Most people thought I was crazy to travel to the Balkans by myself. I was lectured on safety, on health, on everything imaginable. But I had been curious about the region for years, not least because the only thing I really knew about it related to the conflicts in the 1990’s. There was surely more to the Balkans than that, and I couldn’t wait to discover it.
Skopje reminded me of Tomorrowland. I mean that in every sense of the word. In the Disneyland sense, it looked like a 1960’s version of what the future thankfully didn’t turn out to look like. In the modern sense, new, futuristic buildings and public spaces were popping up everywhere in the capital of Macedonia.
Lake Ohrid is paradise. Straddling the border between Albania and Macedonia in the Balkans, the ancient body of water lies at the base of green mountains and stone fortresses. Its perimeter is dotted with towns and villages that are home to some of the most important churches in Macedonian Orthodox history. The most famous of these cities is aptly called Ohrid, and I was excited to enter the 77th country on my 90 under 30 Travel Project there.