Landing in Malta: Relinquishing control

Landing in Malta: Relinquishing control

One day before I left for Malta, I decided to cancel my rental car. Not only did the Maltese drive on the left side of the road (a feat with which I had zero experience) but a bit of scouring online travel forums left me with the impression that they also were slightly aggressive drivers. Sure, aggressive drivers can be found in any country, but I made the last-minute decision to not spend my holiday navigating opposite-side foreign roads, shifting gears with my left hand instead of my right, and nervously oversaturated with adrenaline. Instead I would be at the mercy of Malta's unpredictable and questionably unreliable bus system. I rationalized that although I may have to follow someone else's schedule, at least my hands would be free to write...and to restlessly fidget with Google Maps on my Smartphone to make sure we were going in the right direction.

Valletta at sunrise.

Valletta at sunrise.

If my departure from Barcelona and my arrival in Malta were bookends, the books would be stacked nicely against the Malta end while they descended in a domino pattern toward Barcelona. From a mysteriously cancelled airport-bound train to a post-boarding failed plane engine requiring the entire plane to de- and re-board a new aircraft, something was making me believe that I shouldn't go to Malta. Despite a softly rocky landing, the Vueling flight arrived in Malta beneath clear skies arced by a full rainbow. OK, I thought, maybe everything will be fine.

Malta International Airport.

Malta International Airport.

The skies had cleared and so had my mind, and I reassuringly thanked myself for cancelling my rental car. From the time I landed, I would be forced to relinquish control, an aspect of travel that keeps me coming back, challenging me to step aside and remind myself that the only thing I can control is in which direction the corners of my mouth are pointed.

Just as I boarded bus 119 from the airport to Marsaxlokk, it started to rain.

Into the groove: How I found my footing as an expat in Barcelona

Into the groove: How I found my footing as an expat in Barcelona

Malta, Day 1: A misty arrival

Malta, Day 1: A misty arrival