About

 

Hi, I’m Patrice Koerper.

In 2006, after 20+ years in public relations, marketing, and training and development, I took a very bold step and became one of only 450 folks over the age of 50, who serve as Peace Corps Volunteers each year worldwide. My adventure took me to the ancient, beautiful and mountainous country of Macedonia.

I spent three wonderful, exciting years in Macedonia from 2006 to 2009. Now I want to share the mystery and magic of this little-known, landlocked wonder with you!

I loved it so much I have returned each year for at least 6 weeks:

  • In September of 2010, I made my first return trip and hosted five interesting adventurous Americans there for three to four weeks. They loved it; none of them wanted to leave, and each wanted to return! 
  • In 2011 I returned again to work on projects, visit friends, and host an American.
  • In 2012, I returned as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer for 3.5 months to work on a special project in Bitola, Macedonia.

Can you tell, I love Macedonia? During my first Peace Corps service I hosted 13 friends and family members, all of whom absolutely loved their visits, and are still talking about them! 

I continue to work on projects in Macedonia, and plan to return in March of 2015. I’m planning on hosting another small group of  4-8 people for 10-14 day visits, while I am there. (Please note longer stays can easily be arranged.)

My goal is to share Macedonia with you – up close and personal. Having lived and worked in this beautiful land, my tours are different from any others and are customized to meet the needs and interests of the participants.

Length of stay is up to you. Participation level is also up to you, I will share lots of options – you can select what you would like to do. Every effort will be made to include your travel and personal interests in Macedonia – are you a history buff, an artist or nature lover? Do you love old churches, ancient ruins, vineyards? Do you want to spend time in rural villages, the mountains? Spend lazy days checking out the market, getting a European makeover, or a massage? Learn more about Macedonia cooking? Let me know and I will work to find a way to arrange it for you so you can fully Experience Macedonia.

Always included are visits with my favorite people and places. Our pace can be modified to meet the personal rhythms of early risers and night owls. I will be working on projects and giving presentations, which may coincide with your visit; you are welcome to join in on those, if they are of interest to you. My goal is to have you feel like you are visiting old friends or are living in Macedonia, if even for a short time.  

Longer stays can include short trips to nearby Greece, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. This is the cultural tour of a lifetime, and is a blend of a individual guided tour and a small group itinerary, so now is the time to plan something special that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Flights are independently arranged by you with guidance from my experience, if you would like. Suggested airports are Skopje, Macedonia and Thessaloniki, Greece. As part of your visit, I will meet you at either of those airports with a taxi. The fun will begin the moment you arrive! I will try  to coordinate arrival dates and times of guests when possible, doing so can save time and money.

Accommodations are comfy and clean and range from modern to traditional. Bitola, Macedonia’s city of culture and counsels, and once a stop on the ancient Via Egnatia, will be our home base and offers a nice range of places to stay. I will suggest mid-level European-style (smallish rooms with private baths) for my guests, but can upscale if the interest is there. All accommodations are within walking distance of the Shirok Sokok, Bitola’s pedestrian center, and will offer a soft place to refresh and relax. Most have quaint outdoor courtyards or cafés on the Shirok. 

If you would like to join us this fall, please contact me now at         813-719-0769 or patricekoerper@gmail.com, and we’ll start planning.

If you are just browsing, enjoy and please spend as much time as you like.

Sincerely,

Patrice Koerper

Your Experience Macedonia guide

PS To learn more about me, please check out my blog www.wishfulthinkingworks.com