Three generations of our family visited Malta!

by Incilay Golden
(Kitzingen, Germany)

My husband and I in Gozo

My husband and I in Gozo

I am Turkish, my family is from Istanbul. First time we came to Malta was in 1953.

When Malta was the headquarters of Southern Nato Command, my father was sent to Malta on duty. We all flew to Malta from Istanbul. I flew to Malta with my mother and my sister who was 2 years old at the time.

I was almost 7 years old, my mother registered me to school. My mother chose Sacred Heart School since it had dormitories. She figured that once I was immersed into an English speaking school, day and night, I would pick the language up immediately. I did not speak a single word of English! I was too young to start school in Turkey, thus I started primary school in Malta.

My mother was right. I learned to speak, read and write in English before I learned to read, write in Turkish!

We stayed for 3 years in Malta. By the time we left, all of us were fluent in English. We learned some Maltese too.

When we returned to Turkey, I was homesick for Malta for a long, long time. I remembered my friends, my school, my neighborhood with longing.

The clear ocean, the smell of thyme fields, the poppy gardens on the hill walking to Valletta.

I remembered picnics in the orange grove with my family. I remembered the artichokes that the nuns prepared for us at school.

I remembered my father's friends who flew model airplanes. I remembered the soccer games we attended. I remembered the beautiful tile floors of our home. I remembered the church bells, right behind our home.

I remembered the processions. I remembered the lovely Easter eggs in the display windows in Valletta. We sat at the coffee house outside, had ice-coffee by Queen Victoria's statue.

I remembered chasing the pigeons. I remembered getting our first potato-chips, with a small packet of salt included inside.

I remembered and spoke about it for years and years to come.

It took me three decades to go back to Malta.

During this time I moved to Germany, married an American teacher, had three daughters and started working at the American school. I spoke often about taking a trip to Malta.

Finally after 37 years, my husband and I and a group of friends from school, booked a trip to Malta.

I visited every place I remembered: starting from my Sacred Heart school and our home in Guardamangia Hill. We even found neighbors that remembered us from 1953!

We visited my father's former work place in Valletta. We went to the cake shop by Queen Victoria's statue. We visited the botanical gardens and took a boat trip to Gozo.

It was all as I remembered it. Beautiful blue sky, clear blue ocean, sun.

For a long time I thought that I had over-imagined all the wonderful things about Malta. It was all as wonderful as I remembered it.

My husband enjoyed himself and my friends did too.
Once they returned to Germany, they recommended it to their friends, and many more of our friends came on their own to visit Malta.

I was so happy to go back, that I decided to surprise my sister with a trip to Malta. She was very happy to return to Malta once again, after 55 years! We took in all the sights as well as visiting our old home and neighborhood. We had a wonderful time!

A few years later, my husband and I visited Malta again with a group of friends from school. They enjoyed it as much as we did.

Our trips to Malta were so enjoyable that we decided to visit Malta once again a few years ago, this time with our adult daughter.

We took her to all of our favorite places. She loved it so much, when she returned to Germany, she started to talk about getting a job and moving to Malta!

My mother, my sister and I, my daughter, three generations of my family love Malta and love visiting Malta.

When I am in Malta, it is like coming home. I do not feel like a tourist here. Malta is like visiting family.

I feel at home.

This story was one of 5 finalist stories in our first I LOVE MALTA CONTEST.

Comments for Three generations of our family visited Malta!

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Jan 05, 2013
My Malta My Home
by: Charles

I am Maltese born in Valletta lived in Sliema till I was 19. Then I went to Australia in 1960, been here 52 years. My wife is Australian.

As a surprise on my 70th birthday, she, my three sons, their wives and my daughter all went to Malta.

As soon as I put my foot on Maltese soil, I forgot I lived in Australia. I was HOME.

My children liked Malta so much they all want to go back! Even their wives being Australians, they just love it. My eldest son and his wife are moving to Malta next year, how long for time will tell.


Dec 11, 2012
I know how it feels to be so far away
by: Marion and Sherman

My wife and I are reading this story in front of our fireplace as Christmas approaches. Such a beautiful story - brings tears to our eyes.

Jul 25, 2011
This is my winning story.
by: Caroline Doyle

I found this really interesting and am due to visit myself soon, so I am even more excited now.

This is like a mini novel. Good Luck x

Jul 23, 2011
by: Helen

What a wonderful story.

I love Malta too, so I could see the places in my mind's eye, and understand your love for Malta.

Jul 20, 2011
Homesick for my little great island !!!!!
by: Maria

This story took me back nicely to my roots and I could almost feel the sensations that Malta can create and give to all, visitors or non.


Jul 19, 2011
by: Julie

A wonderful story, I hope you win.

Jul 15, 2011
Memories of childhood in a 'special' place
by: Janice

I too spent three years at school in Malta in the late 1960's.

It was one of the happiest times of my life and I too have been drawn back time and time again to this little island taking with me my children and hopefully soon my grandchildren.

Last year I went to a Tal Handaq School Reunion. After all these years there were still approx 200 people wanting to share their stories of school life and sunny days.

I know Malta has to move on (new buses, roads, etc) but oh how it is still so well loved by those who have wonderful childhood memories of growing up in a most 'special' place.

Jul 12, 2011
by: Christianne

It is a heart warming story! It filled my heart with joy and reminded me of my own memories that I have about our beautiful island.

Thanks for sharing.

Jul 12, 2011
by: Michael

All the stories have touched my heart, but not as much as this one. I found a real sense of peace and overwhelming joy.

Thank you for opening up to us.

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