It’s been almost two months since they arrived in Macedonia. Carolina and Nil are the only people from the Spanish group that work in a travel agency here. After this time, both of them confirm it’s the perfect place to gain experience in the field.
A good day starts with a coffee, and that’s what Carolina and Nil do before coming to their work. They have two shifts – first from 10 am to 1 pm and the second one from 1 pm to 4 pm. Working place is Arbotravel, a family-run travel agency with a trusted clientele. There are already three women working, so Carolina and Nil enlarged the team.
“With the employees the communication is very good, two of the girls speak English. But with the clients, there is not much because the majority speaks Macedonian”, says Carolina. She adds that even there are difficulties like that, they still can learn a lot from that experience. Nil also thinks the working place makes the day better. Shortly, he comments: “Just perfect with all the people. They speak English, so it rewards a lack of communication with Macedonian.”
When I talk to people from the agency, they are pleased with the work of Nil and Carolina. “Usually, we receive the people for the internship, and after this period of time of our new crew, we can confirm they are very good at the job. We give them tasks that they later do during working hours.”
So far, they have already completed several of them. On the agency, they organize programs and travels for the customers. For now, Nil and Carolina are planning two travels: both of them in Spain. The first one will last one week, and the main goal is to show the sunny side of Spain. Anyone can take part in that trip: it’s all-inclusive for families, friends or groups. Another program is a city break in Barcelona, which will last four days. “We are planning the travel, and then people from the agency decide if this travel they will put on sale or not”, says Nil. Carolina says that preparing these programs was a pleasure: “So far, there have been no problems because the girls have helped us a lot.”
The company was created 30 years ago, and from that time, they’ve gained a lot of trust from the clients. During that period, Arbotravel also made cooperation with other institutions. One of them is Volunteers Centre Skopje, which made it possible for people from Spain to do an internship in a travel agency. “We have people for an internship here every year except last year because of coronavirus. Many people have passed through our agency. They’ve been here for a long or short time, both from Macedonia and from abroad”, explains one of the workers.
For the first time, Nil and Carolina have the opportunity to gain experience in such a place. Earlier, during their studies, they performed tasks that were only planning and not the actual performance of the profession. “I’m learning to plan real travels. In my studies, I was planning a lot of travels, but it’s just planning, not doing it. Here is a real-to-sale”, says Nil.
Their tasks at work also require other competencies. They’ve started an Instagram account of a travel agency to promote Macedonia in other countries, especially of their own. Even though they’ve gained different skills on studies, this also can teach them a lot. Carolina agrees that she can see herself in this kind of job. “I think it’s a job that will satisfy me in the future. I’ve studied for this, and I want to work on it.”
Working in a place like this showed them another side of the coin. “In Macedonia, there is no haste at all. In Spain, every day goes so fast and here it is more chill. Because of that, you can work better, and you don’t have to be that stressed”, says Nil. Nothing surprised Carolina here, but she points out the openness of people. “I wasn’t surprised at all, but I’d like to point out that people who come to the agency are really friendly”, she adds.
They are both very satisfied with the workplace. In addition, they try to take full advantage of life in Macedonia, which is flying faster and faster.