I’ve been a little disconnected from the internet-world near the Christmas holiday, which honestly has been refreshing. Instead of checking email, facebook, instagram, etc… I was checking out the Mediterranean Sea and all it’s beauty on the island of Malta.
Another Peace Corps Volunteer and I took a little break and ventured off to spend our Christmas holiday in a warmer climate since we would be missing far-away friends and family. We opted for a warm, island adventure and found ourselves in Malta days just before Christmas, enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures (low 60 degree temps).
Thanks to the wonderful world of facebook and the returned Peace Corps volunteer community (RPCV) we found an amazing place to stay with a host family who lives right along the water and not far from the capital city. We had lots of laughs and felt so welcome in their home during our short holiday stay. Thankfully the family spoke both English and Maltese, but it only took me about 2 days to stop responding in Romanian when asked simple questions.
Also, thanks to how we had to travel in order to get there and back, I now have added 3 new countries of places I have been to visit. We took the overnight train to Bucharest, Romania — where we met some new people, learned all about how long it takes to cross the border via train, and what it feels like to be rocked to sleep through the country of Romania. The sunrise in Bucharest was beautiful and thankfully we had extra time to figure out how to get out of the train station and how to get a ticket to ride and find the bus to the airport. I am grateful that my travel companion was willing and patient to follow my traveling-instincts even when I was wrong.
We had a lovely time — trying out some great Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine, learning some history, checking out the sites, and getting in little bit of quiet time next to the sea.
We started our departure back to Moldova on Christmas day – spending most of our time in airports… first in Malta and then in Istanbul, Turkey. We had a 13 hour layover in Istanbul and since it was overnight and a long layover, they put us up in a hotel. We didn’t see much of Istanbul — we got there when it was dark and were boarding the airplane in the early morning hours as the sun was coming up. Even still, we got to see a little bit of what it’s like at night (and at 4 am).
I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend Christmas in Malta with my friend, Ellen — it will certainly be a Christmas that I will not forget. I do miss my friends and family terribly, especially during this holiday season and I am oh, so grateful for the technology to be able to Skype and message with so many during this time.
Want to see all the photos from this trip? I took a lot, and even deleted many too… you can see all the photos from Malta here: https://sarajoyphotos.shutterfly.com/5171.