How did you come to live in Slovenia?
I moved to Slovenia in March 2018 to be with my fiancée, now wife, Anita, who’s a Slovenian national. 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 six 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.
What work have you been doing here?
Before COVID I was driving tourists around Slovenia, teaching yoga, Indian food cooking and Ajurvedic massages. I got into the first business in India, where my family has a travel agency, Adventure Holiday Tours in Delhi, India. Back home my work was to show visitors around the India 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 tour with us. So when I came to Slovenia I started a similar company after I received my work permit – Adventure Holiday Tours, Tarun Sharma.
How was your business affected by the pandemic?
Since April last year we’ve only had three to five of giving tours in total for Slovenia. Luckily I was able to get the COVID support from the government since October, and I’ve been giving online yoga classes. However, this has badly affected our family business in India, as since April last year the country stopped tourist visas and nobody’s been coming to visit. And so no work for the drivers who’ve been working for my fathers company in Delhi, India.
Yes, you now have a project to help the drivers – can you tell us about that?
Sure, I’m trying to help the drivers and their families who’ve been working for my dad’s company over 10 years in India. They’ve been great to all the tourists visiting India and making sure they enjoyed their stay. Now since April last year they haven’t had any work. My dad helped them, but he also doesn't have any work now and so I want to raise some funds for them so that we can help them to open some other business and make a living until tourism starts again.
How can people learn more?
Here’s a link where people can read more, and also make a donation or just share the link to spread the message. Even just €10 provides a lot of help. https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/families-in-need-due-to-no-foreign-tourism-in-india