Living in Bali : How’s The Digital Nomad Life is Going?

It’s hard to love but it’s home……

Everybody who knows me pretty well must have known about my feelings toward Jakarta. I couldn’t say I love it as I am into Hanoi, Tokyo, or some other big cities around the world. But Jakarta loves me and gives me many things. Since last year, I’ve been learning to accept that I belong to Jakarta. Yeah, it’s hard to love but it’s home…

The new restrictions applied to Jakarta have limited my movement. I couldn’t go to many places and it made me feel trapped. However, the new lockdown didn’t disrupt my work at all because I technically can work from anywhere (most of the time I prefer to work from home because it’s very convenient and quiet). If you’ve been following this blog and read my latest post about Bali, you would have known that I was planning to try living in Bali. Supposed to come on last July, I had to postpone it for some time. I don’t want to take the 10.456th PCR test just to fly to Bali, right?.

Living in Bali as a Digital Nomad

People said Bali is an amazing place for remote workers and digital nomads. Besides Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali, particularly Ubud and Canggu, is the best place to work remotely in South East Asia. I’ve been living as a digital nomad in Hanoi, Vietnam, and The US, but have never tried it in my own country, although it’s highly recommended by other digital nomads. So, when I have the chance, a really good chance because tourists aren’t allowed to enter Indonesia which means Bali is far less quiet, I told myself, I should go there.

Since my goal is to live and work remotely in Bali, not just visiting the tropical island as a tourist, I’ve been trying to establish a routine, making a stable schedule, and do things to make the Island of Gods my new home. Having done a little bit of research on what other digital nomads did when they just moved to a new place, I applied it and so far it works pretty well. If you’re considering to do remote work too, here are some tips & tricks from a fellow digital nomad :

  1. Spend at least one month in a location

The goal here is to feel like I am living in Bali and being part of the community, so I have to stay longer than my usual trip to Bali. I allocate 2 months to get to know my new home. I live in Berawa, a neighborhood in Canggu, one of the digital nomads hotspot in Bali.

Berawa is a fantastic neighborhood to live in. It is close to the beach (Berawa beach is only 2 min away from my home), surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars, and well-connected to the other parts of southern Bali. I knew I would be needing to meet people pretty often since I am a social person. My last experience with Ubud told me I can’t stay in a place that is too quiet and empty like Ubud during pandemic times. Like Old Quarter in Hanoi, it’s very easy to walk to a cafe or restaurant to work or meeting friends in Berawa. One place I particularly like to spend time in is Manggis, a vegan restaurant that has an open-air concept, making it a perfect place to work. Since this restaurant is very close to my home, I found myself spending time here more often than in the office at the beginning of my stay.

Although Berawa is great, it has some downsides too. First, Bali and Indonesia in general don’t have a walking culture. In Bali, most people use scooters to get around. I love walking too much, and sometimes I find it hard to walk to nearby stores since a lot of scooters are passing by, and the weather can be too hot especially in the afternoon. Hence, I usually walk around my neighborhood in the morning. The other downside is, Berawa is kind of located in the center of Canggu. Some things here are offered to people using tourist prices, like laundry haha…that’s a small thing, I know, but paying double than in Jakarta for one kg of clothes irritates me. The other thing I found myself a bit struggling with is finding places with good food. But after tried some warung (local Indonesian restaurants), my heart fell into the food in Warung Local in Batu Bolong street. They have great selections of vegan and non-vegan local food.

To get a sense of normalcy, besides staying in one place at a time and renting an office to work, I also visit a lot of places in Berawa, mainly restaurants to try its food and ambiance, and join some communities like book club and yoga class.

2. Join a co-working space

I don’t necessarily need a physical office since I can work from home or a cafe as long it has a very good internet connection (I have tons of meetings hehe). But I think it is always a good idea to come to the office as part of my routine and meet like-minded people. Canggu is the hub for freelancers and entrepreneurs, and I’d like to expand my networks with fellow digital nomads, hence I joined a co-working space named Outpost.

For some reason, I became very busy at the beginning of my stay, thus I rarely go to the co-working space. I spent more time working from home and Manggis restaurant. But, after I have established my routine, I come to Outpost more often.

Outpost is a nice co-working space located in Jl.Raya Semat No.1 Tibubeneng, Canggu, Kuta. It has spacious space for working, an air-conditioned room, quiet rooms, also equipped with pool and cafe. Since I come in the midst of a pandemic, I didn’t see many people work there and they didn’t host parties for members as they used to do once a month before the pandemic. They are also supposed to have a skillshare event every week, but again, it’s not available during covid times. The good thing is I got a very good deal for co-working and coliving membership. I can also work from their other properties in Ubud.

3. Commit to daily routines

I need to have a daily routine to make me feel grounded. Since I am a morning person, I usually start my day at 6/7 am by walking around the neighborhood and seeing Berawa beach, have a cup of coffee, then start working. Either at home, Manggis, or Outpost I’ll be working from Monday to Friday, while the weekend is for leisure and rest. Besides that, I have some other schedules that I have to follow like yoga, other sports, and writing times. The only challenge I am facing is the fact that I’ve been socializing much more than when I was in Jakarta. I feel the pressure to hang out, mingle with people, and exploring places, something I don’t feel at all in Jakarta because I feel like living at home. But I am sure, the euphoria will be gone as time goes by.

To commute, I rent a scooter and although I don’t like riding a scooter, I find it very convenient to get around Bali. I’ve also traveled a bit too much, like 4x in a month. A bit crazy, ha?. But I am not gonna talk a lot about it here, instead, I will be writing about each travel in different posts.

4. Use apps to meet people

In my case, Facebook and Instagram have been great tools that help me to connect with people in Bali. I’ve been regularly met my old friends (whom I worked with a long time ago in Bali) either from Facebook and Instagram, and some of them introduces me to new friends. I’ve also made some new friends with my blog followers and Instagram too.. what about dating apps? I wouldn’t say it’s great. It has proven good for meeting new people in the past, but I am not sure about it in Bali. There are many negative reports about it circulating on the internet. You gotta do your research first and decide what to do…

Bali has been a great place for me so far, yet I am still not sure how long I could stay here. Hopefully, I could still be doing remote work for indefinite times, as they’ve said before….

Curious about my adventures in Europe and America ?. You can click the following links to see my traveling videos that have aired on Net TV :

  1. Desa Hallstatt, Desa dengan Arsitektur Klasik di Pinggir Danau
  2. Imutnya Park Guell, Dunia Fantasi Ala Gaudi di Barcelona
  3. Ada Turki Mini di Bosnia Herzegovina
  4. Nyobain Makanan Khas Bosnia, Kaya Rasa dan Pasti Halal
  5. The Bean, Seni Kontemporer yang Ada di Film – film Hollywood

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Watch my adventures & subscribe to my YouTube channel : Dada Kimura

8 thoughts on “Living in Bali : How’s The Digital Nomad Life is Going?

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