How did I get here?

Living in Macedonia

It al started in 2010, my best friend and I went on a 15 day vacation to Corfu in Greece. And yes there he was, he arrived on 6th of august (we still keep this as some kind of anniversary date, which we both always forget). He was with three of his best friends, and their goal clearly was to go out till dawn and drink a lot. And for the record, that wasn’t our goal, we slept most of that holiday.

We started talking and one of the first questions was to me: are you German? Ok, the one thing that Dutch people hate, besides meeting other Dutch people on the holiday, is to always be compared to the Germans. No offence to the Germans, but our language is really not THAT similar.

The second question: we are Macedonians, do you know where is Macedonia? Ehh, I honestly had to Google that later that day. Overall we hung out together a couple of times during our stay in Corfu, nothing special happened there. It happened after.

Back then, we had MSN messenger, and my friend and I gave ours and the guys gave theirs. And me and my future boyfriend started talking, and talking and talking, we didn’t stop! And then the feelings came and in January 2012 I decided to take two weeks off from work and fly to Macedonia. My only thought was: I need to figure it out, is this true love or just fun?

I had two amazing weeks, met with him again after 1,5 year, meeting all his friends and family. Seeing Macedonia for the first time and already trying to read the signs on the road (not possible seriously), eating the local food and getting to know their culture. Not only was I in love with him, I was in love with the country as well.

So we where officially dating at that point, and the long distant relationship began. Was it hard? Yes and no. We saw each other after the first time, after 5 months. And we traveled threw Europe for 2 months in the summer. It was also a test, if he could really keep up with me for 2 months, but he did a remarkable job. After that summer we saw each other every 2 or 3 months for a couple of days.

You get to know each other on a completely other level when you are in a long distant relationship. You learn how to talk. Seems weird, but really it is a big issue in a lot of relationships. The only thing I could do when I was upset was to throw my phone against the wall, so that was basically useless.

Somewhere in the middle of 2013 I decided that it was time for some change. I got sick and tired of the long distant relationship and basically told my boyfriend that I will be coming to Macedonia. Why me? Well simple, as a young girl I always said I don’t want to grow old in the Netherlands. It is honestly an awesome country if you look at social care and the health standards, but that’s about it. I need to explain this a lot to everyone who is asking me: ‘of all countries, why the hell Macedonia?’ very simple: in the Netherlands you live to work, in Macedonia you work to live. And that is the biggest difference in mentality.

On the 7th of June of 2014 my dad drove me and all my stuff (I seriously didn’t know how much stuff I actually had until I started packing) to Macedonia. Trust me the days before you leave, it is so emotional! I started crying when I went one more time pass all the rooms in my house. And saying goodbye to your friends and family, I cried, I cried a lot.

But nevertheless, I was so excited to go and start my new life! It is weird leaving your country and everything that you’re used to, but trust me, you will appreciate everything so much more. And officially I was living in Skopje on the 9th of June.