Posted on July 7, 2016
What’s up? Where are you?
I’m still in Canggu, Bali where I have been also three months ago when I published My first three months in Bali (Photostory).
This part of text and photo is content dedicated to the period of second 3 months in Bali.
Time runs so fast. I can’t believe that it’s been already six months since I arrived to Bali. It feels like 2 weeks ago, although many positive, challenging and also sad situations happened to me.
That’s life. Life comes with it’s ups and downs and it doesn’t matter whether I am in Bali, Bratislava, Berlin or in Mexico.
I moved to Bali to continue surfing, to meet more people like myself – digital nomads – and to create and realize new ideas. That was all sort of happening.
After my first three enthusiastic months on the island I started procrastinating and I lost whatever kind of routine that I used to have before. Suddenly I felt professionally lonely and I didn’t see any outcome of my work. I know now that it happens to many solo-preneurs and it’s important to find ways how to overcome these challenges.
My mom came to visit and because she is my mom, she had some “interesting” comments about my current lifestyle – there is a lot of positive stuff in this visit too 🙂
I also experienced one digital nomad nightmare. My MacBook Air broke down after 4 years and it affected my work and blogging.
… All of the named above was practically nothing compared to a very sad loss of a close friend. It is still very painful to talk or write about. I want to open this topic on my blog solely because I know that we all are going through moments like this and it really sucks when we are far away from our families and close friends…
There was a fair amount of travel included in the last three months, however I didn’t travel that much or that fast as I used to do. I got tired of moving from a place to place without getting a bit more rooted and having that feeling of belonging somewhere. I missed experiencing situations like that the vendors from a local shop know me, that I have a favorite breakfast place and that I can return to the same wave, surf it and monitor my progress.
Enjoy the photostory! It’s divided into 7 sections and it includes information about Bali, tips for places, activities or simply how to overcome different challenges when living in Bali or abroad.
My town: Canggu.
Canggu is a vibrant place! It’s changing so quickly. When I arrived in December it was already a very busy place but now it’s even more. Canggu is perfect for people who like western “Copenhagen” style cafes, cool restaurants, interesting meet-ups or different party places. I’m afraid that it’s loosing it’s Bali spirit however the locals manage to keep their traditions and ceremonies which I find very interesting and inspiring. Compared to the first three months, I got used to the heat, the fact that everything takes longer than back home and the increasing amount of tourists, construction and prices.
Canggu is like any other popular tourist destination. What attracts many people also attracts people who want to take advantage of the rest. What makes me worried is the increasing amount of crime that I keep hearing about. Robberies and assaults. I don’t want to scare you, I just want to inform you that when you come here, have in mind that this is not a remote paradise place where no crime has ever happened. Simply use your common sense like anywhere else… I have a note for all ladies: avoid driving or walking alone at night.
For me Canggu is a great combination of good waves, smart people, ok internet connection and a value of life. So despite the fact that it’s not perfect (is there a perfect place?), I’m still here and enjoying my time. I wish you all a great stay here and that you will experience at least one sunset over the rice fields 🙂
In April I realised one of my childhood travel dreams and I traveled to the third-largest island in the world – Borneo. I flew to Kota Kinabalu, the Malaysian part of Borneo and I stayed for 10 days. This was a typical backpacking trip and the main objective was to see the nature (or what still remainded of it) and observe wild life. I’m preparing separate articles dedicated to Malaysia, so I’m not going to go into details here. What I would like to share is a breathtaking moment: standing on top of Bohey Dulang island and absorbing the beauty of the crystal clear water and the amazing coral reef.
After I came back from Borneo my mom came to visit Bali for the first time. This was an adventure for both of us and one of the best parts of this trip was that we traveled together to Ubud and we did a sunrise hike to Mt. Batur. The night before we slept in a mountain village nearby called Kintamani and we started the hike at 3am the next day. As most activities in Bali, it was very touristy, but the crowd and the local guides were all in a good mood, so we had lot of fun. I recommend to do this hike and feel the power of the sunrise from Mt. Batur.
On the way from Ubud to Kintamani (Mt. Batur) we stopped at Tirta Empul temple. Pura Tirta Empul is a Hindu Balinese water temple located near the town of Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia. The temple compound consists of a petirtaan or bathing structure, famous for its holy spring water, where Balinese Hindus go to for ritual purification. The temple pond has a spring which gives out fresh water regularly, which Balinese Hindus consider to be holy or amritha Tirta Empul means Holy Spring in Balinese.
A place where I return almost every month and which I consider my favourite place in Bali is called Bingin. Bingin is a small village on the Bukit peninsula. It has turquoise water, waves and a laid-back atmosphere. I love to get lost in the narrow streets of Bingin and see the stars and listen to the sound of the waves.
There are several places on the Bukit that are impressive. In my first article from Bali I mentioned a beach that had #noname. I’m going to show you one more here. I’m not going to mention the name again. I do it on purpose. I think that tourism is a great way how to experience different places, however I also think that not everything has to be discovered and mentioned online. Let’s keep places beautiful and unspoiled by protecting them. If you discover this beach, have fun, enjoy and when you do an Instagram selfie use a hashtag #noname
At the end of April I made a short visit to the neighboring island called Lombok! It is somewhat similar in size and density with Bali and shares some cultural heritage, but is administratively part of Nusa Tenggara Barat along with sparsely populated Sumbawa. It is surrounded by a number of smaller islands locally called Gili.
Lombok is known to be what Bali used to be 10 or more years ago. I loved it there! We stayed in Kuta Lombok and the nature in the area felt more like the nature in my dear El Salvador and the most important experience for me was that I surfed two new waves: Gerupuk outside and Mawi. Amazing! I have no photos from surfing there, cause I was totally immersed into surfing and there was no time for selfies haha. What I can say that Lombok is definitely worth it.
Entrepreneurship (Online work).
As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, I experienced several professional challenges. I believe that they were mostly connected to the fact that I had no routine and I felt uninspired or in case of blogging saturated with the same type of travel blogging content everywhere online. Perhaps this is only my point of view because I’ve been blogging for almost four years, but suddenly I felt that there was not that much I could offer to my audience.
I started reading again. I bought a PC magazine dedicated to “How to set up an online business” and I started drawing new ideas for my online marketing studio and this blog.
One of the very positive things is that I finished a website for Studio Inbound – my online marketing services studio – and by finishing it I started feeling motivated again. I would like to thank BIG time to a very skilled graphic and web designer Balazs Szarka for creating a brand identity and a custom font for the logo. I would also like to thank my creative friend Alexandra Dumitru from Chicago for proof-reading the website. Alexandra is a great writer and she is currently working on her first book Bailouts & Blackouts – a novel about a motley crew of young people from different walks of life (trader, stripper, soldier, heiress, farmer, programmer, refugee, entrepreneur) in the wake of the financial crisis.
Create what you wish existed – it’s a claim that I’ve been following for many years. What I was really missing in Canggu was a close group of professionally like-minded people who wanted to meet and share ideas and give feedback regularly. I started an initiative called the “Friendly workshops” and I invited friends who have online businesses or who are freelancers. We started over two months ago and we’ve been meeting every Monday since then. This non-commercial activity is making me very happy and motivated and I will tell you more about us in my future blog posts 😉
Finally, there was one very basic tool that helped me get the stuff done again. Written to-do-list. Never estimate the power of writing things down on a paper and eventually highlighting them when you’re DONE!
Ocean gives me the opportunity to chase happiness. It is my place to meditate and to have fun. In the past three months I felt the power of the ocean even more because it was exactly when I had those hard or chaotic days so I went surfing and I calmed down or saw things from another perspective. There is nothing better than starting my day by catching waves.
I have to admit that surfing is very hard for me, but since I started I couldn’t give up. It is all about taking those baby steps, being patient and (almost) every day practice. The hard work pays back and I know that at least one good wave makes your day!
Girls ask me about what do I do to improve my surfing and honestly it is all about spending many hours in the water. What helps is yoga vinyasa. Vinyasa practice is perfect for keeping balance and flexibility and opens your shoulders and hips. There are plenty of yoga studios in Canggu and I would like to recommend visiting newly opened The Practice Bali yoga center.
Last but not least, what helps surfing or in general being mentally and physically fit is running or walking on the beach. So you can also see a beautiful sunset and enjoy it to the fullest!
My best friend came to visit me in April – my mom 🙂 This was the first time that she travelled so far from Europe and came to a completely different culture. I am very grateful that “mamka” came to Bali and that we had an opportunity to spend some time and adventures together. We went to Ubud, to hike Mt. Batur, to see the sunset at Tanah Lot, we even went for the happy hour at Old man’s and we did lot of local and international food tasting.
It was an interesting and also powerful experience to have my mom in an environment that I decided to live in. I used to live in developed Copenhagen and I had a steady job. Four years later, here I am in Canggu, Bali! I work as a freelance online marketer. I don’t have a stable income, but I surf every day. Mom expressed her worries about my lifestyle and especially about living so far away from my home country. It took us somedays to understand each other… I had to accept that it’s completely normal that my mom wants me to return back home and perhaps live a more stable life. But… we all live our own lives as best as we can and I’m grateful to have parents who support my lifestyle decisions even though it’s sometimes hard for them.
Who I am also very grateful for are my Spanish amigas in Canggu. Places are made of people and I wouldn’t be able to stay in a place for a long time if I wouldn’t be surrounded by people who I consider friends. I would like to say thanks to Isa Lavilla and Lucía Roman for supporting me during hard moments or having fun with me when I felt better.
There are many people who I meet in Bali and who are here only for a short while – “tranzi people”. I try to be close to people who live here, however there are moments when I meet someone for a short while and we have an unforgettable moment together, e.g. like that Monday morning in April on the Bukit. It’s good to have flexible working hours so sometimes I can start working a little bit later 😉
When I arrived to Bali I used to work from the co-working space called Dojo. I returned to Dojo in May and I spent around one month there. Dojo is a perfect place for working and they have a good internet connection there, but what is missing in my opinion is a sense of CO-working -> community. There are some good intents like workshops and a monthly bbq so I believe that it will become more interactive. So perhaps if you attend the bbq one day you will meet funny and friendly guys like Mariano and Luciano from We Store Solutions and many more creative and entrepreneurial people.
This section of photos is all about the #balilocal life. I’m the Unboxing Traveller because I love to unbox – discover – the local stuff which is unique to the region that I’m visiting.
Dry season. The season has changed. When I arrived to Bali it was rainy season and the days were very humid. I like the dry season better because it’s raining less (though it’s still raining) and the air feels more fresh. It’s interesting to observe the locals harvesting the rice. Harvesting is the process of collecting the mature rice crop from the field. Depending on the variety, a rice crop usually reaches maturity at around 105–150 days after crop establishment. Harvesting activities include cutting, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling.
The transportation in Bali is all about scooters. Everybody has a scooter. Even bigger kids or smaller teenagers. One of my favorite activities is jumping on my scooter and going for a #sundayride. I love to drive to more remote places of Bali and observe the local life. People are so authentic when I get out of Canggu. I love those moments in Bali.
Nyepi day. Nyepi is a Balinese “Day of Silence” that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2016, it felt on March 9). Nyepi is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed. (Source: Wikipedia) Before Nyepi day there is a Ogoh-ogoh statue paraded that takes place in my parts of Bali. Wow! That was an experience! I stayed home for 24 hours, I was reading, talking to a friend, looking at the sky and doing a lot of self-reflection. It was beautiful to hear so many birds around as there was no sound of scooters. Can you imagine living without electricity and vehicles again?
The Balinese Celebrate Life through Ceremony & Daily Rituals. It is said there is never a day in Bali without a ceremony of some kind and if you include all the life cycle rites, then this assumption is probably true.
Puppy “Lilos”. It was on 2nd May when I was sitting in my room and writing. The door was opened and I felt that someone entered into the room. It was a puppy who had no name and no owner. The puppy was extremely adorable and I was convinced that if I wouldn’t find the owner, I would keep it. Later that day the owners of the puppy found it in our garden. It was our neighbours so I didn’t have to say goodbye to Lilos forever. The puppy – now 4months old – comes to greet me everyday in the morning and several times per day. I wish she would be my dog, but I accepted that with this digital nomad lifestyle it’s kind of difficult to commit to a dog.
Frangipanni is my favourite Balinese flower 🙂
Beach corn might be my favourite Balinese food!
The last section of this article is dedicated to the challenges that I faced during my second three months in Bali.
Friends who come and go. The first challenge was that there were so many friends who I met during the first three months and suddenly they were gone. Especially Jasmin and Kenny. I still miss them. Nowadays I try to spend more time with people who are staying for a long time however I’m also not sure how long I will stay…
Over-hydratation. So this thing was weird. I surfed for more than 2 hours and I didn’t drink a lot that day. I came back home after surfing and I felt a strong headache. I thought that I was dehydrated, so I had a “brilliant” idea. I drank more than a litter and half of water in less than 5 minutes. It was a BAD idea guys! I felt so strange like never before, my heart was beating fast and I felt lot of tension in my muscles. It will sound silly, but I googled the symptoms and it looked like I was over-hydrated. What they suggested online was to eat some salt or to drink something with electrolytes. That was exactly what I did. I ate a little bit of salt and I bought Pocari Sweat. I believe that it saved my life (sorry for being so dramatic, but I really haven’t felt that strange in my life).
Technical problems. My computer stopped working at the end of the 6th month and I felt annoyed because the repair took longer than expected and I didn’t want to buy a new laptop in Bali. How did I solve this challenge? I will tell you in my next blog post!
Loosing a close friend. This was in deed the saddest and most challenging situation that has happened to me in years. My friend, a girl who introduced me to surfing and supported me to continue left us to surf those heavenly waves after a long fight with cancer… I wish I could surf with her again and there was not a day since she died that I wouldn’t think about her and the influence she had on me. Thank you my dear, I still have that ring and it protects me. I will meet you sooner or later and surf those heavenly waves with you.
I must say that in the past three months I learned a lot about myself, about Bali and about life itself. At the end of six months in Bali I knew that it was about a time to improve things that I was (not) doing and I decided to take action.
I will tell you about it next time guys. This article got too long anyway. I hope that you enjoyed although it includes sad moments. Please leave me a comment or a question in the section below if you feel like.
Stay safe and have fun wherever you are. Life is only one – so as much you are enjoying, think about doing the best for yourself (your health) as well as for the others.
With cinta from Bali,
PS. Cinta means LOVE 🙂 Do you want to see more photos from Bali? Follow me on Instagram!
About the Author
Thanks for reading this article! My name is Silvia and I’m from Slovakia. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, marketing, traveling, surfing, photography and I’m in the search of the best ways how to combine it all. Over the past 3 years I changed my lifestyle completely. From an employee in a larger company I started freelancing and working online to be location independent. What drives me is the idea that if I want to, I can book a ticket and go surfing anywhere in the world and stay as long as I want. Also, I gathered lot of content and ideas inspired by beautiful people, places and products. I blog and organize presentations about these topics. Safe travels!