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Ask an expat or long-term resident of Bali how much the island has changed in the last 10 years, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. Many will tell you about how much more traffic there is now. Others will tell you about how much more expensive things are, and how a Bintang used to cost 50 cents. Most of them will talk about the “good ol’ days”.
Then some of the more positive expats will talk about how the internet and infrastructure has improved drastically in the past 10 years. Or how many more and varied facilities for everything from sports to leisure are available on the island. Or the vast selection of food and restaurants now available from practically every country around the world.
All of the examples above are completely true, although many expats will choose to answer that question while focusing solely on the positives or the negatives.
After recently spending several months away from Bali while traveling, upon my return I was forced to reassess the island of Bali and expat life here in a whole new light. I’ve always truly loved living in Bali, but being able to compare it so directly to so many new places exposed a few of the island’s shortcomings. Those shortcomings were easy to recognize while away, but when I returned, I remembered immediately why so many expats call Bali home. (more…)