Hola, I am Marijana! I grew up in a country called Macedonia which is placed among Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. I spent 19 years of my life there, in a small village surrounded by the nice nature, mountains and refreshing weather. I had a nice childhood and crazy high school years, but it was all amazing. At that time in Macedonia, everyone was really obsessed with South American soap operas (especially the grandmas) and this was the main subject among everyone. I have to admit I used to watch them(all) as well and now you are like ‘’Why is she talking about this sh*t?’’, but wait my point is that after all those South American soap operas where siblings marry each other and ‘’yo soy tu madre’’ finals, a nice tv series appeared and this time from Spain!

‘’Come on. It started!’’ – my grandma used to say when our favourite tv series was about to start. Every day after school I used to meet with her so we both can watch the tv series together. It was our favourite one. I am talking about the famous ‘’Los Serrano’’. If you don’t know it, you should check it out. I really love them! It is a really lovely tv series about one Spanish family living in Madrid. And why I am mentioning them? Because my love for Spain was born with them! I was around 14 years old and after watching this tv series I became interested more in this country, culture and way of life.

I visited Spain for the very first time when I turned 18 years old. I went to Galicia and it was WOOW!
Amazing nature, great people, so cosy… especially Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral. Something that everyone should see! After this trip, I wanted to go back of course, but it was this high school last year period when confusions start, you don’t know what to do etc. Well, what I did was moving to my neighbourhood country – Bulgaria. I moved there to study/work in the capital called Sofia(omg, I miss it so much!) and spent there almost 4 years. I really enjoyed it because this moving abroad on my own gave me so many new opportunities and experiences. I met new people, grew up, learned new things, improved my language skills and also this is where I first try volunteering! I just saw some post on facebook about volunteers needed on an international charity bazaar and I was like ‘’Oookey, this sounds interesting!’’. I applied and the other day they called me. I was not sure if I want to go, but I went. Why not try it. It was really great. So many international people, international food, dances... amazing! The people who were volunteering with me were around my age(at that time I was 20) and they were talking about something called Erasmus+. I had no idea about it, but they explained me about some youth exchanges, training courses for free. I didn’t believe it, but after the charity bazaar was finished I investigated it all at home. It was true(I guess)… I found few NGO’s working with this, I contacted them for more information, but still, it took me 4-5 months to apply and finally I did! 
My first exchange was in Turkey and after I went on another one and another one … to make it short – when you go on Erasmus+ once, after that you cannot stop it and trust me! Trust me! And it was not enough for me to go only for one week on Erasmus+, so I decided to try short-term EVS for 2 months in Turkey! Of course I had the time of my life there, made friends for life and I really wanted to continue my long-term EVS there too, but then I thought again about Spain, Spanish language, my wish to move there and how it all started, so I left Turkey and started to look for a project in Spain. No one was selecting me... I was very disappointed seeing emails like: ‘’Sorry we are looking for European volunteers’’, ‘’Sorry we already have a volunteer’’ and when I finally found a project all the odds were against me not to go. Because of circumstances, I couldn’t go on the EVS in Spain where I finally was selected... I ended up staying at home with my flight ticket, visa and luggage ready. I didn’t know what to do, but I said I should try one more time, to send one more application(it was more than 20 actually) and finally I received a nice feedback: ‘’We would like to have an interview with you’’. Amazing and where? In Murcia! Sun! Too much... but okay, it is a nice project, so why not? So obviously the interview went well and here I am here I am now - where people are always late and are never enough of fiesta, siesta and summer! Wish me luck!

Btw, if you want to hear more from Mari, you should definitely check her blog: ←


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