Skopje 2.0

The first time I traveled to this city, I thought it would be the first and last time. It’s not that I didn’t like it, on the contrary, I enjoyed my time there very much. The City Center was beautiful. It was totally rebuilt, but it gave the idea of something old. Many people had protested against the rebuilt of the center and you could see the lion stones had colored paint on them. I thought that it was some kind of futuristic idea, but afterwards I was told it was the result of the mob. Due to the poor economy, it was crazy to spend that amount of money on just the center, but I still stay strongly against destruction.

Anyway, the reason that made me travel to Skopje three times in a year was because of job interviews and training for my future job. The short story would be: 8 hours rides on the bus, great new friends, cheap hostels, long nights at the hostel veranda drinking beers and having fun. I can’t forget the chills before the interviews that would decide what would our lives be in the future.

Now that I have arrived at the finish line, I look back and understand that those were some of the greatest times of my life. Not only I had started going along the road towards my dreams, but I also had the time of my life while I was trying to achieve them. I met so many people, I had so many experiences and I have grown a lot. This whole year with all its ups and downs has helped me grow tremendously as a person. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for all the gold in the world.

Now Skopje is really close to my heart. It feels really familiar to hear the name. Especially Hostel 42, where we stayed during the week of the training. As I am about to embark on a cruise ship and stay there for the whole 8 upcoming months, I had to get proper training on CPR, firefighting and maritime training in general. During the training I met other people from the Balkans who had been on a ship before, so they gave us an insight of what goes on there.

Maybe you will want to ask, how does someone pack their bags and leave their home and family for such a long time. And in my case it’s actually not just a question of money. Of course I would call that a big bonus. But the main reason is the thrill of being alone, or better said on my own, travelling the world, seeing new places, meeting new people, having experiences that I would never get to have where I am right now. I was tired of the same routine of my city, the cozy life that happens when you don’t move and do anything remotely dangerous. Remotely life changing. I have wanted to move from my comfort zone for a long time. After a year of hard work and persistence even after every setback, I can finally say I deserve this. Now I am really ready to start my new adventure. I don’t know where it is gonna take me, but that’s the best part.

When you have a vision, a burning desire, something that you desperately want to achieve, you start doing anything in your power and even more than that to get there. But sometimes we get so focused on that final point, that we tend to forget that part of the achievement is during the road that takes you to where you want to be. The bumps on the road make you appreciate the good times, the laughs with friends, the passengers that are there during these struggles that help you even with just a good word, or maybe just by being there with you. I will always be grateful for every part of this journey. There are so many pieces of happiness in this earth. You just have to open your eyes and catch them, before they’re gone.

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City Center
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City Center
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Restaurant at the Center

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Fountain at the Center

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Vardar River
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Bridge over Vardar

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Cake after getting the STCW Certificate
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Getting ready to go into the fire
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Pool Drills
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Our little Veranda at Hostel 42
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