Sitting down at a coffee shop gazing at the planes adorning Apron 9 on a lovely Friday morning waiting to embark on my 3rd trip this month. I have recently joined a Facebook group created by young Maltese travel enthusiasts and I was reading through a post someone posted asking about countries others feel he should travel solo, and one comment struck me, it read “I’d love to but I’m afraid”. Of course such a comment was matched with the typical “what are you afraid of?” Which got me thinking.
I’ve always loved traveling and aviation, I remember when as a young kid when we used to go on trips abroad during school break I used to stay up the night before we traveled and checked that I had my essentials (old Pentax film camera, film and snacks) ready for the adventure ahead, then wake the whole family up and hurry them to get ready 😂. Guess it’s something I took from my grandfather who loves reciting stories of his road trips behind the Iron Curtain in the late 50s and early 60s. I remember him recalling when he crossed into East Germany without a Visa and managed to talk his way out of detainment by saying he got lost – this is one of his funnier anecdotes.
Growing up my adventures were those mandatory 2 week trips just before school starts after summer or that skiing trip over Christmas and that countryside tour during Easter, which seems pretty normal for a white collar background but as I grew older, I would always yearn for that spice to my trips. It was as though traveling 3 times a year wasn’t enough. So in high school I signed up to as many exchanges as I was allowed to while trying to convince my parents to pay for them (at least some where EU financed but would like to thank my parents for the thousands shed out for my adventures none the less).
It’s funny as I started writing this post while waiting for my flight to Katowice only to end up finishing it while on a train to Warsaw after spending the weekend in Krakow. This is basically me in a nutshell – I can never stay put and I’m always on the lookout for my next Shindo so to speak. My job as a photographer allows me this freedom to take a few days off and go somewhere. A friend this morning texted to see how my trip is going and enticingly asked where I’m gonna be heading next 😂 to which I replied that I have no idea but it’s something to work on.
A couple months ago while in Brussels I opened a page called “Maltese Nomad” and right now this is my first full blog post. You never truly find yourself till you randomly book a flight at 2am which departs the next morning (I’ve done this) and arriving at the airport with no plan of action. This makes you soul search and rely on yourself to make it through the trip. I know it’s scary but it’s the most liberating thing you can do cause traveling first makes you speechless then turns you into the best story teller!
This past year was quite tough since I lost some people which where close to me and traveling helped me cope even though I never got to say goodbye to a close friend who unfortunately passed suddenly while I was away on business. This made me realise even more that life is short and that you shouldn’t live it behind a desk. You have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow so get that flight and make the most of it cause trust me if there was a flight which I didn’t take and I’ll probably regret it for the rest of my life.
To those who are still struggling to venture out alone I tell you “catch that flight, train, bus or boat which ever makes your heart pump and never look back”. It’s the best present one can ever gift himself/herself, flirt with life and live not end up in the never ending cycle of 9 to 5!