Foreigners Self-Isolating in Slovenia: Do You Feel Safer? Pam Welsby, From Manchester, UK

By , 20 Apr 2020, 20:11 PM Lifestyle
Foreigners Self-Isolating in Slovenia: Do You Feel Safer? Pam Welsby, From Manchester, UK All photos from Pam Welsby

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Do foreigners in Slovenia feel more or less safe sitting out covid-19 here than in their home country, and what are their experiences? All the stories in this series are here. If you' like to contribute, see here or at the end of the story

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Manchester in England and have lived in Slovenia now for 25 years. With my husband, we came in search of a different, in our view better, quality of life, which we definitely found. I love the pace of life, that there’s always time for a coffee, the fresh food on Ljubljana Market, the beautiful countryside that’s constantly around us and the generosity and friendliness of people.

For 20 years now I have been running my own Learning and Consultancy business, Fast Forward International d.o.o. My passion is bringing humanity to the heart of organisations by empowering individuals to be their best selves, teams to think and act as one and leaders to inspire and empower.

To achieve this we provide soft skills workshops, individual coaching, long term change programmes along with tools and programmes for Emotional and Relationship Intelligence. You can see more on our web site or connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

I am home with my husband since 14th March, we live in a large old house near Velike Lašče in which we have our own apartment, a learning centre where we run some of our workshops and coachings and an office where four of us are usually based. This means right now, we have plenty of space, including a balcony that gets lots of sun, so I would say we’re doing really quite well. 

I have embraced the change and am making good use of this time to help and support others with the tools and knowledge we have from our work, which gives me a sense of purpose and meaning that I enjoy. This has included developing a series of short videos, that help people to ‘Thrive, not just survive’ in this time, that are freely available on You Tube. The aim is to help as many people as possible, so share as you wish.

We’re in regular touch with our families in the UK, chatting with friends online and enjoying more time for cooking, reading and relaxing. With the lovely weather we’re having and time to sit on the balcony, its actually quite a pleasant time :)

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business?

We looked into these, but as we are continuing to work, although differently, we decided to simply reduce our costs as much as possible for a while and develop new services that work well and support people at the moment. As our coaching and one-to-one services are the most suitable for this, it has meant us learning new Apps and tools to work with which is also good for the longer-term future. 

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When did you realise that coronavirus was going to be a big issue?

I think seeing what was happening in Italy and how close this was to us, as well as people we knew who were quarantined in various other countries. At this time, I started to follow more ‘scientific reports’ as well as the coronavirus regular updates on Total Slovenia News, which were practical and informative and great to have in English. I also began to know people who had the virus and this helped in understanding how important the isolation measures were.

What is your impression of the way Slovenia is dealing with the crisis?

I am impressed with what I see as decisive and necessary actions, quickly implemented and enforced, in a step-by-step way as appropriate. More importantly I’m also impressed with how people are mostly following the precautions, and local communities are also helping their neighbours while keeping their distance. So yes, I feel safe, I am only exposed for shopping once a week, and this is also managed well in our local supermarkets with only a few people in the shop, everyone wearing masks and staying well apart.

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Now compare that to the UK and how they’re handling it there.

The UK seems a little behind us and not as disciplined as here in Slovenia. I hope this will change soon. Of course, there’s a lot more people which makes it more difficult. I think the UK does not want to ‘impose’ rules, rather expects people to be responsible and play their part, which many people are doing. Unfortunately, some not, and with such a big population, even a small percentage could be a big problem. making containment of the virus more difficult and therefore longer lasting with more possible deaths, which is very sad.

What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

I’m not following any official channels in the UK, just the news, but our families there are well informed and know what to do. Here friends update us and Total Slovenia News is our main source of official updates in English, which works really well

What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation.

Honestly, I cannot think of anything I miss at home, except people. Seeing and chatting with friends and family online is great, but I’ll also be glad when we can see each other face-to-face again. Otherwise we’re looking forward to being able to shop on Ljubljana market again, having a coffee by the river after shopping and meeting friends for a drink and a chat.

One thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis.

For myself I am learning how much I love and appreciate my life, how important family and friends are and that I am actually quite happy at home, just spending time with my husband. 

For others I observe that the situation brings out more of who we are, so our true colours show themselves more clearly, for better or for worse. Fortunately, mostly for the better.

You can see of Pam’s work on her web site or connect on Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you’d like to contribute to this series please answer the following questions and include a paragraph about yourself and where you’re from, and a link to your website if you would like. Please also send 3-4 photos minimum (including at least one of yourself) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Subject: Corona Foreigner.

Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business? (PLEASE IGNORE IF THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU)

When did you realise that coronavirus was going to be a big issue?

What is your impression of the way Slovenia is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Slovenia doing better/worse?

What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation?

What's one thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis?

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