We Never Made It To Malaga

The plan was to move to Malaga to see what life would be like away from Malta, in a more diverse, metropolitan and well connected country, but we never made it there. We were supposed to stay in Granada with Ana’s family while looking for accommodation in Malaga but one thing lead to another, I fell in love with the tranquility in this tiny village in the mountains, Ean loved being close to his grandparents and I came up with an idea to renovate an existing space on Ana’s parents property and turn it into an apartment for us while looking for property to buy and renovate in Malaga. It made more sense to put money into renovating and expanding her parents property than to flush the money down the drain on some semi decent rental apartment owned by strangers, 1.5 hours from the grandparents.

I had no idea how Ean would react to the move from Malta but he hasn’t indicated or mentioned anything about his old daycare, friends, home or anything else. On purpose we haven’t mentioned anything from Malta to him, in fear of sparking a memory, triggering sorry, longing or confusion. Not even today when he saw an old photo of himself in our kitchen in Malta, not a single reaction, he just wanted to scroll forward to the photos from the airplane and it really surprised me. After all, it’s the only home he’s known in his short life and I assumed he would feel some kind of connection to it but no, nothing… what a relief. I felt a little guilty uprooting him like this but judging by his reactions so far, it was all in my head.

Since we came up with the idea of moving to Malaga, I’ve been fixating on the metropolitan side of things so it was quite surprising when I realised how much I liked it out here in the mountains of Granada. Just saying it, in the mountains, it relaxes me and encourages me to take a deep breath. It’s a slight exaggeration, I mean we’re not in the middle of nowhere, but right on the border of nowhere, with only 5 minute drive to restaurants, shops and supermarkets and 10 minutes to several malls and 20 minutes to Granada city.

Seeing Ean run around in the grass barefoot, gawking at the open landscape and beautiful nature, is such a treat and that on its own makes leaving Malta worth it. Now he will be next door to his grandparents, only separated through a garden and family life will be so much richer for him.

Today we we’re in the park and I was sitting and relaxing in the setting evening sun with Ana next to me, watching our shadows get longer and Ean play ball with his grandparents, surrounded by tranquility, ducks in a pond, trees and plenty of greenery to stumble and fall softly on, just on the edge of the neighbouring village. It used to be just me and him in a dusty park surrounded by concrete and asphalt (and a seafront that was so beautiful when it wasn’t covered in trash), while Ana was at the office. Quite a difference now and Ean is so happy, I mean he always is but this is different, he’s not just entertained, he’s radiant of joy and a full heart, with loving arms wherever he turns.

I’m sure he would have been just fine growing up in Malta (if you don’t count the health risks of breathing in all that construction dust every day. I had to clean his nose every day!) but this is next level stuff and I’m so pleased with not letting anything or anyone tell me I’m too old to reboot or that it’s too late to make such big changes. I mean, come on, we’re still in the EU, didn’t even change my sim card so it’s not like I’m going wildlife exploring here.

Having talked with both friends and strangers online though, this project has been met with a lot of oohs and aahs. Mostly positive of course but still with a general consensus of, holy crap are you sure you want to do this? The mountains say yes, as does the endless sandy beaches, forests, the city, and my heart… but most importantly of all, Ean is in absolute heaven so yes, yes… a thousand times yes, we are sure and this was well worth it!

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