As the December rain starts to downpour every day in my little corner of tropical paradise, I started thinking of all the places where I would look forward to welcoming the cold weather. Being a fan of Oprah, I recalled that she was fond of manifestations and vision boards and often spoke about them in her show. So I thought to myself what better way to live the life that you want than by starting to live it inside your head. I thought long and hard about where I wanted to have my “Forever Home” and what type of life I wanted. At first, I wanted The Home Edit life, with the color-coded shelves neatly organized in clear containers in either Vancouver, Southern California, or Sydney. But then it occurred to me sure this life looks great on television, but what about in reality and having to take care of raising children on my own? In Southeast Asia, we always have help in managing our household and I have heard from relatives who live in Western countries that raising children while having a full-time job is a challenge and they were seeking opportunities to relocate to Southeast Asia to be able to have help with daily child care. I also thought about the cold winters that came with living in these countries.
So then I went to today’s Encyclopedia a.k.a YouTube to see what living in the countries above would look like. After seeing all the luxurious homes in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons, my first thought upon seeing those homes was always “How am I going to clean all that square footage by myself?” I then started to think about who I am as a person and is it realistic for me to be a full-time caregiver that only took care of the home and kids. As I was deep in thought, I saw a suggestion video for a dream Villa in Bali. The house looked like it came out of a catalog and Pinterest page. Since I already live in Indonesia, I knew straight away that one of the benefits of living in this tropical paradise is that goods and services that are considered luxuries in the West are quite affordable here. The dream Bali Villa home tour showed Brass taps, Concrete sinks, Marble flooring, Wood finishes, and ceiling fans, lots and lots of ceiling fans, reminiscent of a resort in Buenos Aires. I immediately knew I had found my dream home and life. Having watched the entire 30 minutes of the house tour, I began to think if life in Bali is only good if you’re a twenty-something social media influencer, or is it good for families as well? I did a further deep dive of the “in the day of…” somebody’s life in Bali. I then researched schools, restaurants, groceries, food, co-working spaces. Basically, everything that I would need to someday live my dream life. In my mind, I had decided that Bali is the “it” place to raise a family.
I reached out to a few good friends and discussed the advantages of living the Island life. To my surprise, after our discussion, I realized there are plenty of benefits and positive points to living the Island life. It’s not all about the surf life and café culture. There are many benefits to the Island life which are mentioned below. However, when done right, the Island life is not only the perfect blend between work and life balance, but it can do wonders in your children’s character development as well.
Be closer to kindred spirits
When opting for the island life, I highly recommend you consider Bali at the top of your list. I assure you that I am in no way biased. In 2019 Bali entered Travel and Leisure’s Hall of Fame after being voted the Best Island in the world for 10 years in a row. This is indeed an achievement!
Moving to a place like Bali often means that you are at a certain stage in your life where you are searching for something whether it be pursuing surfing full time while taking a gap year, opening your own business for the first time, or taking a break from your current life to rediscover yourself. Bali now has plenty of co-working spaces due to the many digital and professional nomads that have called Bali home.
The island life is no longer synonymous with a place to retire. With all the remote work going on in the world right now, the future will no longer require us to live in a certain area to be able to work there. Why not live in Bali and work for a company in New York? with all the high-speed internet and technology that is available today, we no longer have to choose between our passion and our profession. If you search on social media, you will find many western ex-pats have built their own dream home in Bali and have made Bali their base. Each of them have a different reason for moving to Bali, some find that with the same amount of money it takes to rent an apartment in New York, they can get a very nice villa in Bali and improve their quality of life significantly. Others like the vibe and culture of Bali. If you’ve never been, you really should go and see what I mean. The people are the friendliest you will find anywhere in the world, and yes, “There’s something about Bali”.
Whatever the reason is for you moving to Bali or any other island, it’s a sure thing that you will indeed discover and make lasting friendships with people who are like minded such as yourselves.
Green energy and sustainable living
Sustainable living and green energy matters tremendously to me. Especially with the global warming, and unprecedented levels of plastic pollution that is happening around the globe. Bali caught my eye with its unprecedented steps towards Green Energy which is miles ahead of anything being done anywhere else in the country.
Solar power is starting to be big in Bali. The local government has issued a regulation stating that homes and buildings need to install solar-powered roof systems starting 2021 and decrease dependency on traditional electricity supplied by the government and coal power plants. In addition, Electric Vehicles are also starting to be the main focus in Bali with another regulation issued by the Governor focusing on Electric Vehicles that are Battery Based. These two items alone show how progressive Bali is. It also shows how international and open the mindset of the people and local government is.
The local Balinese government regulations and policies have trickled down and have been adopted by the local businesses in Bali. Take for example Piment Rouge Lighting, a lighting store in Bali that is also educating its customers regarding solar energy and how it can be implemented into their homes. This is the first lighting store in the entire country that I have seen to offer alternative energy to its customers, which says a lot about where the residents of Bali are heading in terms of sustainability.
Having discovered all of this important information, I figured why to move to a Western country for sustainable living and progressive thinking when I can stay in a warm tropical paradise and just move to another Island.
Chill….There’s more to life than the rat race and a 9–5 gig
Perhaps you’ve heard of Bali from the famous Julia Roberts movie “Eat, Pray, Love” where she goes to Bali as part of her journey to self-discovery. Yes, you can do that too when you are on the island. The people and culture are very laid back and helpful.
Living in a big city, we all tend to get very rushed by everything. Rushed making breakfast, getting out the door, doing our jobs, raising the kids, shuffling them between lessons, schools and playdates. It seems we go through the motions of existing through the day rather than enjoying the day. This article shows a glimpse of what Island living is like for a family with children in tow. Not only is a slower life pace ideal to raise children. If we want to raise children that are grounded, have core values such as appreciating mother nature, living off the land, and not just materialistic driven consumers focusing on their gadgets and the latest flash sale, island life is the way to go.
Children will be able to play in nature daily. The beach and ocean are in abundance. No matter where you are on the island, you will always be five minutes away from the nearest beach.
While discussing the island life with my best friend, besides talking about how people raised in the islands have a calm, laid back vibe to them, she pointed out that children raised in an island lifestyle seemed to have a very unshakable confidence air about them. Like nothing can break them. Looking back, I have noticed that my friends coming from Hawaii and Australia do have a different vibe to them. A former colleague of mine, from my days working in television, was a Balinese woman. And yes, she was always very cool and composed no matter what life threw at her.
When it comes to your kids, I know that packing our bags and moving to a tropical island isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But this is what sets Bali apart from other islands. Because it is so famous around the world, there is no shortage of quality educators coming to the island. Besides, being an island, the environment is a great concern for many who visit and call Bali their new adoptive home. This is where quality education comes in. Bali has numerous international schools such as the Green School International which educates children of different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities living in Bali to create a sustainable world. It has gained so much popularity that now the school has even opened in other locations such as New Zealand, South Africa, Tulum. Some other international schools worth noting are the Australian Independent School and the Bali Island School.
Speaking of character building, have you ever heard of Bye Bye Plastic Bags? Well if you have, you would have known that the founders are two sisters living in Bali who were 12 and 10 years old at the time they founded the organization. They were inspired to change the heavily plastic polluted Bali into an island that is clean and safe for all ages. Bye Bye Plastic Bags is one of the many sustainability and pollution eradicating organizations in Bali that were founded by youth. This is what island living does, it creates and builds up the future generations to be problem solvers, resilient leaders and most of all be empathetic entrepreneurs who will go the extra mile to help their community by creating a clean and safe environment and providing job opportunities for the local communities as well.
Fresh Air, nature, and delicious healthy food!
Yoga, surfing, are just some of the things that will keep you healthy instead of staying indoors couch surfing. All outdoor and beach activities are just a stone’s throw away with the island life. You and your children can do actual surfing in the ocean, with the sun on your back and the gentle breeze against your skin.
If food has got you rethinking adopting the island life, worry not! Vegan and vegetarian restaurants are in abundance in Bali due to high demand from tourists and ex-pats. If you are looking for western food done right, as in exactly the way it tasted in your home country, and not adapting to local taste buds, then Bali is the place to be. Having lived in Canada, Singapore, and Dubai throughout my life, coming back to Indonesia was a challenge simply because of the quality of food. Sure when it comes to Asian food there is an abundance of it, but there are days where you just need good sourdough bread or even an oversized cranberry muffin the size of your face. These were some of the things that I found to be extremely challenging to find in my country until I visited Bali and discovered that all the foods I couldn’t find in Jakarta, can be easily found in Bali. Food in Bali tastes the way food is supposed to taste in its country of origin. Moroccan Tagine, Italian Gelato, any food that you are craving, Bali has it. When I was in Bali for vacation last year, I kid you not when I say almost every two hours I would be munching on something and saying out loud “YES!! This is how food is supposed to taste!”.
Having explored all of the above and the benefits of living in Bali, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking “That’s great, but is moving to Bali a good investment? at the end of the day it’s about property value and what my future will look like if I make the leap”. Don’t worry, Bali is currently on an upwards trajectory. After decades of being a tourism hotspot for culture, cuisine, and honeymoon destinations, Bali is currently eyed to be revamped to become a Medical Tourism Hotspot with Japan as its main partner. This is another proof of how in-demand Bali is to the world. Simply put, there are endless business opportunities to be made in Bali.
Due to the constantly high demand for living in Bali and the limited amount of space available, Bali is indeed a great investment whether to open a business or to buy a property. Not only that, Bali is an international hub with many direct flights from all over the world to Bali. There are even direct flights to Bali from Qatar! And since Bali is a small community, despite having such diverse visitors and residence, it’s a sure bet that you never know what opportunities you will come across as your chilling on a beach club, sipping on a Mojito, watching the sunset thinking “This is the life…..”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go to my living room and sunbathe under the fluorescent lights while I put “Ocean waves” on my playlist and imagine I’m living the Island Life in Bali already…