Thinking of Bali?
The top thing everyone has in common lately is that they're bored of their hometown, looking to escape and explore. Maybe due to being sick of the bad weather, in need of a change of jobs or you just have itchy feet and are in need some vitamin C? There were a few different options of places for Jacob and I to move to when our plans to move to NYC fell through and our instant decision and thought was Bali! I think the main reason was due to it being so close to the other side of the world for us, with it being so close to Australia and Asia it was the perfect location. I hadn't actually been to Bali before our big move so it was a risky one for me in case I didn't like it but I mean come on, who doesn't like Bali! Since moving we know its the perfect place for us, being freelancers its the perfect space for us to work. It has such a chilled vibe to it but at the same time, you know everyone is hustling in their own way. Everyone is hardworking and passionate about what they do, whether it's starting a new cafe here in Bali or their own clothing line. I know that many people want to make a big move/ visit somewhere else and experience a different culture so I have included a what to know before you move to Bali, even if you're not thinking of moving here but you want to visit, carry on reading as it will be super helpful for you guys too!
Visas are easy to get to visit Bali. Speaking from someone who holds a British Passport, If you are visiting for less than 30 days you can get a visa on arrival, just a simple stamp in your passport. If you know you'll be in Bali for longer then 60 days then ensure to get the 60-day visa when you arrive for a fee of $35. Once you have completed the total of 60 days you do have to leave the country it can not be extended. You can return within a few days and get another 30 days! This applies to 140 different countries/ passport but just check before you travel to ensure you are good to go! As our business is registered in the UK we can not get a working visa here for Bali, plus with the amount of travelling we do we are never in Bali for more than 30 days a time so this is what we do in terms of visas for Bali.
The journey to Indonesia has seriously improved over the years. When we made our move over here we flew with Air Garuda from London Heathrow straight to Jakarta and then a small flight to Denpasar ( international airport for Bali) however it wasn't always this simple. My parents visited Jakarta back in the 80s and it took them 30+ hours with four stops minimum!! From London, there are many carriers that fly to Bali such as Emirates (via Dubai), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Malaysian Airlines (via Kuala Lumpur) and many more.From the US there are also many flight options - From NYC you can also fly with Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar (via Doha). From LA you can fly with Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong) With Balis airport being an international one it's so so easy to get to meaning there's no excuse not to come!!
Getting a Villa:
If you are visiting for a holiday I'd highly recommend getting an Air BnB. There are so many nice ones in really good areas close to cafes and shops, the owner of the Air BnB can also help out with everything from an airport pick up to hiring scooters to get around the island and they are also very reasonable, depending on the time of year you come!
If you are planning on being in Bali long term then getting a villa to live in is a lot easier than you'd think! There are many different agencies you can contact to help you look such as 'Kibarer' and 'Bali Long Term Rentals'. Along with this, there are many signs on the side of the road with villas that are available with a number to call so look out for them! If you're into Facebook groups then there are a few that you can join to keep updated on to find your perfect villa, groups dependant on the area you are looking for. Most of the villas are three bedrooms, two beds are hard to find but there are a few out there! In terms of what you need to do once you have found your perfect spot, you just need to provide them with a photo of your passport and the price for the villa for the year is usually required upfront at the start of the tenancy. There are a few that let you do it 3 monthly but mostly it's a year so it's a big chunk/ commitment to ensure you have found the perfect one before going ahead.
We have based ourselves in Berawa as its a bit quieter but the other main places are Canggu, Umalus and Seminyak.
The main type of transport in Bali is scooters, as the roads get clogged up if there are loads of cars and it's easier and quicker to get around. You can hire them for around £3.50 a day. To get petrol is super easy as there are many stools on the side of the road selling bottles of petrol. Just ensure to wear your helmet to be safe and also if the police see you without one on they will pull you over until you pay them a fee. I am yet to actually get on a bike myself as I am too scared but I'll need to learn soon as I'm just on the back of Jacobs the whole time!
Times of year:
From November - March it is the rainy season here in Bali. Some days are a complete right off as it doesn't stop raining making it hard to do a lot. High season is from June - September meaning its very busy as many Australians come over to escape their winter.
There are many gyms around where you can get 10 days pass or a monthly membership to keep your fitness up to scratch so don't worry about losing your mojo! We go to Avenue Fitness.
The currency they use in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) at the moment it's around 20,000 IDR to £1 or $1.50 USD.
Helpful Balinese Words:
In many of the touristy parts of Bali, the majority can speak English which is super helpful but it's nice to know a few basic words to get around, plus if you go and explore the rural parts of Bali their English Isn't as good so keep these words in mind to help you get around:
Hello = Halo
Thank you= Terima kasih
Goodbye = Selamat
How much? = Berapa banyak
Help = Tolong
Open = Buka
Closed = Tutup
The must-have app:
Go- Jek, download this app when you arrive and it will help out so so much! The app is really easy to use and very clear, it allows you to order food and a driver will collect it for you and deliver to your door. There is a supermarket option where they will go to the shop and get what you want and deliver it to you and there is also a go ride section where they can offer you a lift and you just pay them in cash! Its super easy and helpful, especially as I'm not on a scooter yet so getting around without Jacob here would be hard but I've just been ordering a Go Jek for a lift! Life changer!
I hope this has helped and given you an idea of what to expect and how to make moving/ visiting Bali that little bit easier. Just remember that moving to a different country is daunting and can be lonely sometimes but that's okay! So many people are in the same position as you so just be friendly and talk to people! This is the best way to learn and get tips from others who have been there and experienced it first hand. Don't forget to respect the locals as it's their home too! I will also be writing a few blogs on places to eat/ visit so keep an eye out for those!!