I get emails everyday through my baliexpat website from people interested in living in Bali. I am also a member of expat forums and try to share the knowledge I have gained while living here. While there are many people who want to live in Bali, in the end only a few actually make the move.
I know the feeling. It is a big decision. Made even bigger if you have a spouse and kids. You have to find a new place to live, apply for visas, new schools for the kids and work out how you are actually going to support yourself, if you don’t already have an income. At the same time you have to decide what you are going to do with your current house and with all of your ‘stuff’ it is so easy to accumulate over the years, not to mention what you are going to do with your pets that you aren’t allowed to bring to Bali.
While some of your friends and family will be supportive of you, there will be others who think you have lost your mind and will go on to recount every negative story they heard about Bali.
Based purely on anecdotal evidence, for the people who do make the move, only a few end up settling on Bali permanently. There are many reasons why things don’t work out, but mostly it comes down to people finding out that living in Bali is very different from being on vacation.
Perhaps it is just human nature, but many people will constantly compare everything to their own country. The whole point of traveling or living overseas is to experience something different. So of course some things will be different, but you are the one that needs adapt rather than expecting Bali or Balinese to change.
I get many questions from people asking about finding work. Unfortunately there are very few jobs for foreigners in Bali. Not only is it difficult to find work, working visas are very expensive, making it only viable for large companies to employ foreigners. Many foreigners start a business and while there are plenty of opportunities in Bali, it does require innovation, hard work and start up capital to be a success.
I can only say to be realistic with your plans and your goals. Be prepared for a lot of setbacks and problems, especially in the beginning.
So do you still want to move to Bali? Are you living in Bali what tips can you provide to “newbies”?
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