Massimo Farrugia is a former Times of Malta reporter who now lives in Brussels works as a policy advisor to the European Parliament's delegations for the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

I followed my passions when choosing what to study. I picked theatre initially as a secondary field in my undergraduate but ended up enjoying it more than my other area, English, so I chose it as my major.

I never wanted to be an actor. That wasn’t what drew me to theatre. I was attracted by the interdisciplinary nature of the course offered by what is today the University of Malta's School of Performing Arts. It touched upon history, politics, anthropology, sociology, architecture, art, science and philosophy. The undergraduate experience gave me the mental flexibility I needed.

My diploma in Arabic followed my work at the Times. I had always had an intellectual interest in the language. As a reporter, it opened up a window to the Middle East and North Africa. Today, I work in the European Parliament's civil service covering Palestine and the Mashreq countries, so it comes in handy.

I like what I do, and I like to think it's relevant. I work in the External Policy Directorate-General of the European Parliament as desk officer for Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. I support the MEPs who work on these countries, follow what is happening there and play my small role in shaping EU policy towards our southern neighbourhood.

My job was my excuse to leave Malta. Much as I love my country, I always felt like there was much more to see and experience than the reality contained within the confines of our shore. I think many Maltese can relate to this today more than ever before due to the frequency of travel. The world is simply much more accessible to us than it ever was to anyone, anywhere.

It is foolish to pass up the chance to experience life elsewhere. Whenever I meet people of different backgrounds and values, I find myself challenging my own views and learning a lot. I am a better person today than I was before I left.

Is Malta the best place in the world to live in? As Maltese, we usually think Malta it is. And that's probably true for many. But I always wondered: is it possible that 500,000 people live in the best place on earth, and the 7.5 billion others haven't realised that? I have my doubts. I miss my family and friends though, and I miss the blue sea.

Are you a Maltese person living abroad? Contact malteseabroad@timesofmalta.com

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us