How long have you been living in Slovenia, and where do you live?
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 first met her 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 motorbike 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 in March 2018 and we got married in India a year later, then came back to Slovenia in April to make our lives 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 was the biggest obstacle, but since I got my working/living permit for Slovenia things are improving.
That said, many things here are more expensive than in India. The language was difficult at the beginning, but now I can understand people well and also speak okay, as my free 180-hour Slovene language course is still going on. I’m also a resident in Slovenia, and can work freely. The process was easy, but it took five months before I received my documents.
What has been your experience of culture shock?
The culture here in Slovenia is very different to India and the way of living is really very different then what I am used to, but I am lucky to have knowledge of yoga philosophy, which really helps me accept people in general wherever I go.
How do you feel about Slovenian food and drink?
Since I am vegetarian I cook my own Indian food mostly at home, and I do love Slovenian food too, as my mother-in-law really cook lots of different veggie meals for me and my wife. We both love it, and I must say there is lots of nice vegetarian food here as well.
What things frustrate you about life in Slovenia?
Nothing really frustrater’s me about life here. I just wish people in general would know that when they get angry they’re harming themselves more than anyone else, such as when they’re driving.
What things delight you?
I love hiking and Slovenia has delighted me with all the beautiful hikes, paths and views. The lakes are really amazing, and now I’ve swum in most of the Slovenian lakes already, and hiked to the top of Triglav.
What do you do for work here?
When I left my school in 2007 I joined my dad in our family-based travel agency, Adventure Holiday Tours in Delhi, India. My work in India was to show visitors around the country and organize their tours with our private English-speaking drivers. Our company has a great team of drivers, and a very good reputation online because we made sure that everyone enjoyed their India Tour with us. Now here in Slovenia I started a similar company since I received my work permit – Adventure Holiday Tours, Tarun Sharma s.p.
My wife and I travelled around a lot of Slovenia before I received my permit to live and work here, she showed me the parts that even a lot of Slovenians haven’t been too. This was great, since my background is showing people around and making sure they enjoy their time, whether it’s in India or Slovenia. I am happy to say that it’s going well, and I’ve also put together a good team of local English-speaking drivers who work for me when I am not available.
Slovenian food isn’t very colourful or spicy – is that a problem for your clients?
I have clients from India and all over the world. Indian clients always prefer Indian food or vegetarian food and since I know lots of good vegetarian places around Slovenia, it makes a lot easier for them.
Do your clients usually come to visit only Slovenia, or is it combined with other countries?
When people come to me, they come to visit Slovenia and also nearby places like Venice, Vienna, Zagreb and Plitvice lakes in Croatia, and even further, like Prague.
Where do you usually take people in Slovenia?
I usually take people to all the must-see sights, like Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Lake Jasna, Soča Valley, Kobarid, Skočjan Cave, Postojna Cave, Piran, Portorož , hiking to Velika Planina, Logar Valley, Lake Jezersko, Ptuj and a lot more places where even my Slovene friends haven’t been.
So far Slovenia Lake Bled and Postojna Caves are the most popular places with my clients, and the wine-tasting tours, along with visiting the country to experience Slovene village life, are also very well liked.
And you also take people from Slovenia on tours of India?
Yes, I started a Yoga retreat tour plan so that I can go back home myself and show Slovenians the best of India. It’s a very different country, and to experience India you must really be open and except it as it is. For Yoga Retreat Plan you can visit my website.
You also teach yoga, meditation, give massages and have cooking classes. What’s your background with all that?
As an Indian, yoga philosophy is always around every family, and I practiced yoga in school. My wife and I did a Yoga Teacher Training Course in India together in 2016, and continued to practice after this. We mainly did the course for our own and our family’s health. When we made the decision to move to Slovenia I started Yoga Classes and Ajurveda Marma Massages in Ljubljana Slovenia yoga studio. I started to love the feeling of showing people how to breathe properly and how to work with asanas (yoga postures), which can help the body/mind feel relaxed.
I teach Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and meditation. For me it`s very important to get people to have more awareness of their body/mind so that they can start taking care of themselves. Most of the time we are too busy with work and we forget to make time for the most important things – “our body”, “our mind” and “our health”.
I did a few Ajurveda courses and one of my favourite was Ajurvedic Marma Massage therapy course. Marmas are the pressure points throughout our body that help in proper circulation / flow and also relax the nervous system. It can help people who have stress, depression or are suffering from some pain in the body. People can already feel the benefit of the massage within a day, and the changes in the body. If you want to learn more about Yoga classes or Marma Massages you can visit my website.
I also teach Traditional Indian food cooking classes. This includes variety of different lentil dishes as well as vegetable dishes. I have spices from India which makes my food lessons interesting and makes the dishes taste like real Indian food in India. I learned most of my cooking from my mom. We provide Indian food cooking classes in our Delhi home to visitors, and I love to share the similar experience for the locals in Slovenia.