Arriving in Malta for the first time in 18 years

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Setting foot off that plane onto Maltese ground is the most indescribable feeling you could ever feel. It’s as if you’re home. I hadn’t been back since 1996 when I was 7 years old. To step off that plane and feel like I’m home, the smell of the air, the warmth of the sun on my skin – amazing.

We had our family waiting there for us. It was just mum and I, visiting for my cousin’s wedding. The first thing I wanted to do was see nanna. Nanna Sunta is my only living grandparent left. I knew that when I would see her, she may not remember me as she has dementia.

We had my mum’s uncle pick us up from the airport and take us to Gozo. The ferry. Ahh the ferry. A feeling of nostalgia came over me. The smell of the sea. The food at the cafe. The first thing I bought was Maltese Twistees and a bottle of Kinnie – a flood of memories came back. I was itching to see nanna.

Driving through Gozo, everything seemed so foreign, yet so familiar from when I was younger. I couldn’t wait to get out there and venture the islands and pick up where I left it when I was 7.

Finally, I am there, 23 hours of travelling and I see her, sitting there in her chair. An overwhelming feeling came over me. Tears in my eyes. She didn’t remember me. But when I told her she was my nanna and I loved her – she replied saying she loved me back. She complimented my bag and jewellery. As much as it broke my heart to see her like that, it was most definitely and will be the highlight of my trip.

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