At Maltainsideout, we get a lot of correspondence from people thinking of moving to Malta, and who want to know not just about the specifics (cost of living, schools and so on) but also simply ‘what it’s like’, day to day. This is always hard to answer in brief, but here, Andy May gives the family man’s viewpoint. If men are on corporate moves to Malta, they often have a ready-made routine waiting for them, but it doesn’t mean they don’t worry about how trailing wives and kids will get on. Every family member’s welfare counts if a new working life in Malta is going to work out.
Telling your family you’re all moving to a new country is certainly not one of the easiest things to do in life. Playing the bad guy is not a role I enjoy and to see the tears in the eyes of my 10-year old son and his seven-year-old sister as we said goodbye to our friends and headed over to Malta is something I will always remember.
Kids are fairly resilient and easily bribed with a nice house with a swimming pool and a few days at the beach. Once into a routine, everyone soon settled down into Malta life and as a family we began to enjoy the experience. We do more family stuff than we ever did in the UK, we spend more time outside and we can now afford to give the kids all the after school interests they want such as private tennis, music and dancing lessons.
As for me, moving to Malta has made a massive difference to my quality of life – a two-hour daily commute into London has been swapped for a short cycle ride to work. I work in a medium-sized office with a friendly group of people many of whom find themselves in a similar position to us so there is a real feeling of team spirit and ‘being in it together’ which is a refreshing change from the impersonal business relationships with the hundreds of work colleagues back in the main London office.
The ‘work hard, play hard’ phrase gets overused but I can honestly say it’s a winning formula and is one which we adopt in our Malta office. Outside of work the families of work colleagues tend to socialise together; the guys play sport together at weekends, and the mums and kids get together when we are out at work. It takes time to integrate into the wider community, so having a ready-made social group from day one was a real help.
Given the doom and gloom of the recession, which seems more acute in UK than it does in Malta, I’m in no rush to go home just yet. A crumbling economy, high levels of unemployment and the highest tax rates in Europe make the UK a fairly unattractive option right now. I’ll happily sit out the recession in the sunshine of Malta with a nice cold Cisk beer in hand!