A Summer in Malta
Let me tell you where it all began.
I was 15 years old, when my highschool friend told me about this summer course she had found, and where her family wanted to send her. It was a language school in Malta, meant to improve her English, and she would be going for 2 weeks.
“Wow, fantastic – Malta!” is what I said.
“Wow, an opportunity to learn English!” is what my family heard.
This is how the both of us ended up in Malta together, where we learned a little bit, and partied a lot.
Just like all of the other students we met, we wanted to be “Group Leaders”. The Group Leaders were those somewhat mysterious, somewhat crazy, but mostly cool people with a t-shirt that said ‘STAFF’. They organized our activities and made sure we didn’t end up abandoned and alone by the side of the road.
Unlike most of the other students, I actually was lucky enough to land the job – based on my 2 page, über-enthusiastic letter in which I described I had virtually no work experience in the field – and two years later, I was 17 and on my way to start my first ever job abroad.
When the plane was about to land, I was ready to pee my pants… I was THAT nervous. I met another girl at the airport who was going to do the same job, and together we figured out that pretty much nothing was prepared for our arrival. It was fabulous – a true adventure in a completely different environment, getting paid to hang out with a bunch of crazy people, going on some fun activities, being homeless for just one night…
For a while, I lived in an apartment with a bunch of other people from various European countries. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that a lot of my colleagues were on drugs. I have always been adventurous, but too innocent to realize that the people around me were behaving irrationally. Like suddenly deciding that we MUST pluck those cactus fruits from the slope across the street – causing us to end up with tiny cacti spines in our bodies for the next two weeks. Watching Shrek 3 times a day. Suddenly deciding we MUST get a tattoo, or a piercing. Keeping a pile of garbage larger than the entire kitchen – and then being super afraid of the cleaning lady, who would get upset about it.
A few weeks later, I was made responsible for a group of Spanish students, and then a group of Italian students. Thankfully I learned soon enough that it was better to lie about my age, than to tell some 20 year olds that they had a curfew – while I knew that I would be out partying all night, myself. I guess their parents booked them on the wrong kind of trip… although they probably studied more English than the rest of us ever did.
I spent a summer in this beautiful, hot, fun place; without sleep as I didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But as my grandmother once taught me; ‘Everything comes to an end.’
And so I found myself back in the Netherlands, to start my Bachelor’s Degree, waiting for my next opportunity to travel. What I really wanted was to travel around the world. What I needed was to gain experience and finish my studies. So that’s what I set out to do. But I will never forget that beautiful summer in Malta.
- Valletta – Because it’s always nice to visit the capital.
- Paceville – Did I mention the outrageous nightlife?
- Blue Grotto – A beautiful piece of nature.
- Mellieha Bay & Golden Bay – There are only a few sandy beaches in Malta, these are the best ones I know of.
- Comino – With it’s clear-watered Blue Lagoon, amazing for catamaran trips both day and night.
- Gozo – Peaceful and quiet, green and less visited.