Ever since visiting Indonesia for the total solar eclipse of March 9th, 2016, I have wanted to live in the country. I fell in love with the welcoming locals, astonishing nature, extremely low prices and of course the typical laid-back Asian lifestyle. In addition to that, the Indonesian island of Bali, popular among tourists, is also a well known hotspots for digital nomads. Finally I get to try it out myself, as I am now living in Ubud.
Most tourists traveling to Bali stay on the Southern end of the island, near the beaches and wild night life of Canggu, Kuta and Seminyak. Ubud is also popular among tourists, but more families with kids and those seeking culture, rejuvenating meditation and access to nature. This appealed to me as a nice mix of a quiet life, with the connivence of a tourist hotspot.
Ubud ranges from busy, trafficked streets, to peaceful rice fields and temples. My priority was to find a home away from the buzzing noise of the centre, and that brought me to the villa in which I’m staying now.
The monthly rent for this place is 7 million IDR per month, which is fairly cheap for a villa this size and with private pool. It’s a beautiful place, but it could do with some maintenance soon, and we’re headed for the low season, so it was easy to bargain for this price. Although there are many villas more expensive than this, there certainly are also cheaper options. Especially if you wanted to truly live like a local, as it’s very normal to have a monthly salary of 1-2 million IDR here.
Something I like about Bali, that I haven’t seen many other places in the world, is the almost certainly included cleaning. The owner of the villa comes to clean every 1-3 days, changing towels and bed linen twice a’week. When living in a Bali-style house the cleaning is very much appreciated, as insects, reptiles, plants and leaves all contribute to making the place seem dirty, fast.
Renting a scooter in Ubud is cheap. Usually I like to shop around for the best deal, but since I am not planning to stay in Ubud longer than 2 months, I didn’t have strict requirements, so when this well-spoken, kind lady offered me her old motorbike, including two helmets, for 650 000 IDR monthly, I accepted without bargaining.
Eating in Ubud is great, but it is much more common to cook at home in Indonesia, than in Thailand, for example. That means a lack of busy local kitchens, which is sad, because I love the local food. However, I have found several good “touristy” restaurants, serving everything from pizza and Mexican to local food, in the range of 35 000 – 70 000 IDR per meal.
Co-working spaces became less important when I ended up in such a huge villa, as it proves an excellent place for working. Previously I had been planning to go for a cheaper home, and use a co-working space some more, but now I am using the Passion Lab co-working space of The Onion Collective, as it is donation-based, making it feasible to use on a “once-in-a-while” basis.