To say the last month and a half flew by is an understatement. Contrary to the perception of Bali being a quiet, laid back ‘island life’, this place is bustling! There’s always something going on, somewhere amazing to eat, and some place to go explore.
Between working 16-20 hours a day, and trying to squeeze in as much experiences as possible, we have neglected to keep up with the blog – so here it is our first Bali Life blog post. Enjoy!
Our place. A private villa located 5 min from the beach that has an amazing pool, air conditioning, daily maid service, and 2 washrooms. Topped off with fibre wifi, it’s just perfect. Canggu used to be a sleepy surfer town, but in recent years has grown into the heart of hipsterville. Trendy boutique shops line the few main roads here, and amazing food from all specialties can be found on every corner. The sweet smell of incense is always lingering in the air from the pretty little offerings left on the roads by the locals.
The town is safe, protected by the Banjar, and populated mainly by foreigners, or “bules” as the locals call us. There are grocery stores, gyms, crossfit, yoga studies, surf lessons galore, cafes, coworking spaces, tattoo shops that dub as party’s at night, medical clinics, nail and hair salons, hipster salons, etc etc. Pretty much everything and anything you want, in one small place. This place is a gem and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering living in Bali for a month or longer.
The temperature regularly sits at 32 degrees with 80% humidity, and without clouds, that equator sun is HOT! Walking around is not recommended. For those that know me, I love running, but just can’t even here. It’s way too hot & sticky. And so, we all get around on motorbikes!
The scooter of choice is a Vario 125cc or a Honda Scoopy. There are many locals renting them out of street huts, and you pretty much just need to sign the papers for about $35,000-$50,000IDR/day and good to go. That’s about $3.5-$5CAD. Andrew lasted less than a day on the scooter and bartered his way onto a vintage motorcycle. I think it’s his fav part about Bali – booting around on the bike up and down the old rice field streets.
Is it dangerous? Probably. But once you exit the reality of our first world lives, you start to see that the rest of the world just doesn’t always operate on the same basis of fear and control. Here, it is all about the way of life. It’s not uncommon to see babies and kids riding as passengers on a scooter (or even children driving) down busy roads weaving around traffic. I’m pretty sure if a westerner did this back home, child services would be called, and they would be shamed forever on the social medias. Life is simple here: live, work, and enjoy.
The food here is really good, and we’re going to miss it the most. Almost every restaurant has a breakfast menu double the size of the rest of their menu. They are fabulous. Words can’t even describe the varieties and options, but whatever it is you want, you’ll find, probably better than expected. Latte’s, shakes, health shots, juices, young coconuts, kombucha, it’s an organic-glutten-free-lovers dream!
The only downside is the bacteria that runs rampant here in Bali. The water is not safe to drink, and I have my suspicions about cooking with it. I ended up getting real sick and needed the medical clinic after having a fever for 5 days. They called it “Bali belly” and after a round of antibiotics and 4 weeks of blue/green algae vitamins, I’m finally okay enough to start exploring more varieties of food again. My advice: if you are normally a healthy conscious, clean eating person, do not eat fish or at the local “Warungs” here. Some bodies just can’t handle all the foreign bacteria.
Ah, the reason why this island became a popular hotspot for ex-pats in the first place. We can see why surfers never leave this place. The waves are good. They are amazing actually, says everyone, always. They are not crowded, and it’s easy to find spots to learn, and find spots to watch the pros do things you only see on youtube videos.
There’s nothing better than catching a wave and getting up to ride it in. It’s like all the pain and suffering of making it through life and death situations to get out there makes it worth it. There’s morning surf for beginners, day surf for advanced, and evening surf for pros. I would say most people here are entrepreneurs who surf for a few hours, work for a few hours, then go back for more. Finn’s beach club is a great place to take it all in.
I’m a beginner so I’ll tell it like it is from a beginners perspective. Here in Bali, the waves are big and endless. You have rip tides that help you to get out in certain spots. Beginners usually go when the waves are smaller and “softer”, meaning the actual curl of the waves isn’t as tight. You walk as far as you can on sand in the rip, then have to work as hard as you can on the board to get far enough into the ocean that the waves are not pummeling on top of you. This means you need to dive under them as they roll on top of you, or plank up on your board and let them crash under you. It’s hard AF, and even harder to keep paddling to avoid being dragged out the wrong way from the rip. It is not uncommon to get 1-3 waves in for beginners, and be done for the day. Surfing is quite a challenge, but the reward is ultimately worth it!
The hustle never ends, and as our business grows, so does our responsibilities and work hours. A typical day has us waking up around 9am, working for a solid 3-4 hours with North America, then taking a break for brunch. We work all afternoon dealing with Asia, and taking pool breaks lounging on floaties to strategize over ice cold bintangs. In the evening, the EST work day starts again, and we’re usually up until about 4-5am before getting some shut eye, and starting the routine all over again.
There are many cafes to work at that offer A/C (and good iced lattes), but you can’t beat the comfort of your own home. We’re really going to miss it here. There’s just something about this Bali life that keeps people here longer than expected, and as time goes on, it’s not hard to see why. #balilife it’s a thing.
Andrea + Andrew