The Balkan Highway: Midterm Reflection – Vladan’s Experience


Hi there! It has already been 6 months since I have been here at the Smokinya Foundation, and I need to point out something straight from away – this is an experience that I will never forget.

Few days before New Year’s eve I packed my suitcase and caught a bus which took me to Bulgaria, a country that I knew little about, to do things that I know even less about. After a long and tiring trip, I arrived in Plovdiv where I met different people with different backgrounds both professional and cultural. At that point, it became pretty clear that this will be a really interesting experience…


Back to the present moment – the end of June 2021, I have done many things that I always wanted to do. I traveled across an unknown country, I started learning a new language, I started meeting people from different parts of the world, and most importantly for me – I started doing things that I believe contribute to society and people around me.

Every month until now I have made several videos, but the most satisfying are the ones from the Smokinya Show series. Every month I invite people that have experience in different fields and I have short interviews/conversations with the aim to learn more about their field and obstacles they encounter in those fields.

Smokinya Foundation offers many opportunities for young people together with partners from all across Europe, and coordinating and promoting these ventures is also something that is really interesting and satisfying, with a thought that somebody will go, learn something, and get back to their country to implement the acquired knowledge.


And last but not least, being the youngest member of the Smokinya Foundation helps me to grow on both personal and professional levels, which is the biggest takeaway that I can ask for.

That is it from me for now – better days are coming, stay positive, and never give up!

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The Balkan Highway: Midterm Reflection – Vladan’s Experience