My family and I moved to Malta a year-and-a-half ago. At the time, my twin daughters had just turned two and my husband Tom was sinking his teeth into a new job in iGaming.

Tom had worked in Malta a great deal of the year before, so he knew the lie of the land and was confident that this would be a good home for us. He was correct, but perhaps saw it through the lens of an individual going to and from the office and stopping for a drink on the way home. The Malta that I saw when I arrived – with two tiny children in a buggy and no fixed plans to fill my day – was quite a different thing.

In fact, the first thing I got rid of was the aforementioned buggy! I found it almost impossible to get a great big double-stroller around Sliema, so the girls were going to have to walk. This made even the simplest of errands extremely slow-going and often nerve-racking and, as we didn’t have a car, our options for where else to go were limited.

I’m not going to lie – the first half of the year was extremely hard. It took several months to find a property to rent so we stayed in a number of holiday lets and AirBnBs. When we eventually moved into an apartment, I really struggled with the convention of furnished and finished rentals here in Malta. I was desperate to bring my own things over and to enjoy a home which felt more like my own. Without nursery places or easy-to-find child-friendly activities like soft-play or toddler classes around Sliema, it was hard to keep two active little girls entertained, and it was harder still to make friends of my own.

And yet here we are 18 months later and our life in Malta is both settled and very happy. At the end of 2019, the girls started KS1 which has been lovely for all of us (albeit somewhat interrupted by recent events!). At the beginning of 2020, we moved into a long-term rental and brought our container of belongings over to the island. Malta has since provided interesting work opportunities, lovely friends, and a safe and happy place for our girls to grow. We truly feel like this is our home, and are enormously grateful that we are able to put down roots here.

But I know that this beautiful island can be a tough nut to crack and it is my express wish that Mini Malta provides some advice, guidance and support to you as you start your life here. It may take a little while but you will find that Malta has everything you need to build a really happy, stylish and fun home for yourself. I look forward to being with you every step of the way.