Following my rant last time, here are the top 11 reasons why I absolutely love Bali…
- Everyone is happy – I’m not joking when I say everyone. There are no divisions when it comes to happiness. Poor and rich alike have so much joy in their lives. And it is 100% genuine. Of course, all that happiness could be from the abundance of vitamin D.
- Everyone does what they love – OK, it may be slightly far reaching to say that everyone does what they love (unless sewage cleaning is your thing) but it certainly is true for many, many of my friends. Whether their love is dancing or jujitsu or traveling or surfing or building houses or eating, they all have no hesitation in doing it. And doing it with gusto, pride and happiness. And doing it 24/7. The vast majority of them do not have a ‘real’ job but instead make money doing what they love. It truly is a fantasy land here. I mean, where else is it possible to corral over a dozen of your friends on a Tuesday afternoon to have a pool day with you?
- There is an amazing and vibrant culture here – There are very few places in the world where such an exotic culture is still alive and going strong. Temples and historical sites are found all over the island – in fact, you can find a temple on almost every street corner. There are multiple festivals and religious holidays throughout the year. It’s a common occurrence to find the locals adorned in their traditional clothing on the way to a ceremony (there seems to be one every other day!). The moment you step into Bali, you know that you’re in a completely different place and I love that!
- The food is delicious – The food is delicious. Mouth-watering delicious. Forget everything else delicious. Did I mention that the food is delicious?
- Things are cheap – Compared to most of the world (and most certainly Vancouver), things in Bali are ridiculously cheap. Meals can be had for 70 cents, data plans for phones is $12/month, rent can be as cheap as $50/month (I’m paying $200/month), 19L jugs of water are $1.20, luggage can be as cheap as $12, massages can be had for $5/hour, and gas is only 45 cents a litre (for premium!). Of course other things are crazy expensive (like alcohol) but cheap outweighs expensive the majority of the time.
- Breathtaking scenery – lush green rice fields, towering volcanoes, sapphire blue ocean…. It really can’t get better than this.
- Travel hub – Being in SE Asia means that it is cheap to travel to other SE Asian countries. And any other Asian countries for that matter. And Australia. It’s really cheap to go to Australia. Being a bit of a travel bug, I found this highly convenient and useful. Of course, it’s only useful if you have money to fly out to these places but that’s beside the point.
- Fun nightlife – I’ve partied in a few different places around the world and I have to say that the nightlife scene here is unlike anything else. First off, you have club row where there are about a dozen clubs/bars that you can hop to from place to place (no cover!). Then you have the slightly more upscale bars and lounges in Seminyak. Then, if you really want to go all out, you can hit up the baller clubs/bars/lounges in Oberoi! And if that isn’t your scene, most restaurants have a live band that will serenade you during dinner. Oftentimes, they’ll even invite audience members on stage to belt out a song or two. The best impromptu performance I ever saw was at this bar, Vi Ai Pi, during happy hour. This Aussie got on stage, grabbed a guitar and starting tearing up Sweet Child of Mine. Truly amazing!
- The weather – Rain + sunshine + heat > rain + wind + snow + cold + gloominess + slush + hail.
- No judgement – Believe me when I say that nobody here cares about what you do or what you wear. There is no pretentiousness here and no judgement. Nobody cares if you’re carrying a $5000 bag or a 50 cent bag or whether you’re wearing makeup or going au naturale. No one cares if you’re wearing the latest $300 pairs of jeans or a ratty pair of surf shorts. And absolutely nobody cares who you work for, who you know or even who you are. I’ve met the most grounded and down to earth people only later to find out that they’re movie stars or hotel owners or billionaires. Bali is almost the complete opposite of Vancouver in that way.
- Absolute freedom – This last point kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one but there is absolute freedom to be yourself here. There is no judgement, there is no pressure, and there are no societal ‘rules’ that you must follow. Do what you want when you want. Be happy and be yourself. It’s truly hakuna matata.
It’s so hard to explain why I love Bali that I don’t think I did it justice with this post. It’s only something that you can fully understand once you’ve been here and experienced the culture, the people, the food etc. I’m so happy to be going home but at the same time so sad to leave. I love it here and I can’t wait to come back!