Going home to Macedonia

Nevenka Stefanovska
Nevenka Stefanovska
Studying for a Master's in Communication at Purdue University Calumet, Nevenka Stefanovska, is already underway with a career in marketing


“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

― Terry Pratchett

First of all, I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I first arrived in Chicago, with my life carried in two large overstuffed suitcases, a slightly-bigger-than average carry-on bag, a purse, a laptop bag and several duty-free bags picked up from the airports on my way here.

I arrived in the US on August 13, 2012 – sleep deprived but with a bubbling feeling of excitement – one that occurs when you know you are chasing your dream and that only the sky is the limit.

Indeed, it has been an amazing year. So many new experiences, interesting people, sights, travel and so much learned – both academically and experience-wise. After two semesters of heavy school-related activities, it is time for a well-deserved and much-anticipated trip home and a short vacation.

The journey home

My journey back starts at Chicago O’Hare international airport, where I ended up being the very last (and slightly late) passenger to board. After being rushed in through security by people with walkie-talkies (and through the famous TSA scanner), I was safely on board Airbus A323-300 en route to Istanbul.


Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was a feast in itself; every corner had an unlimited sampling of Turkish Delights with berries, pistachios, coconut, figs, walnuts, cashews, and cherries. Due to time restraint and connecting flights, I am not sure I managed to try them all, but I promise I tried.

And then I arrived home – in Skopje, Macedonia!

Spending two weeks with family and friends (and a dear cat) is not nearly enough, but I would have embarked on the journey even if I had only days. Arriving home I am reminded of the food, the culture and the hospitality of the Macedonians.


I also ventured into the old part of town, where all the artisans and old masters make handmade jewellery and filigree.


Short trip to Greece

Meats in all forms and shapes, cheese and salads from fresh veggies were my daily diet. A variety was added with some fresh grilled seafood during my short trip to Greece.


Sadly, the more you enjoy yourself, the faster time flies and soon enough it is time for my trip to come to an end. Macedonia, which I am leaving behind, will always remain my home. But just like Sir Terry Pratchett says, “Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving”.

One difference, for example, is that I am now going back to my new home – the US. It is where my friends, my school, my work awaits me (and a new dear cat of my own).

It is very true that there is no place like home, but being an international student at Purdue University Calumet, I also learn that home is where your travels take you.

Smiles and aeroplanes,