This post is a sequel of my previous post on things I will miss when I leave Malta. If there are so many good things about this island, why would I ever want to leave this land of endless job opportunities and sunny weather? Well, there are several reasons.
I have lived a bit more than three years abroad. During this time my sister has had a lovely little son, who doesn’t remember who I am. Two of my family dogs have died, my grandparents are reaching 90 years of age, and my grandmothers Alzheimer is so bad that she doesn’t know me anymore. The distance is killing me sometimes. I feel guilty for not being there in the lives of my loved ones. I bet everyone who has lived abroad will share these thoughts every now or then, sooner or later. After giving this a serious thinking and putting my values in order, I felt that I have no other choice than go home for a while and spend some time with my family.
When I closed the doors of my previous university some years (it will be six years!) ago, I said to myself “never again”. Well never say never, because now I am starting my second degree. My first degree, master’s of business, marketing, was purely a rational line of study. The second one though, is the outcome of my passion, communications and journalisms. I can’t wait to begin! I already postponed the starting date with one year, and I guess I could have done it again. However, I feel that now it is good time to head back to university lecture halls. I am so lucky to live in Finland, where university education is free. I can complete two masters’ theses without even one euro of student loan!
Finland is sooooo easy
Things just work in Finland. Public transportation is great and punctual. I can drink water from the tap. During the winters it is warm inside the house with our triple glazing and heating (in Malta the temperature inside can be 12 degrees). I can’t wait to see the amazing selection of food stores, the amount of parking space and streets with hardly any traffic. I will appreciate that I can take the rubbish out any time of the day and that we have proper recycling. Instead of being able to take glass bottles out on the first Friday of the month at 9 am, I can return all glass and plastic bottles to stores and get money for it (up to 0.40€ per item).
The streets are well taken care of, the infrastructure works, you have bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, and the whole society is just so well functioning that it is almost boring. I will pay taxes yes, but it will get me free education, almost free healthcare, proper maternity leaves if the time ever comes and everything else. In Malta, I am actually paying more from my salary, and I don’t get a lot in return.
Malta is a bit difficult and very small
In a way, life in Malta is very simple. You have your job, your hobbies, the beach, and that’s it. The complexity, or the difficult part, are the small annoying things that pile up. Customer service can be so appallingly bad that it is just astonishing. A 9-kilometre bus drive can take 1.5 hours because of the traffic. Some things are not very logical at all. For example, a pedestrian lane can suddenly just end and continue on the other side of a busy road. And there is no way of crossing it!
There are several small issues that start to bug you after a while. The biggest issue is, though, that Malta is very tiny. There are a lot of things to do and see around here, but I just miss having more space around me.
I had to decide whether to stay or leave
I felt that I either have to decide to stay or to leave. Should I settle down in Malta, find a nice apartment without flatmates, decorate it with the things I like and start building a proper life here? Should I turn off the switch in my head saying that this is only temporary? Leaving just felt the right choice. When my good friend decided also leave before me, it made my own feeling even stronger. I just follow my intuition and the voice inside of me and go back to Finland.
It is time to go home.