Years ago I built my own computers from parts sourced by a Chinaman who ran a small warehouse in an industrial park in Westmont, Illinois. No big box retailer could beat him on price and so I eventually became a loyal customer of Han’s. My most frequent purchases were 3.5” SATA drives which I used for system backups.
When I moved to Bali I chose not to lug around those large SATA drives. Instead I bit the bullet, dropped a cool three grand on a MacBook Pro and started paying for iCloud – expecting Apple to keep my data safe. Sadly that was a mistake.
“Duah tahun setengah,” I replied to a pair of grinning Indonesian men just beyond the gate of a modest homestay in northern Bali. They were “kepo” to know how long I’ve been living in Bali. And though I’ve been here just over two-and-a-half years I’ve been doing so freely using a short-term tourist visa called a VoA.
Who wouldn’t want to live on an island in the tropics given the opportunity? And that opportunity became apparent in late-2016, the first time I set foot in Ubud. “What kind of magic place is this,” I remember thinking. The desire to move came strong, and my intention manifested accordingly.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since I moved to Bali. And even without a typical long-stay visa I’ve managed to make things work using bi-monthly flights, and appreciate being able to communicate it to others more with each passing day.
If you live in a first-world country chances are you’ve become a wage slave like I was before leaving a six-figure job to gain my independence. Or maybe you’ve already started freelancing and want to become a better freelancer. Whatever your reasons, becoming a Digital Nomad in Bali is not as difficult as you may think. But it takes preparation.
In this guide I will share valuable information and resources to help you decide if Bali is right for you, describe various move considerations, explain how to actually make the move and show you what’s necessary to get settled in.
Inspired by an interview with Lydia Lee, who left her six-figure job in Canada “in pursuit of a path less conventional”, I decided to retrace her steps to Indonesia, to the Island of the Gods (Bali) and a place there called Ubud.
What follows is a guide to travel like a God during your visit to Bali, formed from my experiences over a three-week period in late 2016.