23 May 2021
Written By Jonathan Howe

Foreigners living in Montenegro series: Pasha Sarvi

I was born on planet earth inside man-made borders called Iran, just two years after the Islamic revolution and a year after the Iran-Iraq war started! I still believe I was born lucky! ;)
I grew up in Mehr-Shahr, a small town 40 km from Tehran, where seemed to be a safe place during the war. I was raised in an extremely conservative Islamic society but in a lovely open-minded family pretty much as their black sheep. :D
Here is my story about how and why I relocated to Montenegro!

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In school, I wasn’t a good student which was not easy next to my top-student brother and sister but finally got accepted to a Computer Science Program at the university. And guess what?... I dropped out after two years! ;) And started working but not in the field of Computer Science. I changed many jobs until I finally realized my passion for cooking and serving people when I was about 26 years old.
A year later, I started my own catering & event planning business outside of my small kitchen at home and I called it Pasha Food Studio. My business got famous and successful fairly quickly by doing what I loved and working REALLY REALLY hard. After about 5 years, I finally was living the dream and so happy and proud. I had been able to prove first myself and then my family that having a college degree wasn't the only way to become successful, and one can in fact become a successful person in life by following their heart and going after what they're passionate about! 
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Time was going by and the business was getting bigger and bigger when I realized I wasn’t fulfilled and I felt as if something was missing. All I did was work, make money, have fun, and party. I had no time to spend to myself, to really be silent for a moment and reflect on all that was happening in my life. I felt lost and unsatisfied.
So I started tuning in, listening to my inner voice, and searching deep within for answers. During this process, something magnificent happened, something that changed my life. It was a realization; a realization that helped me make a decision to let go and move forward. As a result, I sold my business and started traveling and flowing on this path of soul searching and finding out more about the world and myself.
Finally, after few years of traveling and WWOOFing, I ended up in Montenegro, found my soulmate, Zoe, and now running a farm-stay retreat called Pachamama together.

Quick Facts:

  • Name: Pasha Sarvi
  • Nationality: Iranian
  • Moved To Montenegro (Year?): 2016
  • Town/City: Ukropci (Village), Grbalj area (Between Tivat & Budva)

1. When was the first time you visited Montenegro and what was your first impression?

2. What were you doing in your home country prior to moving to Montenegro?

I had a Catering & Event Planning Company in Tehran.

3. When did you move to Montenegro and how was the moving process?

In 2016 I came to Montenegro for the second time with my tiny backpack to explore more the country and do some researches to see if it is the right country to fulfill my dream or not. And I’ve never left! :D

4. Why did you decide to move to Montenegro, rather than any other country?

Nature, Mediterranean Climate, In general for me Europe is pretty well located (not far from my home country, not so far from America, Asia, and Africa) a little bit far from New Zealand though ;) Cost of leaving, property price, much fewer regulations in comparison to Western European countries, super easy to get residency.
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5. What was your experience in applying for a Temporary Residence Permit in Montenegro during that time?

Very easy.

6. What do you for a living in Montenegro? How do you sustain your life here?

We are building a Retreat Center in an eco-farm and so far we have been opened as a campground to sustain our life and project. And the low cost of living in Montenegro gave us this opportunity to start our small business smoothly. (Pachamama Farmstay /FB & instagram)
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7. How much is your approximate monthly cost of living in Montenegro? Can you compare it to the cost of living in your home country?

The cost of living in Tehran is pretty high due to high property prices which are lower in Montenegro, the rest is more or less the same which is amazing for a European country.

8. Why did you choose to live in your village?

Close enough to the sea, close to the three main towns in the Kotor Bay area (Tivat, Kotor, and Budva)

9. What are the things/activities that you enjoy doing in Montenegro? (Hobbies/ gatherings)

Any type of conscious activities such as Yoga, Meditation, Dance, Eco-Projects &, etc. That’s why we started the “Alternative Montenegro” page on Facebook to connect with like-minded people.

10. What are your top 5 reasons you love living in Montenegro?

Life is easy here x5

11. What do you dislike, or would like to change in Montenegro?

People are lovely here but sometimes breaking the ice needs a bit of effort. (I love Italian greetings ;)) Customer Service. Local Food (I’m not a meat lover though)

12. What are your favorite tourist destinations in Montenegro that you always recommend to your family/friends?

It’s a tiny country with a ton of beautiful spots. Of course, I can list the typical tourist destinations but I do love nature here everywhere. It has everything, mountain, sea, river, lake and… sometime I missed being in the desert with a camel though :)))

13. What’s your advice for anyone planning to relocate to Montenegro?

Most of the nationalities can come as a tourist up to 3 months. Come and stay for three months to feel it then make your decision.
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Fast Talk:

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