Slovenia through my eyes

sLOVElanded: Nadira Karim, a Trinidadian in Slovenia: Slovenia fulfilled my dreams

sLOVElanded- Nadira Karim, a Trinidadian in Slovenia

A thing I totally love is to talk to expat people and their interesting and often crazy stories! I met a lot of them here in Slovenia!One of them is Nadira Karim.

Nadi, as many call her,a Caribbean beauty coming fromthe twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, is a passionate writer, creative illustrator and English teacher who made her way to Slovenia. She knows all good Slovene restaurants and her taste for style and make-up can be seen at the first glance. Interestingly, Nadi was born in a Muslim family, went to a Roman-catholic school and lived in a Hindu home once in her lifetime. This is why she feels right at home in a country where everyone is open to learning about other people´s culture.

Nadi, you originally came to Slovenia because of love. Are Slovene men really so good?

Of course I did! Love makes us do stupid things and there is a fine line between brave and stupid I think. Hmm, I can´t say that I met all the Slovene men to answer and I am not sure I want to conduct such a survey; it can be tiring, don´t you think? 🙂

How long have you been in Slovenia?

I’ve been here for 5 years now. Apart from the above, I came because I was looking for a change, something that would alter my life forever and this move was certainly it.I dreamed of Europe as a child and teenager but never thought I would be living there!

Nad and I on summer evening in Ljubljana
Nad and I on summer evening in Ljubljana

So, you are living with your partner now?

Well, I am currently on my own and it´s been a rollercoaster ride for me since I moved here, but I am happy, I mean happier than I ever was in life and that is an awesome feeling. My ex-partner is a wonderful person and we continue to add to each other´s lives.

“Magic happens outside of your comfort zone”

Any regrets?

Absolutely not! My dreams of what I would like to do and where I would like to be were fulfilled. It was a challenge to find this out but I did in the end. I self-actualized here. When you come to a foreign country, you are a completely new person. You are absolutely without history and all you can do is just to look forward. This is unlikely to happen in your home country, whereeverything is so comfortable and easy. There is a famous saying that you need to step out from your comfort zone for a miracle to happen!

Strong words! Can you specify how do you mean that you self-actualized here?

When I was 16, I promised myself that I would do three things. I would not live in Trinidad (just because I felt I wasn’t supposed to), I would write and illustrate (because it was my hobby) and I would do something good for children (because I love them). And all these things came true after I came to Slovenia.

Amazing! In what way did they come true? What do you actually do in Slovenia?

Because I am native English speaker, I started my own business to teach English.Currently I am contracted to a private kindergarten in Kranj where I teach full-time. Part-time I teach adults conversational English. My passion for art and my knowledge of different types of culture drove me to develop an art and culture program for kids. I am also writing and illustrating a series of Children´s books where I address emotional topics that affect young children. Besides that I am studying with the University of London and earning my Bachelors of Arts in English!

Untitled design
Part of Nadira´s exhibit she had in Ljubljana : Culture of Trinidad and Tobago

“When I came here, I didn’t know what some important signs and directions meant.”

It seems that you are doing very well in Slovenia now. But how were your beginnings here? Trinidad and Slovenia are geographically and culturally so far away!

It was difficult! I literally felt like a baby learning everything from the start – not knowing what some important signs and direction meant! Not being able to talk to people, find places or do something by myself. The only thing which helped me to overcome that period was the belief that something better would come and the overwhelming support I got from my partner then and his friends! One English language teacher volunteered her time to help me go through the basics in Slovene, she was the one who pointed me in the direction of Native English Speaking as a career.

You stand out in appearance and it is apparent that you are an expat. How does it feel?

Well, I can´t hide that’s a fact! I don´t see many tall brown women zipping around Kranj! Honestly, if I would see one I would look at her and wonder where she came from.People stare and ask strange questions, but I got used to it. I hated it at the beginning but my fellow Slovenians mean no harm.

Facts about Trinidad&Tobago
Facts about Trinidad&Tobago

Which brings me to the well-known question, what do you like most about Slovenia?

The nature, of course!I love the mountains and I love the sea. In Slovenia, I learned to appreciate the little things, like nature, weather and sunshine. Before, I didn’t like sun and beach because I had these things in abundance. Now I started to enjoy sunshine and arrival of spring after long winter and so on. I also learned here that family and friends matters, in fact I am closer to my parents and siblings since I moved so far away.

Nadira taking a swing at Golf.
Nadira taking a swing at Golf.

And on the contrary, is there something you don’t like?

I am not too appreciative of some Slovene people being too negative about Slovenia and themselves! I am like “look around you and then go look at the news!”

Is it true that you are the only Trinidadian in Slovenia at the moment?

I believed this for a long time but now I found out that there are actually two of us! It is pretty fascinating considering that both countries are quite small and so far away from each other.

Last questions – do you speak Slovene?

Oh, I wish I was fluent! I am able to understand a lot and I can speak a bit but the language isdifficult. Latin to Slavic is not so easy.I am just happy I can have some brief conversations with some little old ladies and I love when Slovenian ask me for directions! Haha!

If you wish to contact Nadira, drop her an email to ndk@myself.com or like her Facebook page.

Hope you enjoyed reading!

xxPetra

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What makes people move to Slovenia (finding happiness in unknown lands)

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3 thoughts on “sLOVElanded: Nadira Karim, a Trinidadian in Slovenia: Slovenia fulfilled my dreams

  1. Well, of course Nadira isn’t the only foreigner who settled in Slovenia for love… Same story here.
    Greetings from Polish gal to the neighbour Slovakian girl 🙂

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  2. I know, I know, there are very many similar cases. Once I was at some office for foreigners where the lady told me that following a partner is najbloj pogosta prislitev v Slovenijo 😀 So, it seems that there must be something about the Slovene men 🙂
    Btw, I also wrote an article about why people move to Slovenia, can be found on the link below in case you are interested. Thanks for adding another love story example. https://slovakiainslovenia.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/what-makes-people-to-move-to-slovenia-finding-happiness-in-unknown-lands/

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