Living in Bali during Covid 19
I'm so grateful that we stayed in Bali during the Covid 19 Pandemic. We were in Bali at the time when in March 2020 the borders worldwide closed . The Australian government advised all Australian residents to return home as borders were closing.
There was a little panic here in Bali as those returning to Australia had days to leave. Those returning had to quarantine for 14 days in an Australian hotel.
The Australian media as per usual were putting the fear of God in people saying that people who stayed would be subjected to violence as Bali went deeper into financial turmoil. They were also saying that the hospitals here wouldn't be able to cope.
We felt very confident to stay here in Bali as this is now home as we don't own a home in Australia. We've also have had only very positive experiences with healthcare in Bali. Their hospitals are world class at a fraction of the price that we would pay in Australia.
So basically within 1 week most of the expats and tourists had left Bali.
So Bali is very different place without tourists and personally I absolutely love it. The roads are easy to get around, prices have had a definite reset and from a surfers point of view, few people on the waves.
I always feel like everyday is a holiday and so grateful for that.
From a locals point of view it would be devastating as most people here rely on tourism for a job. Most people have lost their jobs and many have gone back to their village to live off the land.
Many expats and locals donate food to those in need and there is also soup kitchens for the needy.
By the end of March most hotels, beach clubs, shops and restaurants had closed down due to Covid.19. We have been to many beach resorts and restaurants and have been the only guests there.
There are some incredible travel bargains around in Bali at the moment with hotels that were around $500USD a night now around $40 per night.
Outside most restaurants are a 50% off sign.
We have been blessed living here as life still has been relaxed and none of the panic buying that you see in many countries. It is compulsory here to wear a mask when you leave your home but that is pretty normal for Asian and South East Asian living. It's just a matter of picking up your phone and mask when you leave home. It is a very normal thing for us now and we don't even think about it.
When you enter a supermarket , restaurant , hotel etc your temperature is taken and you have to sanitize your hands. There are no queue's here at the supermarket etc so you feel very safe.
Covid has entirely changed our plans as it has many others......I'm not complaining and you just have to roll with the change.
We realised early on that our normal lifestyle of spending 8 months in Bali and the rest of the year in Thailand, Vietnam and Europe was no longer possible at least in the near future.
During the last four years that we have lived in Bali we have been moving around constantly and just staying in a villa for 1 month to a couple of months at a time.
We decided as travel was going to be difficult, that we would start to look for a long term villa. By that I mean from 2 to 5 years. So even if we can travel earlier we can holiday rent it out.
It was the perfect timing to secure a luxury villa as there is now so many around. Quality villas here in good times are up around $50k per year and you then have to pay staff and maintenance after that. In saying that you can then holiday lease the villa for around 1000k per night
Villas now are less than half price and you are spoilt for choice.
We decided to not stay in the main area around Seminyak, Kuta, Canggu but opted for a more relaxed area within walking distance to white sandy beaches and good surf locations.
We found a really nice villa that we both liked with a huge ocean view from every room and really spacious.
It came with a live in housekeeper, cook, gardener and pool guy.
There wasn't to much we wanted to change and it was just a matter of adding some soft furnishings and my own style.
As it is a leased property we only wanted to spend the minimum amount of money on it. I've had so much fun designing soft furnishings and buying some sustainable second hand pieces of art and unique furniture to pull it all together.
So this is the first time we've had a base in quite a few years and its a nice change but I can see how easily you can accumulate things.
Most of the gyms and yoga studios have reopened in Bali but I haven't returned and happy just doing my own thing.
We now live in a hilly area and do lots of hill walking with leg weights and carrying 3 kg or 5 kg hand weights. I've been really enjoying getting back into Bikram yoga again and have been doing this online. I just love the feeling of being bendy stretchy.
Bali is such an interesting place to live and never boring or dull. Each day has its own challenges and you never know what to expect. Something in Australia for example like getting a key cut may take 30 mins but here in Bali you can say goodbye to half a day. You have to find a place that does it and then usually they won't have the equipment needed and you have to keep searching.
I'm not sure when we can travel overseas again but for now we are enjoying travelling around Bali and probably do some trips to other parts of Indonesia as we can travel domestically.
We have retirement visa's here in Bali and that has to be renewed each year and is quite a straightforward process. A retirement visa costs around $900 each.
We're so thankful that we are enjoying life in Bali and feel safe.
I hope that gives you a little insight into life in Bali during Covid. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Sending sunshine from Bali.
Call me A Gypsy