Here are five reasons why I love loving in the beautiful island of Bali in no particular order:
1. Ever day there is something to celebrate. Bali's population is made up of mostly Hindus. It seems like every day there is some kind of special ceremony going on- temple anniversaries, holy days, celebrations, dances, new house ceremonies, wedding and funeral ceremonies.
While I am not Hindu, nor do I participate in any of the ceremonies, it is still fun and interesting learning about the different ceremonies and watching the people prepare for them. The temples are decorated with beautiful flowers nad decorations made from bamboo.
Even if you aren't of Hindu faith, I think everyone can something out of their beliefs. Nyepi day for example is a day of silence, where everybody stays at home inside. No one is allowed to drive cars or motorbikes and people even keep their radios and televisions quiet. It is a day for self introspection where everyone has the chance to have a fresh start.
2. The strong community spirit. I think in many western countries we have lost the value of community. Often people living right next door to one another don't even bother to socialize or talk to each other. In Bali most people still live in small villages and even if they move they retain close ties to their original village. The village head is referred to as the banjar and he takes care of organizing the dates for religious events, collecting money for the ceremonies and sometimes even handing out punishment to criminals.
If you get out of the tourist areas in the country side, the people are very friendly and will say hello and stop you for a chat. Our neighbors are some of the friendliest people I have met. They seem to spend most of their time outside, so you can't walk by without having a chat.
3. The climate. Indonesia is right on the equator, so it goes without saying that it is a hot place to live. There are cooler places in Bali though in the mountains that are much cooler. If you live near the sea you get nice breezes. While it might be hot for 1-2 hours in the middle of the day, the mornings and early evenings are great times for getting out and exploring. If your house has good ventilation, you can get by without having air conditioning. You can also do like what many Balinese do and have a nap in the hottest part of the day.
4. Activities. I don't think anyone can ever say they are bored living in Bali. There is so much for such a small island. Being an island with beautiful beaches, you can enjoy many water based activities like diving, surfing, kite surfing and swimming. The mountains and lakes in the interior offer great opportunities for hiking. The rich culture of the Balinese and their love of beautiful art and sculpture, opens up more possibilities of having new and wonderful experiences.
5. Cost of living. While you can now buy million dollar homes in areas like Seminyak, Bali still has a very low cost of living. If you make your way out of the main tourist areas, you can find very comfortable and affordable housing. By shopping in the markets where the locals buy their food, you can save even more money.
Whether you are looking to downsize your life, or looking for a beautiful warm place to live, Bali has something to offer all potential expats.