A few days ago I read a post in the FB group »Expats in Slovenia«. The person in question asked whether life in Slovenia offers a worthwhile quality standard of living. Apparently, this person’s experience was not very positive. There were quite a few reactions, especially many different reactions. I think the most common »complaint« was that it is so difficult for foreigners to get all the necessary paperwork in order to be able to live and work here. And that’s right. In general, it is certainly not easy to just move to Slovenia but, as with everything, very dependent on personal circumstances and situations.
Friends of ours, for example, moved here 2 years ago. Both are Dutch and have already retired. Everything was arranged in no time, without too much effort. So it is possible. But it is certainly true that Slovenia is very fond of “paperwork”. Me and my family have experienced this many times before already.
For example, my father, who has officially lived here for a number of years, together with my mother, had to renew his driving license when he turned 70. Because he still had a Dutch driving license, it had to be converted to a Slovenian driving license because renewing a Dutch driving license in Slovenia is of course not possible and my parents have been deregistered in the Netherlands, so he could not renew it there. The conditions to do so were crazy! He had to come up with proof that he was living and working in the Netherlands at the time he obtained his driving license, so back in 1965! But that proof could not be from a municipality or an employer !? They suggested at the municipality in Novo mesto that he could, for example, submit school reports from that time! In the end, they were satisfied with a statement from his employer at the time, but it did not go well and took a lot of patience and nerves.
On the other hand, which country can you enter »easily«, except for the Netherlands? I think the Netherlands is quite an exception when you look at their immigration policy. Everyone has been welcomed with open arms for years and now they are slowly realizing that that might not have been such a good idea after all. In most other countries you just as well have to submit all kinds of papers and meet all kinds of requirements. No more than normal for me. After all, there is still a lot of fraud and therefore people are, logically, careful about who they let in.
Another point is getting a job. That is not easy here as a foreigner, I can also agree. If you want to emigrate to get rich, Slovenia is not the right choice. Of course, it is not impossible, but unfortunately, that is only reserved for a small select group of people. Then why move to Slovenia?
For me, there is a very simple answer to that, namely that you can lead a very relaxed and uncomplicated life here, at least if you are satisfied with an »average« standard of living. Are you looking for luxury, big adventures, going out, partying, etc. Slovenia may not be what you are looking for. However, if you like nature, peace and space and you want to enjoy the simple things in life, then this is the place for you. Slovenia is still affordable, also in terms of the purchase of houses and especially if you are handy yourself, the purchase of an old house that you will renovate yourself can be very attractive. Life in the countryside is wonderfully uncomplicated and the peace and quiet and the space that you often find there are priceless.
Because Slovenia is also a very modern country, and you are never really far away from a larger town with all amenities, rural life is a perfect choice for many people. At least for us :). Despite the fact that I am out of work again and starting my own small business is almost impossible financially, I am very happy with our choice to live here, and we still enjoy the beautiful nature and the beautiful spot that we have in it, every day!