My adventures in Bali began almost 4 years ago. At that time, I found myself living in Sydney, Australia.
I was still in my 20’s, but my life had become too repetitive and predictable. One morning I woke up and realised that I needed to do something different and exciting. Later that day, I followed my intuition and quit my job as a store manager.
Soon after, I packed my bags, and left for a country that I’d never been to. The country I chose to go to was Indonesia. Even to this day, I believe that quitting my job and heading to an unknown country was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. And this is despite of all the challenging things that happened to me while I was there. Why? Because our life experiences, whether they are good or bad, permanently alter our outlook on life, and this in turn influences how we deal with what is yet to come.
私のバリの冒険はほぼ4年前に始まった。その時、オーストラリア シドニーに住んでいた。私はまだ20代だったが、そこでの生活はずっとワンパターンで目新しさがなかった。ある朝目が覚め、何か違った面白いことが私には必要だと気づいた。その後、自分の直感を信じ、ストアマネジャーの仕事を辞めた。 それから直ぐに、荷物をまとめ、まだ足を踏み込んだことのない国へと出発した。選んだ国はインドネシアだった。仕事を辞め、知らない国へ行くことは人生で最高の決断の一つであったと私は信じている。そしてそこにいる間どんなことにも私に起きたこと全てやりがいがあった。なぜか？なぜなら人生経験は良くも悪くも、ずっと自分自身の人生観を変え、そして私たちの考えや気持ちを順番に形づくっていくからだ。
Back then, I was even more naive than I am now (yes it IS possible), and this resulted in many unfortunate escapades. Luckily, I survived all of them and became a wiser person (I hope!).
After 2 years of struggling in shoe production, I quit living in paradise and moved to another island. For the next stage of my “Pacific Rim island hopping” adventure, I chose the Land of the Rising Sun. Coming to Japan has always been a dream of mine and I am still here today. That’s the story of my travel life in a nutshell.
靴の製作に苦労していた2年後、楽園に住むことを止め他の島に引っ越すことにした。”Pacific Rim Island Hopping(パシフィックリムアイランドホッピング)” アドベンチャーの次のステージに向け、Land of the Rising Sunを選んだ。日本に来ることがずっと私の夢であり、実際今ここにいる。要するにこれが私の成人期の話だ。
Shoes designed by me: Pure Heart Apparel
My most memorable island trip was around LOMBOK Island.
I’ve been to the PINK BEACH which turned out not to be that pink…
I’ve made many lifetime friendships in Bali..
I enjoyed wearing traditional Balinese costumes at formal ceremonies
I joined The Hash House Harriers long -distance runs through forests and rice fields which was an awesome experience:
Been through a creepy tunnel:
I’ve tried surfing which was pretty difficult for me, posing was much easier 😛
When I left Bali, I knew that I still had unfinished business with the island. Just like my numerous friends who left Bali, pretty much everyone eventually comes back. There’s something special about the island that’s for sure. Perhaps it’s the vibe in this famed Island of the Gods. It’s so easy to feel stimulated and inspired by the sheer variety of people living there, and that is what I miss the most.
A recent study revealed that out of the 23 countries surveyed, Indonesia and its people were the happiest in the world.
I visited Bali earlier this year. While riding a scooter around town, I noticed that there were so many more coffee shops, restaurants, bars, surf camps, and other tourist enterprises, to the point that I almost couldn’t recognise the old part of town. Business in Bali is truly booming, but I am just not sure if this is such a good thing. Problems from the increasing number of tourists include: pollution, traffic congestion, deforestation, over stretched sewage systems, and crime.
There’s always the dark side of the moon.
Most people tend to think that living in a paradise is just perfect. Well, I lived in a paradise – and as surprising as it might sound – there’s no such thing as paradise. Having lived in 4 countries (my native country Poland, Australia, Japan, and Indonesia), I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I try to find that perfect country, I simply won’t find it because it doesn’t exist. This is because every single country in this world has its share of bad points. What’s more important is the life that you create for yourself and the people who you fill it with. This is what makes you feel like you are having a great life.
I believe that the key to happiness is living in harmony with your heart and needs. People tend to be too busy to stop and listen to their inner voice to ascertain whether they are happy or not. Work, achievements, material wealth and perceived success are important, but what about inner wealth and life experiences? I don’t think you can enjoy life to the fullest if you don`t have sufficient inner wealth no matter how much material wealth you have.. My advice to those lacking in inner wealth would be to travel as much as you can and try to experience as many adventures as you can because life is short. Once you start doing this, you will realise how much richer your soul will become, and you won’t be able to place a monetary value on this newly discovered inner wealth.
Taking the big step
When planning to move to another country, the best thing to know is exactly what you want and expect from that country from a living standards perspective. For me, safety issues are always of paramount importance.
I am living in Japan, a country which is almost opposite to Indonesia in almost every facet of life, and this is one reason why I like to return to Bali as often as I can, to remind myself how life in different countries can vary and offer you completely different things.
So it’s up to you to determine your own destiny. Make the right choices now so you don’t have any regrets later on. Honestly, if you don’t like where you live now, simply pack your bags and move to another place, just like I did. So, are you ready to quit your job and jump into a whole new world?
What to expect and do when moving to Bali
You can find many surf camps to stay at, but I recommend the following places:
#1: Terima kos: Bedsit-type apartments that are essentially just empty rooms that cost around $100 to $200 per month.
#2. Local houses: These cost from $1500 to $3000 per year, which isn’t bad at all. The good thing is that you can share them with other people so you won’t feel lonely.
#3. The most expensive option is villas. These start from $500 per month.
Prepare your sack with money:
In Bali, rentals are paid upfront, so you will need to have enough money to cover 1 to 2 years of prepaid rent.
Consider how you are going to make a living there:
Unless your work is online, it might be challenging to find a job. An example of a recent trending job is Yoga Instructor (BTW you can complete a yoga training course in a month!). Nevertheless, Bali is still a great place for creative self-starters who thrive on entrepreneurship. Check out digital nomad lifestyle blog run by cheerful Silvia Unboxing Traveller and find out how to start a nomad life 🙂
Lots of robberies:
Like everywhere else, you have to be careful about who you hang out with or let inside your home. There are people out there with bad intentions.
Appreciate where you are:
Don’t take things for granted. Don’t forget that you are a foreigner, so try not to piss off the local people by behaving badly. Respect Balinese culture, customs, and rules. Otherwise the Pecalang (the local private security guys) will come after you .
Take your international driving license:
Learn how to ride a bike as it’s really hard to get around in cars or on bicycles. Also, there is no public transport! When on the road, don’t be too cheeky and carefully observe what’s going on around you. You can easily fall off a bike while doing 40km/h and lose a tooth or two (like I did!).
Social Visa/Sosial Budaya is a terrific way to stay in Bali for longer periods. The cost was approximately US$60 in 2015 depending on where you applied. This visa allows you to stay for 60 days, but it can be extended every 30 days for a maximum stay of six months without having to leave Indonesia. The cost of each visa extension was about $25. However, you need a local sponsor to obtain this visa.
If you have any further questions about life in Bali, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me.