Bali is one of those places that you come for a few days but end up staying for a few weeks, months or end up living here… as I did. But why?

As an expat who’s experienced the magnetic charm of Bali firsthand, I often get asked the same question: “What is it about Bali that captures the heart of every traveler?”

It’s a question I’ve pondered many times, especially when I think back to my initial plan of visiting this enchanting island for just a few days. Yet, those days turned into weeks, months, and before I knew it, Bali became my home. Here’s a glimpse into why so many people, like me, choose to make this paradisiacal island their home away from home.

The Alluring Beauty of Bali

From the lush, terraced rice paddies of Ubud to the shimmering waters of Uluwatu, Bali’s natural beauty is simply breathtaking. It offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, volcanic mountains, dense jungles, and serene waterfalls. Many travelers come seeking adventure or relaxation and find both in abundance here.

Affordability with a Touch of Luxury

Bali’s cost of living is significantly lower than that of many Western countries. Yet, the quality of life is surprisingly high. You can indulge in luxurious villas, dine at world-class restaurants, or get pampered at renowned spas, all without burning a hole in your pocket. For digital nomads and freelancers, this is an oasis where they can maintain a comfortable lifestyle while working remotely.

The Bali Community Spirit

The Balinese are known for their warmth, friendliness, and strong sense of community. Their age-old traditions, ceremonies, and festivals play a significant role in creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. As a foreigner, you’re not just a tourist here; you’re embraced as part of the community.

Backpackers on a street in Bali | BaliKit

A Melting Pot of Cultures

While Bali maintains a strong connection to its roots and traditions, it’s also become a hub for expats from all corners of the world. This blend of local and international influences has fostered a thriving scene of cafes, coworking spaces, art galleries, and yoga studios. Meeting people from diverse backgrounds and forging lifelong friendships becomes an everyday occurrence.

Spiritual Awakening

Bali is often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” and it’s easy to see why. The spiritual energy here is palpable, with temples dotting the landscape and the scent of incense wafting through the air. Many find solace in the island’s spiritual practices, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking in the serene surroundings.

Flexibility and Freedom

Many travelers initially come to Bali on a tourist visa and find ways to extend their stay, either through visa runs or by securing longer-term visas. The island’s flexible approach to hosting foreigners makes it a welcoming destination for those looking to stay awhile.

Bali vs. Jakarta

When considering Indonesia as a destination, both Bali and Jakarta inevitably pop up on the radar. Jakarta, as the nation’s bustling capital, represents the fast-paced urban life, while Bali stands as an emblem of natural beauty and serenity. While both have their merits, many expats and travelers lean towards Bali.

Jakarta is the epitome of a metropolitan city, with skyscrapers, traffic jams, and a dense population. Bali, on the other hand, offers a more varied landscape, from beaches to mountains to terraced rice fields. For those looking to be closer to nature and find a peaceful escape, Bali is the obvious choice.

The hustle and bustle of Jakarta can be exhilarating for some, but overwhelming for others. Bali’s slower pace, particularly in places like Ubud or the quieter northern regions, allows for relaxation and a deeper connection to one’s surroundings.

While Jakarta has its own cultural pockets, Bali offers a more immersive cultural experience. The island’s traditions, ceremonies, and daily rituals are more visible and accessible. This provides a rich tapestry of experiences for those keen to understand and integrate into the local way of life.

Jakarta, being a concrete jungle, can get quite hot and polluted. Bali, with its coastal areas, mountainous regions, and greener landscapes, offers a more pleasant climate and cleaner air, which is especially attractive to those from cooler or less polluted home countries.

Bali, especially areas like Canggu and Seminyak, has seen a rise in co-working spaces, cafes, and hubs tailored for digital nomads and expatriates. This environment fosters collaboration, networking, and a sense of community that some might find lacking in Jakarta.

A Backpack on a street in Bali | BaliKit

Bali has a unique knack for making you feel at home. It draws you in with its beauty, cradles you with its warmth, and entices you to stay with its vibrant blend of culture, community, and comfort. For many of us, what started as a short trip has blossomed into a lifelong love affair with this enchanting island.

So, if you ever find yourself planning a trip to Bali, be forewarned: you might just end up calling it home.


The Bali Guide