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In retrospect, would you move again to Malta?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Malta, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Malta so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!

Christine

Yes, it was a great experience. Both good and bad. Life changing stuff. We don't live in Malta any more but I would not want to "skip" Malta if I had to repeat my expat journey.

I'd do it again in a heart beat :D what I'd do differently though is to book temporary accommodation for longer than a week. We hoped to find an apartment to move in within a few days and thought that this flexibility of moving quickly would help, but it only made us nervous when the right place still wasn't found after viewing 10+ places with 2 different agents.

We actually ended up moving 3 times between different temporary Airbnb apartments which was a major hassle with 10 bags weighing in 100kg. I'd book something for at least 3 weeks. That way you won't be as stressed and can actually unpack for a while.

In just 2 words...

HELL NO!!!!


The people are nice enough (mostly) however corruption is rampant, if you have money you won't when you want anything done.  You speak to anyone an the dollar signs spin up in their eyes, then when it come to doing the job, it's substandard work, borderline dangerous in some cases and racism is rampant and unchecked....

I've been here 6 years... made the mistake of buying a place and locking myself in to this God forsaken country.

Oh that's sad to hear......I hope you have future happiness and positivity wherever you end up being 😁

I'm hoping to go back home to Australia this year.

Well, Good Luck 😊  in Australia! Here's hoping its better for you!

Well, I wanted to get out of my home country desperately, so.. joke's on me.

I wanted to move somewhere where they speak English. This is not really the case. I'm not a native speaker but the Maltese English still seems weird, especially if you spent a lot of time in the US and UK. It just seems wrong. It's more like "Singlish"- the English/Malay/Chinese mishmash they speak in Singapore.

That being said, one of the main reasons I wanted to move somewhere else was the weather - that worked out fine. The weather is great here and the people are generally much nicer.. and that's about it. Customer service is horrible and - I said it before and I'll say it again - the traffic is atrocious. How comes there's no"worlds stupidest drivers - Malta" special? I'm avoiding car crashes on a daily basis and had 3 accidents that weren't my fault so far. One was a bus hitting my car. While it was parking on the side of the street...
My girlfriend doesn't have a drivers license and has to take the bus. She gets up at 5:30 to be able to be at university at 8am. And sometimes still doesn't make it because buses break down or simply don't show up. the bus-schedules online AND at the bus stops are A JOKE.

The only way we ca still stand being here after 3 years is that we travel A LOT and only spend our working days here. By now we are trying to get off the island. Don't get me wrong. It's (probably) a great place to stay 1 year  (a friend is just going back after 1 year because she can't stand all the catcalling and other misogyny here) or a couple of months. If you are into clubbing and partying, Paceville might hold some charm for you. If you're a pensioner who just wants to sit in the sun doing crosswords (I always describe Malta as the British "Florida") Malta is great. But if you expect some sort of urban lifestyle or infrastructure then GTFO asap.   
This might sound harsh, but Malta is not at par with an "EU" or "western" standard. If you're looking for a mechanic or culture, even locals will tell you that everything here is amateurish and everyone is doing botched work. If you're cool with that, great.. If you're more the artistic, bohemian type like me there is NOTHING here for you and after seeing the temples for the 100th time you will feel trapped and lonely.

Would I do it again - yes
Would I come here if I could chose between Malta and some other place - probably not
Would I come here if I could chose between Malta and some big city  - definitely not

mis :

In just 2 words...

HELL NO!!!!


The people are nice enough (mostly) however corruption is rampant, if you have money you won't when you want anything done.  You speak to anyone an the dollar signs spin up in their eyes, then when it come to doing the job, it's substandard work, borderline dangerous in some cases and racism is rampant and unchecked....

I've been here 6 years... made the mistake of buying a place and locking myself in to this God forsaken country.

Maybe you should have read the posts on here first before buying a property!

Been here three years and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! Found a great apartment overlooking the sea with a huge roof for my three cats, have a great job which I love, the weather is fab (as long as you have a decent heater and de-humidifier for the winter), the people we have met have never ripped us off - quite the contrary! Nothing would make me move back to the UK (unless we get kicked out after the referendum, which I can't see happening......)

I can't understand why someone who wants to live in a metropolis would move here - do your homework first!

Only issues are with bureaucracy which is a nightmare, and the transport which is a bit of a joke, but other than that....I'll grow old here disgracefully!

Grizabella :

Been here three years and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! Found a great apartment overlooking the sea with a huge roof for my three cats, have a great job which I love, the weather is fab (as long as you have a decent heater and de-humidifier for the winter), the people we have met have never ripped us off - quite the contrary! Nothing would make me move back to the UK (unless we get kicked out after the referendum, which I can't see happening......)

I can't understand why someone who wants to live in a metropolis would move here - do your homework first!

Only issues are with bureaucracy which is a nightmare, and the transport which is a bit of a joke, but other than that....I'll grow old here disgracefully!

I think that about sums it up really...Use the 5 P's. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. There is a sixth P but that's a bit rude.

If well researched and planned then the 'pitfalls' that arise should come as no surprise. What I find that is that if you are prepared to come and live in another country, wherever that may be, then part of that mentality must be to change your views on how you will be living and within their rules. It really is pointless to move to Malta (or anywhere else really) and then want to change it into the little world you left behind.

I'm not saying that everything is acceptable, however, if a person has rented their property then they have the option to move to a different area with the benefits that would bring. I think that some people just want a mini-clone of there past life and move it to a place in the sunshine without thought of different cultures, work ethics and lifestyles.

MickyJoe :

If well researched and planned then the 'pitfalls' that arise should come as no surprise. What I find that is that if you are prepared to come and live in another country, wherever that may be, then part of that mentality must be to change your views on how you will be living and within their rules. It really is pointless to move to Malta (or anywhere else really) and then want to change it into the little world you left behind.

exactly this, I've lived in several countries and this is the main road to success as a expat.  In london and most places you have these little enclaves of people all from the same country, all talking their language, all moaning about how the grass was greener back home etc, its a self perpetuating circle of self loathing.

Embrace your new home for what it is and find ways to work with it to be happy, avoid negative groups of people who are only happy when nostalgic, you'll be much better off for it.

Malta is not the UK by a VERY long stretch but while we've only been here nearly 6 months it definitely has it's charms.  Especially those where you live in a big 3 bed home for the price of a room in a shared home in london :)

I lived in Malta Nov 2010 to Feb 2013 and went back to the UK because my marriage broke up and I just wanted to get away, back to the UK.  Now 3 years later I am making plans to go back to Malta for good.  I have had enough of the grey, cold weather, the exorbitant taxes,  the high rents, the fact I am in a decent paid job and still having to eat into my forever dwindling savings. People are so detached here, its difficult to meet new friends, especially as I live in a tiny village.  I cannot wait to get back to Malta, to the easy laid back way of life (yes some of the politics and corruption drives me nuts, but what do we have back in the UK? Not much difference) and my friends who I've kept in touch with. Cant wait....

All the same here. We lived in Malta/Gozo for 4 years, until 2012. We had to return to Germany because of a persisting illness (health insurances issues etc). Now after having experienced the way of life in Germany and Belgium where we are currently living and its changes over the last years (definitely not to the better!) we are considering to rent a small place in Gozo again. Just to have a kind of a getaway which allows us to escape the northern cold and judgemental vibes from time to time. Unfortunately we will have to keep our place of residence here for personal reasons but: the longer we are away the more we are missing the tiny island(s)!

Christiane

It's been a long, long, time for me but I lived in Marsaskala 1972 to early 1974 when I was stationed at RAF Luqa.
I did not go back, not through choice just work kept me globetrotting, until 2012 when I spent a little time there for the airshow.
I would return to Malta to live but on the understanding that it is not the same place that it was 42 years ago. In 2012 I saw the changes, the population of immigrants, the overbuilding etc. but the people were just as wonderful and the weather glorious.
However, my wife won't go because of the grandchildren and the heat. and I can understand that so I guess it's just going to be further visits for me.

Reading the comments it is understandable that some hate it, others love it. We are all different I guess and Malta certainly is not everyone's 'cup of tea'.

After living in working in other countries, even Malta has it's advantages and disadvantages. I did not really choose to move to Malta, I could have ended up also somewhere else, Malta just sorta happend  :)
And yes, I would do it again - but this time I would NOT plan each and every detail in advance (no need for this especially as EU citizen) and I would come with adequate expectations. I would just come here and let things happen, this would have saved me from quite many frustrating situations I've experienced :(
With the experience I have now, I would do some things different next time (relocation, apartment, location, vehicles, job, authorities, network etc.), but all in all I've managed to have a good life now  :cool:

So you would advocate just turning up, we plan 4-6 weeks in Jan and have accommodation for that. Then look for permanent accommodation and take it from there. It would be retirement for us so no job issues, renting, probably Gozo.
Ray

RayAucote :

So you would advocate just turning up, we plan 4-6 weeks in Jan and have accommodation for that. Then look for permanent accommodation and take it from there. It would be retirement for us so no job issues, renting, probably Gozo.
Ray

I'd definitely advocate that...

Bernie

I will of course still have the order of things still mapped out for when we get there as there is a lot to do. There is little one can do until one actually has a permanent residence there. Are you still on target for your move?
Ray

Honestly, if you're moving to Gozo, it's enough to have accommodation for 2-3 weeks. You'll be able to find somewhere decent. Finding a good agent is key. I can recommend someone if you're looking to rent. Lots of seriously dodgy agents around in both Malta and Gozo. Lots of good ones, too.

One thing I'd like to say about Malta - it's incredibly easy to move to. By far the easiest of all the places that I've been to. You kind of just turn up, pay a little money here and there, fill in a few forms and you're done.

If you decide on Gozo, one agent I can recommend is Frank Salt, we have used them twice and no problems.

Ray

Frank Salt and Dhalia are both really good. Others - oh boy. I'm sure that there some good agents working for other agencies though.

RayAucote :

So you would advocate just turning up, we plan 4-6 weeks in Jan and have accommodation for that. Then look for permanent accommodation and take it from there. It would be retirement for us so no job issues, renting, probably Gozo.
Ray

Yes, instead of spending 2 months planning from abroad, just come over and spend 2 months planning here ... only when you are here, you can find the right location and type of accommodation that fits you. No one else can do that job for you, because everyone has his own preferences.
A hotel for the first 2 weeks may cost you much more than a month's long term rent, but if you choose the wrong location you're on the best way to become frustrated.

Although it's not very difficult to find an apartment, job, vehicle while you are still abroad, it's better to start searching once you've arrived. Of course you should have enough savings to bridge at least 2 or 3 months and find time for your research.

mantasmo :

Frank Salt and Dhalia are both really good. Others - oh boy. I'm sure that there some good agents working for other agencies though.

I made the experience that it's the individual agent, not the agency, that makes the difference. And agents working on their own or for small agencies seems to be more motivated  :)

Does anyone wish they hadn't used an agent, would that have made the moving experience better? Is this even feasible?! I've joined Facebook groups and have looked on maltapark and malta times,  but it seems very difficult to identify when it is an individual advertising rather than an agent.

Has anyone used Flatscanner before? I came across it and that seems to be no agents allowed, but maybe not very many properties listed.

Behind almost every ad on Maltapark, FB etc. is an agent. Direct from owner you can only rent/buy, if you call the telephone number shown on the red sign in the window.
(Or if you know someone who knows someone who rents a flat ... or saw a sign in the window)
But I do not see a problem using an agent. He's doing the preselection (esp. since the exact location is never mentioned in the ad), organises appointments with landords, gives you a transport to the flat for viewing and also assists you at the notary ... and the comission for all this is only 1 monthly rent, shared between tenant and landlord.
We have used several agents, a few of them have been very good and helpful.

It makes no sense picking 5 or 10 flats from a website of one of the big agencies, because most propably none of them is available ... best is, to chose 1 recent ad from Maltapark, Facebook or any forum, call the agent and tell him what you are looking for.

mantasmo :

Honestly, if you're moving to Gozo, it's enough to have accommodation for 2-3 weeks. You'll be able to find somewhere decent. Finding a good agent is key. I can recommend someone if you're looking to rent. Lots of seriously dodgy agents around in both Malta and Gozo. Lots of good ones, too.

One thing I'd like to say about Malta - it's incredibly easy to move to. By far the easiest of all the places that I've been to. You kind of just turn up, pay a little money here and there, fill in a few forms and you're done.

Noted re. the agents, We monitor F. Salt and others, mostly out of interest as our move is too far in the future.  It would be nice to book  one way tickets but we would need to settle up here in UK and that will be easier if we are here, even if we only come back for a couple of weeks.
It will be a holiday as well as searching for a property.  Jan - Feb  UK or Malta? no contest.
Ray

Hi everybody,

Maybe you should create an another thread about agents, i think that it would be more appropriate as we are drifting a bit off topic here. :)

Thank you,

Priscilla  :cheers:

Hi all,

I can't wait to move back to Malta! After living in Canada, in Vancouver, in UK and in Malta, I can say that I feel Maltese in my heart. One of my friends asked me at a certain point what's this Maltese spell, which attracts me always back to Malta. I have answered on the spot: the people. I deeply admire and love the Maltese people. I am attracted then by the weather (except for July and August when I run away). The sea is the marvel that keeps me calm and happy and the history brings the charm of a story. I feel that Malta is the place on Earth which defines me, where I find myself, where I am happy.

If I could, moving back to Malta, I would buy my own place. I wouldn't change anything else. I won't get into any administrative details. I just felt like sharing with you my emotions and my love for Malta.

All the best!
Corina

scareglow :

Well, I wanted to get out of my home country desperately, so.. joke's on me.

I wanted to move somewhere where they speak English. This is not really the case. I'm not a native speaker but the Maltese English still seems weird, especially if you spent a lot of time in the US and UK. It just seems wrong. It's more like "Singlish"- the English/Malay/Chinese mishmash they speak in Singapore.

That being said, one of the main reasons I wanted to move somewhere else was the weather - that worked out fine. The weather is great here and the people are generally much nicer.. and that's about it. Customer service is horrible and - I said it before and I'll say it again - the traffic is atrocious. How comes there's no"worlds stupidest drivers - Malta" special? I'm avoiding car crashes on a daily basis and had 3 accidents that weren't my fault so far. One was a bus hitting my car. While it was parking on the side of the street...
My girlfriend doesn't have a drivers license and has to take the bus. She gets up at 5:30 to be able to be at university at 8am. And sometimes still doesn't make it because buses break down or simply don't show up. the bus-schedules online AND at the bus stops are A JOKE.

The only way we ca still stand being here after 3 years is that we travel A LOT and only spend our working days here. By now we are trying to get off the island. Don't get me wrong. It's (probably) a great place to stay 1 year  (a friend is just going back after 1 year because she can't stand all the catcalling and other misogyny here) or a couple of months. If you are into clubbing and partying, Paceville might hold some charm for you. If you're a pensioner who just wants to sit in the sun doing crosswords (I always describe Malta as the British "Florida") Malta is great. But if you expect some sort of urban lifestyle or infrastructure then GTFO asap.   
This might sound harsh, but Malta is not at par with an "EU" or "western" standard. If you're looking for a mechanic or culture, even locals will tell you that everything here is amateurish and everyone is doing botched work. If you're cool with that, great.. If you're more the artistic, bohemian type like me there is NOTHING here for you and after seeing the temples for the 100th time you will feel trapped and lonely.

Would I do it again - yes
Would I come here if I could chose between Malta and some other place - probably not
Would I come here if I could chose between Malta and some big city  - definitely not

You have described word by word what I feel about this country. It has its pros and cons but after 3 years of living here, I really feel it's time to move now! As you said, it's a nice place on a temporary basis but to be honest, it's not a place I would like to settle down yet. There are plenty of nice people here, made few very good friends but there's still a lot of prejudice in many people's minds. I can really identify myself on your post.

Mantonas & Scareglow...i am gonna screenshot this. And next time someone asks me how is living in Malta like, i will make them read this. As i never could put it in words. THIS describes every ounce of my being!!! And just like the two of you im not seeing a future here let alone having kids here.

Lily523 :

Mantonas & Scareglow...i am gonna screenshot this. And next time someone asks me how is living in Malta like, i will make them read this. As i never could put it in words. THIS describes every ounce of my being!!! And just like the two of you im not seeing a future here let alone having kids here.

I am glad I could help in few words to also describe what you felt Lily523! To be honest, I could say much more but at the same time, didn't want to put nobody who plans to move here off  :) I had few bad experiences over here that I even feel ashamed to share them, things that only happened in Malta lol... and I can tell you I have been in few other places in Europe too and never felt that. I kind of have mix feelings about this country but if it wasn't for the lack of common sense and ignorance of many people, this could be a really nice place to live and raise your kids. But anyway, I am sure other people might have different opinions and their experience here might not had been so bad as our and therefore, it's a matter of personal experience. But to answer to the OP, I wouldn't move back again here, I would probably come back in holidays but not to stay.

Ah you missed out Valletta - such a gem.
And the ferry over there - either frosm 3 Cities or Sliema - lovely.
Jeannie

I just moved here a week ago. I came in early June to look for a place as  I was bringing my kids here and I found one in three days on Gozo.   I used Gozo lettings.  The agent was lovely and very helpful.
I have friends. that emigrated here 12 years ago from England and it was visiting them over the past few years that had inspired me to move here.  I disagree with the person that said that there is no culture or that bohemian types wouldn't like it.  They would on Gozo.  I think it is very important when you move to another country that you don't treat IT LIKE AN EXTENSION OF WHERE YOU MOVE FROM.
Too many people from the UK m one here and stick to expat areas and don't actually try to get on or mix with the locals.  If you do that you wouldn't like it as they will continue to treat you like an outsider.  as I have been com ing here for years I already know a number of locals who have been so helpful and friendly.  You get out of moving here what you put into it.

100%

I would however have rented from non Maltese, held deposit in escrow or similar, insisted on access to bills and no illegal reselling, I would have also set up a phone contract in mainland Europe for data roaming in Malta which would have been cheaper and avoided the criminals I dealt with.

Eden tilly I would have avoided doing business with any Maltese owned company.

*fingers crossed I don't get murdered for pointing out Malta is corrupt and mafia run.

No.... not in a million years..... but i would say i wouldnt have missed the mainly good 6 years we spent living on Malta it opened our eyes to many things. The experience was both interesting and enlightening... but 6yrs was enough for us.

Weve since moved on and  have no regrets about our move. Interestingly when we moved from the UK to Malta thats what we compared to as UK was our home  then Malta became our home - so now we are somewhere else that we call home and only compare to our life experiences in Malta. It makes a big difference having something more inline to compare with.

Into our 4th year here now and have signed a a 5 years fixed rent contract such is our confidence here ... I sure as hell wouldnt have done that in Malta


anyway have fun all

I think moving here was the best decision we ever made (after getting married that is). Yes, there are bound to be some frustrations in adapting to a new country, but we feel more welcome here than we did back in England. most of our new friends and acquaintances are Maltese and we have found them to be much more welcoming, friendly and helpful than anything we experienced back in the UK.
OK, there is a culture of the Cornish "drekly" about getting things done, but then what's new about that?

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