Moving to Slovenia: Tour guide, cook and yoga teacher Tarun Sharma from New Delhi
His family is running a tour company in India called Adventure Holiday Tours, India which Tarun has been part of as a tour guide for years. After recently moving to Slovenia, this young entrepreneur is planning to continue with the family business here, arranging trips for Slovenians going to India, and for Indians and other nationalities wanting to travel in Slovenia. Sharing the same travelling passion with him, we were eager to hear more about his plans and story! (Featuring image: Velika Planina plateau, Slovenia)
When did you move to Slovenia and where do you live at the moment?
I moved to Slovenia in March 2018 to be with my fiancée Anita who is a Slovenian national. We are currently living in Ljubljana where Anita works. I am waiting for a resident’s visa which will enable me to stay here with her and work.
How did you and Anita meet?
We got in touch via Couchsurfing in 2015. She asked me many questions about travelling around India. Unfortunately, we never met up at that time as I was out of Delhi on a tour, however we remained in contact. At the end of 2016 we arranged to do a month long yoga teaching course in Rishikesh together and from there on it was a bit like a Bollywood movie … love at first sight!
After the course we did some motor bike touring up into Nepal before Anita returned to Prague. In 2017 she returned to India again for 6 months, during which time she lived with my family. Eventually, I joined her in Slovenia four months ago and we intend to marry in India next March, than return to Slovenia to make our life here.
How do you find living in Slovenia so far? Any major obstacles?
The decision to move to Slovenia was hard because I’d never considered living outside of India prior to meeting Anita. Obviously getting a visa is the biggest obstacle, and until I get one I am unable to work so the cost of living is hard. Many things here are more expensive than in India. I am also used to working and being out and about, so having nothing much to do all day is very hard for me. Language is also difficult but as I speak good English I was happy to find that most Slovenians also know this language.
As yet I have not experienced a winter in Slovenia and I’m not sure how I will cope with that as where I live in India it is never very cold and we only have snow in the northern mountains.
What do you like most here and what do you miss most from back home?
Living in Ljubljana is very different from living in Delhi. I have done quite a bit of travelling and I would pick Slovenia and New Zealand as the countries I would most like to live in. Both of these countries are beautiful with an outdoor lifestyle. I love the nature and the short distances you have to travel to get to the mountains, rivers and lakes. I love that parts of Slovenia remind me of home as well. A 10 minute cycle ride takes me to a place in Ljubljana where I feel like I’m in the foothills of the Himalayas near my family village in India.
As a tour guide in India, Tarun was constantly on the road with tourists from all over the world.
The food in Slovenia is amazing but very different from what I eat in India. Anita’s mother has her own garden and supplies us with most of our vegetables. She makes me try new food and I love it. I have learnt how to cook many new dishes in the 4 months that I have lived here. I made beetroot curry with potatoes and peas last week and I have never used beetroot in that way before. It was delicious.
Most of all I miss my family. In India it is common for adult children to live with their parents until they marry, and even after, while in Slovenia children usually start living away from the family once they have left school. It is new for me to be responsible for my own home. At the moment I have too much free time and I’d love to be working. I spend most of my free time cooking, cleaning, watching movies, cycling and hiking and exploring beautiful Slovenia.
Hopefully, once I get a work permit in Slovenia, I will be open to anything. I am thinking about teaching yoga and Indian cooking, and of course arranging trips for Slovenians going to India, and for Indians and other nationalities wanting to travel in Slovenia.
How did your family accept you moving here? Have any of your family visited you already?
None of my family has visited me yet but they plan to after my wedding in India March next year. It is quite hard for them as I have never been away from them for so long before and they always thought I would live in India.
Fortunately my family is quite open and have accepted the idea of me marrying a European girl.
Is Slovenia an interesting tourist destination for people from India? What do they know about Slovenia?
Most Indians know very little about Slovenia but a few are starting to come here as tourists. As Slovenia is so very different to India it is very interesting to them. I hope that one day I will be able to increase the number of Indians coming here.
Have you already seen a lot of Slovenia?
Yes, I have seen quite a lot of Slovenia already and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it soon. I love hiking and did it lots in New Zealand and India. My highest peak until now was 6150m high in India. In Slovenia, hiking up to Velika Planina is a place I will go to again and again. The view with the huts is amazing.
Krnsko Jezero is my favourite lake and I love how Slovenia is trying to preserve its eco-system by not letting people swim in it. I hope to be able to share these places with others by offering private driver tours for individuals, and both small and large tour groups … similar to what I offer in India.
If I would book a trip to India through your agency, what would you offer me?
We organise a wide variety of tours throughout all of India for both individuals and groups.
We provide people with private drivers in India as driving can be a difficult for foreigners. Having a private driver in India or a private tour in India not only makes your trip safe and hassle free but you see a lot more as you are traveling with a local who knows the area and culture well. Our company, although small, has been operating for many years and we have got a Trip Advisor Award of Excellence. We are very proud of our excellent reviews which you can read here!
Our most popular tours are on our website but we are also happy to customize any trip to suit our client.
If you have any questions about travelling in India feel free to WhatsApp me at (0091) 97 17 650 483 If from Slovenia call me on 00386-069685506 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you also looking for business partners here?
Yes, I would be very open to cooperate with Slovenian companies who are interested in starting or expanding their tours to India. In exchange I can help them in profiting from Indian tourists coming to Slovenia. I cannot see any reason why Slovenians would not be interested in doing this.
Any final thoughts on Slovenia or living here, maybe?
Slovenia is a wonderful country and I love it here. I am hoping that I will soon get permission to stay so that Anita and I can make our life together in Slovenia.
Interview by Marijana Podhraški
Follow @Letsgoslovenia for more great stories from Slovenia!