Category: Anne and Carl Deane

Traveling to Macedonia

Macedonia is a small country located in the Balkan region of Eastern Europe. It’s famous for its gorgeous mountainous landscapes, beautiful lakes and valleys, and ancient towns from the Ottoman Empire.

Recently, Macedonia has seen an influx of visitors, especially since its 2019 name change from the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia. The country itself is quite small and only has about two million residents. Anne and Carl Deane discuss below the numerous sites to see when traveling to Macedonia.

Major Cities

Macedonia has several of the most historically interesting places in the world as well as places that appeal to those looking for interesting and vibrant city life. These three cities are just a few of the most popular and will appeal to a wide range of visitors.


Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and operates much like any metropolitan city. There are great cultural institutions, such as the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle or the National Opera and Ballet.

Skopje’s Old Bazaar is also worth visiting thanks to its quaint cafes, shops, and bakeries. There is also a roaring nightlife, with clubs and bars. A few locations even have live bands that play Balkan folk music.


If you are looking to do a deep dive into Macedonian culture look no further than Ohrid. Also known as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” the town once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year. It is also close to Lake Ohrid, which is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes.

Both Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition, there are various old homes and monuments that are worth visiting for their unique architecture.


Deemed one of the oldest cities in the world, Bitola is definitely on the list of ‘must see’. It has been around since the Byzantine Empire and most of the architecture can still be seen today. One of the most famous sites is Heraclea Lyncestis, an open-air ruin. It’s surrounded by three different mountain ranges so there are various hiking opportunities for interested tourists.

The pedestrian mall, Shirok Sokak, has beautiful neoclassical buildings as well as a bevy of restaurants and coffee shops to get a few tasty bites.

Anne and Carl Deane

Beautiful Outdoor Sites and Activities

Macedonia is home to many unique mountain ranges as well as lakes and forests. No wonder it’s a nature lover’s paradise! Below are two must-see places rife with outdoor activities for all levels and interests.

Peshna Cave

The Peshna Cave is a unique site to see when visiting Macedonia. It has the largest opening in the Balkans and offers an interesting trip down thanks to swallows and bats living there.

The hike to the cave offers stunning views of the mountains and visitors can stop by a medieval fortress and the remains of a water mill before hiking down into the cave.

Matka Canyon

Matka Canyon is one of the most popular outdoor sites to visit. There are ten caves within the canyon that people can visit, including its most famous cave, Vrelo Cave, which is full of stalactites.

Countless people visit Matka Canyon for its alpine hiking, climbing, and kayaking on the river that runs through the canyon. There are also several medieval monasteries with magnificent views of the canyon.

Understanding Impact Investing

Impact investing is wonderful for those who want to put their money to work for them but in a meaningful, impactful way.

Impact investing is making investments with the intention of generating positive and measurable environmental and social impact in tandem with a financial return. Many of those interested in impact investing invest their money into causes, movements, and organizations they believe in and think deserve some financial support.

In this article Anne and Carl Deane will explore what impact investing is and the different ways it can be done.

Impact Investing Benefits

Impact investing is very similar to regular investing, but it also comes with the benefit of bolstering positive environmental and social impact. Those who practice impact investing not only focus on the smartest ways to invest their money for a significant financial return, but also on company mission statements and overall commitments.

When investors practice impact investing, the first priority is to research what they’ll be investing into. By analyzing not only company stock stats but also what the company itself believes in and works for, an impact investor makes their investment decisions. Many have reported that after impact investing, more than 88% of investors have seen their expectations be exceeded.

There are generally two approaches when impact investing. One approach is referred to as socially responsible (SRI) and the other is referred to as environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact investing. The two approaches differ in that one only considers social change, while the other encompasses multiple large ideas that focus on aiding the world.

When impact investing, investors take into consideration a company’s main purpose and drive for creating their products or providing their services. The more transparent a company is about their mission statement and beliefs about the world, the more likely it is that they will receive impact investments.

Anne and Carl Deane

How To Begin Impact Investing

To begin impact investing, the first thing every investor should do is research the companies they’re interested and look for company visions and mission statements that are included on websites, or the annual report or in Chairman letters to shareholders. These views can also sometimes be found in publications such as articles and magazines, even blog posts.

The key during this process of researching who to invest in is to ensure the company is also in alignment with their own personal core beliefs and values. Once an investor has found some companies they’re interested in, they should immediately invest and expect their financial returns.

It’s recommended that those new to impact investing start small and start as soon as possible, as this is the easiest way to get started in the practice. After investing in a few different companies that share their beliefs, they’ll quickly be on their way to perfecting the art of impact investment.


Impact investment is just a professional term for investing in different companies according to personal beliefs and to bring about positive social, environmental, or governmental impact.

To successfully begin impact investing, investors should focus on which companies share the most similar beliefs to theirs and are acting in ways that the investor believes is positive for the community.

Low Budget Travel Ideas to Make Visiting Spain Affordable

From the enchanting beaches of Costa de la Luz and the gorgeous landscapes of the Pyrenees to the unforgettable cities of Barcelona and Madrid, Spain has a lot to offer travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure.

The country also has something going for it that’s just as enticing. Spain is a perfect destination for low-budget travelers. Anne and Carl Deane discuss how you can get the most out of a Spanish vacation without breaking the bank.

Visit During the Spring or Fall

Like all major European destinations, Spain can swell with tourists at multiple times of the year. If you’re looking for a less crowded and cheaper experience in Spain, the prime time to visit is March through May and September through October.

The weather is nearly perfect, flights and accommodations are cheaper and there are minimal crowds. Speaking of flights, you’re likely to find the cheapest airfare three months before your travel date.

Don’t Book a Round Trip

This seems counterintuitive, but it may save you a lot of cash to fly into one location in Spain and fly out of another. This type of approach provides more flexibility as far as plane ticket cost and flight availability. Plus, you can see one area of Spain and have time to explore another part of the country that you will fly out of.

Check out Cantabria

For a well-rounded visit to Spain, check out Cantabria, which is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. It’s teaming with wildlife, hiking options, and world-class surfing — and most activities are extremely budget-friendly.

As an added bonus, it’s not far from Madrid, so you’ll get to experience the cosmopolitan capital along with the country’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Anne and Carl Deane

Head to Museums on Free Days

Spain is packed with renowned history and art museums and most offer at least one day a week where admission is free or discounted. Some museums even offer free admission during certain hours of the day, even when it’s a busy time of year.

Consider Hostels or Pensiones

If you’re planning to be out and about for the majority of your Spanish vacation (and why wouldn’t you be?) instead of a hotel or even a house share, look into whether there is a well-regarded hostel or pensiones, similar to a small hotel or a motel, near where you’ll be spending most of your time.

These accommodations offer few amenities, but they are very inexpensive while still being safe and giving you everything you need to travel comfortably.

Eat Like the Spanish

Most Americans are used to dinner being the primary meal of the day. The Spanish do it differently, and that can help you save tons of cash.

In Spain, lunch is often the heartiest meal of the day and night hours are often filled with hopping from bar to restaurant and enjoying small orders of tapas, a distinctive Spanish snack or appetizer.

Tapas come in a variety of flavors and dishes, from cheese and olives to fried seafood. It’s a great way to save money on meals while still getting well acquainted with Spanish cuisine.