Bali’s stunning beaches, statues, temples and simple pleasures have been attracting many tourists. Many luxurious and famous hotels have sprung up in Bali along with world-class spas and yoga centres. Bali have changed since the 1970s but the special quality of the Balinese culture have stayed. “The people in Bali are warm, friendly and wonderful” said Joel Parkinson, a famous surfer from Australia who has lived in Bali for about five years. Joel Parkinson is a professional surfer who has won many international surfing competitions.
Moving to a sunny tropical island and breaking away from the distressing city life sounds like an ideal dream. A great many people recognize that its simply a dream and would never seek after the thought. Many tourists in Bali say they love this paradise island but couldn’t live here. However there will always be the group of visitors who admit that they feel a great bond with the island: “After arriving in Bali, I simply realized that I needed to stay,” “I knew that I was meant to be in Bali,” “I’ve found where I belong to and Bali is the place to live in.”
You’ll have most likely heard some contradicting reports about Bali like most of the expats in Bali have experienced before they moved to Bali. You might have been told about the great business opportunities, about touching and inspiring experiences living in Bali – or the various business investments that failed terribly and the fair share of scary and horrible experiences. However, you’ll never truly realize how living in Bali is like until you experience it for yourself.
The fact is Bali is not by any means the paradise that most tourists thought it is. Working and living in Bali is a complete difference from your holiday experience in Bali. Living in Bali can be stressful but in a different perspective from the western countries. Don’t think that everything will run smoothly. Bali is expensive- yes you can buy food at street shops for Rp 5000; however visas, imported goods, education, school and medical attention are all costly. Bali can be wet or hot, exciting or dangerous, wonderful or dreadful. This paradise island can help you fulfil your dreams or make you drown in a treacherous ocean
If you’re financially well-off, you may realize that you’ll be ripped off by some unscrupulous merchants. Things can and will be easier by employing a local to help you deal with complicated necessities of living in Bali but isolating yourself too much from the reality of day to day life in Bali is not beneficial in the long term. You will not be equipped with the experience or knowledge needed to cope with the challenges of living in Bali.
If you’re hoping to find a job in Bali, it’s not an easy road. The employment visa is a complicated issue to deal with. Pay will not be the same as in western countries. Most of the expats in Bali are self-employed and run their own businesses. However if you’re really keen to find a job in Bali, you have to make sure you speak the language; Bahasa Indonesia. It becomes a little easier after you’ve lived in Bali for a while and have made the right contacts.
If you’ve made the decision to move to Bali as part of family or couple, you can help and support one another. However if you and your partner don’t share the same passion for Bali then it will be hard to work. If you are moving to Bali alone, you will only have yourself to think about. But during those tough early days you’ll have a lot of obstacles to face alone. There’s a lot to deal with such as finding a place to live in, making friends, finding a way of making money, learning Bahasa Indonesia, learning your way around Bali and understanding how things work in this island. If you’ve never lived in Indonesia or Bali, you will be in for a big culture shock for the first few months. You may not see it as a culture shock, you might also think you’re doing well, yet you’ll wonder why your emotions are so intensified with mixtures of happiness, joys, tears, frustrations and anger.
Learn Bahasa Indonesia, research about things to do in Bali, make friends with the Balinese, acknowledge the possible dangers, accept the fact that there are certain things you can’t change, embrace the challenges, familiarize yourself with the island and its culture – Bali is full of magic. If you really want to live in Bali, you will find a way to make it work. If you have a passion and love for Bali, the joy and rewards of living here are invaluable with many important life experience and lessons awaiting you.
Written by Wayan Tristan, a tour guide in Bali. Wayan also compiled a list of things you must do in Bali, read it at – http://baligigolomassage.com/things-to-do-in-bali/
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