When travelling is all you need

17 years old and solo travelling

I come from the relatively big family and that’s one of the reasons why we never travelled when I was a kid. I remember how jealous I was when some of my friends went abroad with their parents and we just crossed the border of Sweden to go to eat meatballs in Ikea. But honestly, I totally get it, big family, lots of relatives to visit during the summer and lovely old house to renovate.

My parents knew for a long time how much I want to go and explore the world. When I was about 15 years old, they told me that I can choose destination where to go and have a language course.

Malta was actually the second place where I travelled outside of Finland. I was 17, my English wasn’t really great but I was eager to learn more English. So I decided to travel alone to Malta and stay there for 3 weeks. Not speak Finnish, only English and live in a host family. That’s how my passion for solo travelling started.

Since my English wasn’t very good at the time, some moments were really hard but somehow everyday was a great experience. Malta was a totally different place from where I was used to. While we had +12 degrees in my home city Rovaniemi that summer, Malta had one of the hottest summer for years. +45 degrees was sometimes little bit too much but luckily during the hottest time of the day I was having my language course.

So what did I do in Malta besides studying? Malta, especially St. Julians where I lived, is known for its parties. I’m not lying when I tell that there weren’t any days without alcohol. The age limit for alcohol is 17 years (lucky me) compared to back home being 18 years. How easy it is when you can just walk to the supermarket and buy your own alcohol while back home you had to make effort to get some. One of the highlights of the whole “holiday” was MTV music festival. Over 50 000 people, popular artists with the great atmosphere was worth of going.

Malta is also known for its sightseeing. There are two popular islands next to Malta, Comino and Gozo islands both of which are about 30 minute ferry trip away from Malta’s main island. From Gozo you’ll find the most popular tourist attraction, Azure Window. Gozo is more place to go and discover nature and surroundings when Comino is more for sunbathing and swimming.

Also in Malta’s main island beach culture is great. You can find a lot of beaches all over the island. There are rocky beaches but also sand beaches.

All in all, all the experiences were amazing in Malta. Malta was very different experience than Pula. One thing I found totally different in Malta was that there are more young than old people. In Malta there are more young people than old people. From the moment I arrived there I got friends. And communication… since English is one of the main languages in Malta I could just speak English to anyone everywhere where I went.

Next time I’ll tell you about the different country and different story.

-Aliisa Rissala

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