PIT STOP IN MALTA
Those of you who had the chance to listen to my journey on audio on my friend’s podcast know that I had a pit stop before my final destination Germany. When I made the decision at the beginning of 2018 to leave the US, I already had a destination in mind: the Mediterranean island of Malta.
Some of you might ask now, why Malta, the smallest European country with a population of close to 500,000, spread over an area of 122 square miles. Well, my decision was a bit influenced by one of my favorite bloggers, who decided to move from Germany to Malta a few years ago.
When she wrote about the island on her blog, I was intrigued by the beauty of the Mediterranean water, and also how cheap the cost of living seemed to be. At that time her article was published, I had no intention of leaving my beloved Huntington Beach. But once I started contemplating moving, I dug out her post again and started my own research on Malta.
At that point, I was looking for a place with great climate, affordable cost of living, and where English is the primary language. Malta checked all these boxes for me, and after a couple nights of sleeping on it, I finalized the idea of moving there. I gave myself a timeline of two more years in the US to be able to pay off debt and save money.
But as usual in life, everything turns out not the way you’ve planned it. And that can be a good thing. It definitely was in my case. On July 3rd, 2018, when most of my friends knew about my intention to leave the United States before 2020, I received a call from my best friend’s husband. He told me that he had received a job offer in the Middle East, where he would be working six weeks at a time and then would have six weeks off.
Since he and his family didn’t consider living in the Middle East full-time, they thought about moving to Malta as well. I was thrilled when I heard the news as I was happy I already would know at least a few familiar faces in a new environment, unlike when I moved to Huntington Beach back in 2011.
To top this news off, they asked me if I would consider working as their nanny for their little daughter until I find a full-time job. I didn’t hesitate one second and took their offer. This also meant that I was able to leave the US way sooner than thought. Even though I love Southern California, I was very much looking forward to a more stress-free, low-key life in the Mediterranean.
During that telephone conversation, we also set my departure date: November 14, 2018. That gave me four more months to prepare my move and enjoy lots of quality time with my friends. So, friends, this is how my decision fell on Malta, where I spent five months before moving back to Germany.
It was five months full of challenges, re-adjusting to European life, and recovering from my life in California. While I loved that I was still living by the water, I just felt cramped. The island definitely is very small, and so are its streets and sidewalks. Everybody is somehow connected to everybody on the island.
Even though I did get to live with my best friend, spent lots of quality time with her sweet little daughter, I missed my close friends in Germany a lot. I also wasn’t too thrilled about the job opportunities (for me personally) in Malta. After a few deep conversations with my best friend, I came to the conclusion it would be best for me to move to Germany, where I’d already seen a few job opportunities that excited me.
When I had decided to leave California for good, I never imagined in a million years that I would ever live in Germany again. But, as I probably mentioned in quite a few posts before, never say never. And, to be completely honest, I actually felt excited about moving back to the homeland. So in April of 2019, I made the (for the time being) last big move and haven’t regretted it since.
Image: Anne-Kathrin Schulte
Anne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor to CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as about working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher.
After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She lived in Southern California from 2011 till November 2018.
Anne-Kathrin recently moved back to Germany to pursue her career and be closer to childhood friends and family. But even though she doesn’t reside in sunny California anymore, she continues to live according to the motto: You can take the girl away from the beach, but you can’t take the beach away from the girl.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.