The time has come and my volunteering year is coming to an end. I have roughly 1 month left here in Skopje, so it is about time to reflect a little bit on the past months and how they were treating me.
In the past weeks I had to say good bye to so many people that had conquered a place in my heart. Yet very sad, these farewell moments made me realize how lucky I was meeting all these people. I came alone into a country I barely heard the name of and now here I am with a rich social life, true friends I was able to connect with and many other lovely people I didn`t even get the chance to know properly. This shows me how full this world is with warm-hearted and open-minded people. It doesn`t matter where you go, if you search for them, you will find the people you need and want in your life.
In general, I feel like being here in Skopje for a much longer time than 1 year. Not because it was boring! On the contrary it was such a fast life, filled with millions of memories, new experiences and interesting people. So many different viewpoints crossed my path that I could learn from. If Indian Muslim, American soldier or Macedonian Hippy – all these people, no matter how different from me, inspired me in their own way and made me much more tolerant towards unfamiliar attitudes to life. In general, I feel like my empathy for other people and their mindset has definitely increased.
Workwise I had many opportunities to develop a bunch of soft skills. I learned how to edit audio and video files, how to create social media content and even how to write and apply for projects. The biggest personal improvement for myself is definitely my ability to speak in front of others. In many workshops, presentations and events, I was forced to get out of my comfort zone straight into the spotlight. That is something I tried to avoid all the time in school for example. Through the podcast I am doing I also learned basic principals of interviewing and moderating. But the most important skill I gained is to think broad and creative in order to create an event or project basically from scratch. That is something I am very grateful for, as you don’t learn this way of thinking in German schools.
As you can see my time here in Macedonia was a very valuable experience on so many layers. It helped me to find out more about what I want from life. It even brought me closer to the decision what and if I want to study, which is an enormous achievement for me. Trust me! And most importantly I can without any doubts say, that I had a lot of fun. As always there were easier and more difficult periods but I was always surrounded by people that could lift me up. And that is what matters in the end!
Till is hosted on the project “Volunteers for a Green Future” by GoGreen in Skopje, North Macedonia. The project is financed by the European Solidarity Corps and JUGEND für Europa.