It’s hard not to feel stimulated by the sheer variety of people here–everyone seems to show up eventually! A few are Tanah Lot, and definitely Uluwatu at sunset, but I have one for you that isn’t in any guidebook. Get to a natural setting, whether it’s to the beach or to a path leading through rice paddies or jungle if you’re inland in a place like Ubud. On the beach it’s a quiet scene, a few joggers and dog-walkers if you’re in Seminyak or Kuta. Treat yourself to a few early mornings, especially if you’re in Bali for a short visit.
–there’s nowhere better to see it than on the beach at sunset time. Before 9 AM or so you’ll be rewarded with cooler temperatures and far less activity on the roads. (Pro tip: I always do this if I’m arriving jetlagged and awake early the first morning or two.
People are more interested and interesting without a schedule and so, most likely, are you.
But when an old friend came to visit us in Bali recently and mentioned with just a hint of fraternal sarcasm, “Hey you’re an expat now”, it got me thinking. A 21st century expat moving to Bali or elsewhere in Southeast Asia can enjoy the exoticism of his chosen location at a very low cost of living without many of the attendant inconveniences, deprivations or even dangers endured by those iconic figures from another time. Still, chatting with friends worldwide, cheap flights to Singapore for a visa run and authentic masala dosa, or taking time to work on an online business idea are all activities I wouldn’t swap for doing it the way they did 50 years ago.
I bought my little base here in 2005 and have been living in Bali nearly continuously since mid-2008. Being a Bali expat is an exercise in having it both ways, sometimes almost embarrassingly so.
It suggests a life you might–being still alive–still live.
For me years ago, the word ‘expat’ meant being Arthur C.
It all means among other things that Whats App, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype, Facetime, We Chat, etc work as well as they do anywhere else in the world, of course.