! Will send my love from across the seas when we get settled...

First stop is Abu Dhabi and then Roma!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Packing up!

In three weeks, Anton and I will have packed up our little home and will be on a plane heading to Roma. From there we will embark on a Mediterranean cruise before spending time in the Italian towns of Genoa and then Lucca. Here we will meet up with Ma and Pa - I can't wait!

So stay tuned for my (hopefully) regular blog posts that will capture what we experience while we tick off this much dreamed about goal.