Thoughts after the pictures.
The world is a deeply fascinating place. Having traveled quite extensively over the last year, I have been fortunate to understand just how complex, and yet how simple the world is. Complex in the sense that there are so many diverse cultures and peoples that roam this planet of ours. Simple in that we all, in a way, follow a version of Maslow's pyramid, taking care of our basic needs first, and if we are lucky, working on our self-actualization.
I am going to start at the end, as my most fascinating experience occurred as I was going to the Malta airport. I was in a taxi with a very friendly driver. He was in his late 40s or early 50s, married and had a daughter. He was from Malta, naturally. Most interesting, though, is that he had never left the island. Ever. He was a hard working man, who has been saving his money for many years. We talked about his hopes and dreams, and it was to come to a place like the United States, buy a tiny cottage in the woods without internet, television, or any modern comforts, and just be. Something about him was simply charming. In a way that is hard to find anymore. A rare man, and sadly my words cannot do him justice.
Returning to Malta itself, its reminded me of of what Morocco could be in about 30 years (and assuming it were an island).
But first, I must describe the nature of my visit. I was in Malta for one purpose, which was to obtain my Scuba Open Water Diver Certification. [For more information, visit http://donotbeboring.com/runningcommentary/ ]. That mission: Accomplished. But unfortunately I had little time to explore the country.
Islands, particularly developed ones, are highly interesting places for me. They develop a very strong character and flavor to them. Naturally, Manhattan comes to mind. Dartmouth, although not an island, feels like one. And Malta, well, Malta is a particularly fascinating case, nestled in the middle of the Mediterranean between Sicily, Tunisia, and Libya,
I will just provide a few comments on Malta, to conclude. Unfortunately I cannot provide as nuanced a picture as I would like:
- It is a highly diverse place, particularly in the diversity of tourists. People simply from everywhere imaginable.
-Many of the beaches in Malta lack sand. What is a beach without sand? Is that still a beach? Rock does not count, in my mind. And yet, there are those who prefer a rocky to sandy beach. Who are you?
-The "club" scene is very young. Perhaps too much so. 14-19 year olds dominate the clubs. Not my vibe, but would be fun 10 years ago.
-Malta has an interesting history, and there are numerous places to visit. It could easily fill a month exploring the island. And one day I will.