My name is Mike and I am originally from Australia, but now living in Bali.
1. Why did you move abroad?
After my first trip overseas to Japan as an exchange student, I knew I wanted to travel as much as I could. So, as soon as I finished university, I moved to Japan and like many new graduates, I taught English and studied Japanese.
2. How do you make a living?
My background is in IT, so when I discovered I could make money building websites, that is what I did. We have some rooms we rent out on Airbnb and after we had kids my wife went back to university and studied to become a lawyer, where she now has her own legal practice.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
We communicate back home using whatever messaging app is popular. It is one thing being away from home, but once you have kids it is even more difficult as you want them to be able to get to talk and get to know your family, as much as possible.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Bali?
I certainly love the warm weather. The lifestyle is laid back and the people have a beautiful outlook on life. Balinese have a fascinating culture which influences all aspects of life on the island.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Bali?
The worst thing at the moment is the rubbish. While the government has taken some steps to ban single use plastics, there is still a long way to go. It is not uncommon to see beaches covered in plastic during the rainy season.
6. What do you miss most?
Family of course. We are also a three hour drive from a cinema, so I do miss watching movies at the cinema.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
It is impossible not to meet everyone in your neighborhood and wherever you go. There is nothing you have to do to go out of your way to meet people, both locals and expats.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
The dedication they to their culture and religion. As an outsider it fascinating to see and observe and sometimes be part of, but it is not something I would choose to do.
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
There is a myth that unmarried couples who visit Bali will break up. At least for me this wasn’t true. I married my wife after we moved to Bali.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
The cost of living in Bali is definitely on the low side. However, inflation runs high and there is a high import tax on various “luxury” food and alcohol items. The main tourist areas where most people seem to want to live have high property prices.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
I would suggest exploring the island before deciding to settle down. There are so many nice places to travel and live outside of the usual tourist/expat haunts. I would also strongly suggest doing due diligence if you are looking to buy a business or property. It is a big mistake to think the laws in Indonesia are the same or similar to your own country. Unfortunately consumer protection standards are also non-existent. Each time my wife has been asked to do due diligence on a property, she has founds some problem. In the worst case it was a complete scam, in others the problem could be rectified but the buyer was able to get the property for a lower price,
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog 10 years ago. Of course I wish I had the time to write more often, but I am proud to have kept the site going for so long.
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