Digital Nomad Life in Bali
Digital Nomad Life in Bali

My Personal Digital Nomad Life in Bali

My Personal Digital Nomad Life in Bali

sntnli

sntnli

Founder & CEO of NomadVibe.

Founder & CEO of NomadVibe.

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

How was it like being a digital nomad in Bali for 3 months?

Selman wrote a very detailed and awesome guide about Bali and we published it. Instead of writing another guide when we already have a very well written content, I would like to talk about my personal experience of being a digital nomad in Bali. Since this is the reason why I came here and stayed for 3 months, I didn't want to pass without telling something.

First of all, I would like to say that I think it is not a coincidence or a trick that Bali is so popular. So why is it so popular? Why are all Instagram Reels and Stories talking about Bali?

I don't have a clear and definite answer to that, because Bali means something different to everyone.

For example, I didn't like it because the houses are nice, the food is nice, the nature is nice. It's nice to live there, the people who live there are nice, it's nice that everything is comfortable and easy there. It's completely out of the world I've been used to, but it has everything I need.

The bad sides of Bali

But aren't there any bad sides? Of course there are, there are many. Bali is actually an island with lots of lovely villages. But we, myself included, are using it with an effort far beyond its current capacity. We are trying to use it. And it's not just us, there's a lot of work for the local authorities and the government. And as far as I have seen so far, unfortunately this is not being addressed.

The infrastructure of the island is definitely not enough, the roads are very inadequate, these are the only things that make this island negative.

And it is almost impossible to be a pedestrian on this island! When I say there are no roads, I don't mean only for cars, there are no roads for pedestrians either. You absolutely need a car to get from one place to another. Cars are not preferred because of the lack of roads. You will either rent your own scooter or call a moto taxi from apps like Gojek and Grab.

Prices in Bali

There is a big criticism about prices. Since I went for the first time in December 2023, I unfortunately cannot compare the prices with the previous years. But after Bali, I continued to travel and discover new countries. When I compare it with the period after Bali and the related countries, I can easily say that you have the chance to live Bali on a budget. This budget issue is very personal and there is no end to it. But for an average life, based on minimum costs and assuming that you live in a way that is neither luxurious nor poor, 2.000 USD per person allows you to live a really enjoyable life.

Accommodation may be more expensive than in the past, but as I said, instead of comparing it to that period, if we talk about the current period, there is a flow of tourists and digital nomads to the island, even though there is a poor infrastructure. This, of course, whets the appetite of both those who own land and those who are eager to invest. And everywhere is slowly turning into villas and guesthouses. Although this is still pushing prices up a little bit for now, the competition is getting fierce and this, in my opinion, will give us an advantage in terms of price.

When I first set foot on the island, I stayed right in the center of Canggu, in the heart of Canggu. It was a guesthouse, I paid around 1.000 USD per month. But I spent my last month in a guesthouse 10 minutes outside the center of Canggu, but with nothing less than the first guesthouse, in fact with many more advantages. I paid 560 USD per month. The last guesthouse was bigger, had a bigger pool, and they actually cleaned the room every day and made the bed every day. Some days I had to say "please, you just cleaned it, no need to clean it today." What nice troubles, right? :)

GYM?

But there is one more thing I have to add, no matter where I go in the world, there is one service that I find overpriced in Bali, gyms! Yes, I admit that such places require big investments, dedication from staff to equipment, and the audience they cater to is different, but that doesn't stop me from saying "expensive". This is not a criticism, after all, it is an optional issue, if it is expensive, you can say don't go :D But I went, I went for 3 months, at least 4-5 days a week. I did very well, I have no regrets and I am not sad :)

The good sides of Bali

And the good things? I guess I can't finish with counting. The nature is so beautiful, the people, the local people are so beautiful, even if your focus is only on events and activities, you will not have time to scratch your head, it is so lively and exciting. You want to see a volcano? You can. You want to surf? You can. You want to spend time with monkeys? You can.

Also, I may be saying this because I witnessed it for the first time, but I also experienced for the first time what real island life is like with simple necessities. Shorts, t-shirt, hat, sunglasses, slippers and a small belly bag. You don't need anything else in Bali :) This simplicity and comfort attracted me a lot.

Ice bath?

I also pushed myself and my limits every day in Bali. For example, it was in Bali that I met ice bath for the first time, and I became addicted to it. Because I was able to find such opportunities very easily, and because I had the chance to be inspired by many people to improve myself mentally and physically, one side of my heart will always be in Bali!

Nightlife in Bali

Since Bali is a "vacation paradise" for foreigners, the service and entertainment sector is highly developed. This sophistication not only makes it home to many different venues, but the only thing that stands out in these venues is your enjoyment and comfort. It is very easy to go to a nightclub, very easy to enter, very easy to socialize and have fun even if you are alone. The staff are friendly and always positive. What else could you want from an entertainment venue?

Digital nomadism in Bali

Let's talk about the digital nomad side. Yes, there is a large group of people who find this place suitable for living and working. They did very well by discovering it. Canggu if you want to work with fun. Uluwatu if you want a little bit of fun, a little bit of nature and a beautiful sea. If you want less fun, very good nature, let me go back to myself, listen to myself, let very little distract me and work more, Ubud. And the distance between these 3 places I mentioned is 1 hour. You can go everywhere more or less in 1 hour.

Cafes in Bali

And wherever you go, there are so many cafes and places. And the places are very used to people who go there and buy a drink or food and sit and work. Nobody bothers you, nobody pressures you to sell something. Of course, there are exceptions, but the chances of discovering those places are very low because nobody will recommend them.

Bali is one of the few places where it is so easy to meet people and make friends. This is great for sociable people like me, and for less sociable people, it is a place where they can train and improve themselves.

Co-working spaces in Bali

Co-working space culture is quite common and there are plenty of options. If you want to work in a crowded place with like-minded people, there are plenty of options, and if you want to be in a quieter place and not be distracted, there are plenty of options. I will make a self-criticism about this, I think I made a big mistake in Bali by going less to co-working spaces. I realized that this was a mistake in Sri Lanka and Thailand! I am a person who loves to work, no matter how much money I have, I enjoy working and producing value, being active in business life. In the first month in Bali, my system and discipline were very strong. But in the second month, I had some difficulties in these matters. The charm of Bali drew me in and I couldn't perform as well as I wanted to. That's not to say that I didn't work, because I'm a very ambitious and passionate person, I couldn't work the 13-14 hours I'm used to working here. But this wasn't a problem, because I discovered a way to produce the same or even more impact and value with less work. I'm still taking action on this issue, improving myself and learning by trying new things.

Another thing is that on this island no one is judged and everyone can be themselves or be whoever they want to be, which is a very good thing. That doesn't mean that you should do whatever you want without caring about anyone else. In Bali, I had very close relationships with the locals, I made very strong friendships and as part of my job, I asked questions and made observations to understand the place, the people and their expectations from us. I even interviewed 2 different locals to be published on NomadVibe YouTube channel. Although the topics and subjects of these interviews were different, there were common expectations and answers. The locals are very loving, respectful to everyone and everything. They were born and raised this way, and this behavior is also part of their religious beliefs. There are very few things they expect from us, respect for themselves, respect for their culture, and respect for their nature. As long as we fulfill these, they are very open to sharing a peaceful and happy life with us on this beautiful island. I have just published the first of these interviews and I invite you to take a look at it here.

Safety in Bali

The last thing I would like to tell you about is safety! I have only heard a few bad stories about this island, but I have never seen or come across one. During the 3 months I have been in Bali, thankfully I have never had a negative or annoying incident with security and neither has anyone I know. But that doesn't mean that it won't happen or that there is never any risk. For example, the phone theft that happened to my digital nomad friend Selman can happen to anyone and you can take simple precautions to be safe.

Final :)

There are some really good things in Bali, some things that some people may not like or are not used to. But as a person who always has a good outlook and good thinking, I wanted to share with you what I have experienced and what I feel, without playing the role of a Pollyanna. I have never positioned myself and my startup NomadVibe in a way that shows "only the good sides" and is far from honesty. This positioning is not easy, because other accounts are drowning in interaction by showing "only the good sides" in line with their own strategies, and you take a risk by saying "yes, it's good, but there are also these sides and we need to talk about them too". Of course this is a choice, nobody is forcing me to do this. But people who really understand this situation sincerely will start to appreciate it much more in the very near future. Then hopefully we will have the opportunity to communicate more with you and hear each other :)

Thank you for reading this far, I invite you to follow NomadVibe Instagram account so that you can quickly reach content, stories and insights about the countries I travel to. This way you will support me and be a part of my journey to realize everything I want to do with you :)


And as I always say, until the next post arrivederci folks :)

How was it like being a digital nomad in Bali for 3 months?

Selman wrote a very detailed and awesome guide about Bali and we published it. Instead of writing another guide when we already have a very well written content, I would like to talk about my personal experience of being a digital nomad in Bali. Since this is the reason why I came here and stayed for 3 months, I didn't want to pass without telling something.

First of all, I would like to say that I think it is not a coincidence or a trick that Bali is so popular. So why is it so popular? Why are all Instagram Reels and Stories talking about Bali?

I don't have a clear and definite answer to that, because Bali means something different to everyone.

For example, I didn't like it because the houses are nice, the food is nice, the nature is nice. It's nice to live there, the people who live there are nice, it's nice that everything is comfortable and easy there. It's completely out of the world I've been used to, but it has everything I need.

The bad sides of Bali

But aren't there any bad sides? Of course there are, there are many. Bali is actually an island with lots of lovely villages. But we, myself included, are using it with an effort far beyond its current capacity. We are trying to use it. And it's not just us, there's a lot of work for the local authorities and the government. And as far as I have seen so far, unfortunately this is not being addressed.

The infrastructure of the island is definitely not enough, the roads are very inadequate, these are the only things that make this island negative.

And it is almost impossible to be a pedestrian on this island! When I say there are no roads, I don't mean only for cars, there are no roads for pedestrians either. You absolutely need a car to get from one place to another. Cars are not preferred because of the lack of roads. You will either rent your own scooter or call a moto taxi from apps like Gojek and Grab.

Prices in Bali

There is a big criticism about prices. Since I went for the first time in December 2023, I unfortunately cannot compare the prices with the previous years. But after Bali, I continued to travel and discover new countries. When I compare it with the period after Bali and the related countries, I can easily say that you have the chance to live Bali on a budget. This budget issue is very personal and there is no end to it. But for an average life, based on minimum costs and assuming that you live in a way that is neither luxurious nor poor, 2.000 USD per person allows you to live a really enjoyable life.

Accommodation may be more expensive than in the past, but as I said, instead of comparing it to that period, if we talk about the current period, there is a flow of tourists and digital nomads to the island, even though there is a poor infrastructure. This, of course, whets the appetite of both those who own land and those who are eager to invest. And everywhere is slowly turning into villas and guesthouses. Although this is still pushing prices up a little bit for now, the competition is getting fierce and this, in my opinion, will give us an advantage in terms of price.

When I first set foot on the island, I stayed right in the center of Canggu, in the heart of Canggu. It was a guesthouse, I paid around 1.000 USD per month. But I spent my last month in a guesthouse 10 minutes outside the center of Canggu, but with nothing less than the first guesthouse, in fact with many more advantages. I paid 560 USD per month. The last guesthouse was bigger, had a bigger pool, and they actually cleaned the room every day and made the bed every day. Some days I had to say "please, you just cleaned it, no need to clean it today." What nice troubles, right? :)

GYM?

But there is one more thing I have to add, no matter where I go in the world, there is one service that I find overpriced in Bali, gyms! Yes, I admit that such places require big investments, dedication from staff to equipment, and the audience they cater to is different, but that doesn't stop me from saying "expensive". This is not a criticism, after all, it is an optional issue, if it is expensive, you can say don't go :D But I went, I went for 3 months, at least 4-5 days a week. I did very well, I have no regrets and I am not sad :)

The good sides of Bali

And the good things? I guess I can't finish with counting. The nature is so beautiful, the people, the local people are so beautiful, even if your focus is only on events and activities, you will not have time to scratch your head, it is so lively and exciting. You want to see a volcano? You can. You want to surf? You can. You want to spend time with monkeys? You can.

Also, I may be saying this because I witnessed it for the first time, but I also experienced for the first time what real island life is like with simple necessities. Shorts, t-shirt, hat, sunglasses, slippers and a small belly bag. You don't need anything else in Bali :) This simplicity and comfort attracted me a lot.

Ice bath?

I also pushed myself and my limits every day in Bali. For example, it was in Bali that I met ice bath for the first time, and I became addicted to it. Because I was able to find such opportunities very easily, and because I had the chance to be inspired by many people to improve myself mentally and physically, one side of my heart will always be in Bali!

Nightlife in Bali

Since Bali is a "vacation paradise" for foreigners, the service and entertainment sector is highly developed. This sophistication not only makes it home to many different venues, but the only thing that stands out in these venues is your enjoyment and comfort. It is very easy to go to a nightclub, very easy to enter, very easy to socialize and have fun even if you are alone. The staff are friendly and always positive. What else could you want from an entertainment venue?

Digital nomadism in Bali

Let's talk about the digital nomad side. Yes, there is a large group of people who find this place suitable for living and working. They did very well by discovering it. Canggu if you want to work with fun. Uluwatu if you want a little bit of fun, a little bit of nature and a beautiful sea. If you want less fun, very good nature, let me go back to myself, listen to myself, let very little distract me and work more, Ubud. And the distance between these 3 places I mentioned is 1 hour. You can go everywhere more or less in 1 hour.

Cafes in Bali

And wherever you go, there are so many cafes and places. And the places are very used to people who go there and buy a drink or food and sit and work. Nobody bothers you, nobody pressures you to sell something. Of course, there are exceptions, but the chances of discovering those places are very low because nobody will recommend them.

Bali is one of the few places where it is so easy to meet people and make friends. This is great for sociable people like me, and for less sociable people, it is a place where they can train and improve themselves.

Co-working spaces in Bali

Co-working space culture is quite common and there are plenty of options. If you want to work in a crowded place with like-minded people, there are plenty of options, and if you want to be in a quieter place and not be distracted, there are plenty of options. I will make a self-criticism about this, I think I made a big mistake in Bali by going less to co-working spaces. I realized that this was a mistake in Sri Lanka and Thailand! I am a person who loves to work, no matter how much money I have, I enjoy working and producing value, being active in business life. In the first month in Bali, my system and discipline were very strong. But in the second month, I had some difficulties in these matters. The charm of Bali drew me in and I couldn't perform as well as I wanted to. That's not to say that I didn't work, because I'm a very ambitious and passionate person, I couldn't work the 13-14 hours I'm used to working here. But this wasn't a problem, because I discovered a way to produce the same or even more impact and value with less work. I'm still taking action on this issue, improving myself and learning by trying new things.

Another thing is that on this island no one is judged and everyone can be themselves or be whoever they want to be, which is a very good thing. That doesn't mean that you should do whatever you want without caring about anyone else. In Bali, I had very close relationships with the locals, I made very strong friendships and as part of my job, I asked questions and made observations to understand the place, the people and their expectations from us. I even interviewed 2 different locals to be published on NomadVibe YouTube channel. Although the topics and subjects of these interviews were different, there were common expectations and answers. The locals are very loving, respectful to everyone and everything. They were born and raised this way, and this behavior is also part of their religious beliefs. There are very few things they expect from us, respect for themselves, respect for their culture, and respect for their nature. As long as we fulfill these, they are very open to sharing a peaceful and happy life with us on this beautiful island. I have just published the first of these interviews and I invite you to take a look at it here.

Safety in Bali

The last thing I would like to tell you about is safety! I have only heard a few bad stories about this island, but I have never seen or come across one. During the 3 months I have been in Bali, thankfully I have never had a negative or annoying incident with security and neither has anyone I know. But that doesn't mean that it won't happen or that there is never any risk. For example, the phone theft that happened to my digital nomad friend Selman can happen to anyone and you can take simple precautions to be safe.

Final :)

There are some really good things in Bali, some things that some people may not like or are not used to. But as a person who always has a good outlook and good thinking, I wanted to share with you what I have experienced and what I feel, without playing the role of a Pollyanna. I have never positioned myself and my startup NomadVibe in a way that shows "only the good sides" and is far from honesty. This positioning is not easy, because other accounts are drowning in interaction by showing "only the good sides" in line with their own strategies, and you take a risk by saying "yes, it's good, but there are also these sides and we need to talk about them too". Of course this is a choice, nobody is forcing me to do this. But people who really understand this situation sincerely will start to appreciate it much more in the very near future. Then hopefully we will have the opportunity to communicate more with you and hear each other :)

Thank you for reading this far, I invite you to follow NomadVibe Instagram account so that you can quickly reach content, stories and insights about the countries I travel to. This way you will support me and be a part of my journey to realize everything I want to do with you :)


And as I always say, until the next post arrivederci folks :)