Updated: Aug 5
Every Sunday afternoon, dozens of people - foreigners and locals - gather in one place in Skopje. In a bar in the center of Skopje every week they meet people, make friends, communicate, and develop friendships.
All of this is part of the concept of the "Expats meet up" event, which has been held in the capital of Macedonia for more than a year now.
Behind the organization of the event is a woman from Skopje known to foreigners under the pseudonym Dian. She makes the whole organization behind these events that have so far united hundreds of people from various countries around the world, who at one point found themselves in Skopje.
“The idea started because of my swap language group and was just about languages. My friend Geri said let's start a ‘live’ meet-up. So we did it last year on July the 3rd. We started the events every sunny Sunday at 7 PM in the City Park. It was all summer. Then the weather became bad and I stopped the events. Went to another social event where I found expats who actually asked about this type of event and after one week of a break ‘expats meet up’ was born. So from swap language, it became an expat event”, Dian explains for Skopje.IN.
The goal for this event, as she explains, is to bring the foreigners, expats, and travelers all in one place where they can share experiences, find travel buddies, or simply help each other and hang out.
Until now (including the swap events) 55 events were held. Usually, there are around 15-20 people, Dian explains, adding that it depends on the season and weather.
“Usually mostly we have (people) from USA, England... but of course we had from many far countries like Uruguay, Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia...”, Dian says.
These events are very important for the expats community, she is determined.
“I wish we could have something like this in other cities like Ohrid. Personally have attended one in Malta and getting to know different people is such a nice feeling”, Dian adds.
Eliot Harris is one of the many people that often participate in this event.
"I love being a part of the expat community in Macedonia", he tells Skopje.IN.
He explains that through the special weekly event “that blurs the lines of international borders”, they celebrate togetherness and friendship.
According to him, these weekly expat events are a unique gathering where expatriates from all corners of the world come together to meet up, play engaging games, and enjoy a few local drinks at iconic and personal favorite bars across Skopje.
“Being a part of this event fosters an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual understanding, which is so important in a place where you can feel lost once starting a new life in a different country. For me, this event holds profound personal significance. It provides me with a sense of belonging to both expats and locals in Macedonia, and I have made strong connections that transcend borders and language barriers. In the midst of all the fun-filled games and light-hearted conversations, I find solace in knowing that I'm not alone in my journey”, Harris adds.
At the events, he says that he met so many wonderful people and formed enduring friendships that have become an integral part of his life here.
“This weekly event serves as a reminder that despite being far from home, our expat community can create a supportive and welcoming environment. We've turned strangers into an extended family, and it has opened up further opportunities and connections in our new home”, Harris pointed out.
Dian’s wish is to increase the attendance for this event, and for that, as she says "I need social media engagement and effectively spread the word about the event".
The next event is already scheduled this Sunday at 5 PM at Caffee Samo.