Living Abroad in Bali: The Struggle Edition
Hey there, your favorite digital nomad, coming to you live from Bali! The life of a digital nomad is not always an easy life, especially in Bali. WHAT? – I am sure that this was your first thought. The first thing I am going to hear- “But Justyn you LIVE in Bali”. Yes, yes I know. I am very lucky and I am not trying to discourage you from moving to Bali or living abroad in general. I was actually speaking with a good friend at dinner tonight about how lucky we truly are. It is still the best decision that I have made. However, we still chat about “how hard our lives are” from time to time and I thought I’d share the big reasons why!
Visa runs…. all the visa runs…
In case you didn’t know, you can only stay in Indonesia for 30 days. 30 DAYS. That is nothing. In the grand scheme of things, that means that every 30 days you have to leave the country, only to come right back. The little way around this is called an extendable Visa. That means when you land in Bali, you pay some money to get a sticker to then go through all this work to stay for a whopping 60 days. That’s right. So every 60 days you have to do it all over again. IT’S SUCH A PAIN. I picked the hardest place to be living abroad! But hey, I think I also picked the most beautiful!
If you don’t scoot, you don’t survive – if you do scoot, you might just die
Alrighty. So every day I tell myself that I am going to get a scooter. Everyday I chicken out. Listen up folks. You can’t get around Bali without a scooter! You just can’t. There is no bus that is going to pick you up. There is a thing called GoJek, or GRAB. This means locals will pick you up on their scooter and take you where ever you need to go. Sounds pretty nice eh? Yah if you can get someone to actually pick you up! Getting a grab can sometimes take HOURS.
So you got yourself a scooter. Now you are a target. The Police will attempt to stop you daily, and sometimes they will succeed. Why are they stopping you? To get your money. It’s terrible. They claim to be stopping you because you don’t have an international scooter license. But really, it’s all a Bali scam. They want you to pay them off and then they let you on your way. So good luck handling that. Luckily – if we tell them we are living here in Bali they get very excited and let us go. They truly only want the tourists.
NEVER ENDING TRAFFIC. One day it took us 4 hours to go what would of been 15 minutes or less. Take this into account because you don’t want to miss you flight or ferry or anything else important. (A good way to avoid always being stuck in traffic is the scooter. You can just scooter past all the cars sitting in traffic. Beware because it’s chaotic and terrifying.)
The Taxi Mafia
I’m quickly learning that this so called Taxi Mafia can make your life very hard. They scare people out of helping to call you a cab, and a lot of times it is a miracle if you can get a grab or uber to come to your Villa. So you, better get a scooter. (Long story short- this blog post is basically just a why you need a scooter in Bali even though it’s terrifying. Also I am probably going to get one tomorrow mom. I LOVE YOU *sorry you had to find out this way* )
If you have any questions about living abroad or this specifics of living in Bali in general, let me know! You can drop your questions in the comments or send me an email.
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