Paradise is a word you hear a lot to describe Bali, at least among those who’ve spent a week there, but it’s also very popular with retired people and those who are location independent in their jobs. While it’s illegal for foreigners to actually own property, it’s pretty easy to rent long-term and also fairly easy to get a visa that allows you to stay 6 months at a time or longer.
Whether you are a surfer or an artist or just someone who likes to relax in a warm climate, there are communities in Bali you’ll like. So let’s go over 5 of the better reasons you might think about moving to Bali, Indonesia.
1 – It’s always warm and usually sunny
The greatest numbers of future expats are coming from relatively rich countries that are so far in the north that they have bad climates most of the time. So of course most of those people are looking for somewhere sunny, and Bali is perfect in that regard. Being just south of the equator, every day is nearly the same, and they are always warm.
Of course you have the rainy season to deal with, from December through April or so, but as with other tropical islands, the rain tends to come down all at once, and then the sun comes out again. Some people aren’t fond of the humidity in Bali, which is still there even during the dry season, but no one complains that there aren’t enough sunny days each year.
2 – Bali is quite cheap by international standards
If you’ve visited Bali on a holiday you probably consider it something of a paradise. Other such islands, like Hawaii or Tahiti or St. Maarten, are very expensive to live there in a typical Western lifestyle, but Bali is quite cheap still. Even in the most popular expat areas like Seminyak or Sanur or Ubud, you can rent a 2-bedroom house on a decent piece of land with a private pool for under US$1,000 per month.
The same sort of property would cost 5 times as much along the Mediterranean, but if your tastes are simpler you can find a place in Bali for even less. Many expat couples report that they spend under US$1,000 for two per month for food, drinks, and entertainment, and those on tighter budgets can get by on even less. The bottom line is that Bali can be very cheap if you need it to be, or you can afford some luxury for not much more.
3 – You’ll have plenty of expat company
Among the best qualities of Bali is that it draws expats from around the world to make a nice and varied expat community. There are more Australians than others due to its proximity, but there are plenty of Americans and Canadians and Europeans and even some from South America or other parts of Asia.
Some people enjoy moving to, say, a little town in Spain where nearly all the expats are fellow Brits, but for those who like a bit more diversity in their community Bali is a great choice, with large numbers to potentially befriend once you get there.
4 – Bali is a cheap flight away from many other wonderful places
Many people are fond of places like New Zealand or Hawaii because they have such a wonderful culture on their own, but those are among the many places that are also quite cut off from the rest of the world. In both of those cases, a plane ticket to just about anywhere is going to be expensive, and the closest places aren’t too different from where you started.
In Bali, because it’s such a popular tourist destination and connected by so many airlines to so many countries, you can get fairly cheap flights to many wonderful places. Thanks to Air Asia itself you can get very cheap flights to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere in Southeast Asia if you buy a month or two ahead. You can be in Hong Kong or Singapore quickly, or just about anywhere else in Asia within only a few hours.
5 – You’ll be able to afford a housekeeper
One of the slightly peculiar things about the expat scene in Bali is that you are sort of expected to hire a local housekeeper in order to be part of the community there. Fortunately, the cost is almost nothing, with a live-in housekeeper only costing $100 or $200 per month, which is about the same price as a daytime housekeeper who has to live with their family.
For this small price you’ll have someone who not only cleans your house, but shops for you getting local prices, and cooks for you with these inexpensive ingredients too. Better still, they will help you get approval among your Balinese neighbors and you’ll be considered a positive force in the community because you are hiring one of them.