After deciding what your reason is for making the transition to Bali is, you need to think long and hard whether moving there is really the right decision for you. This section is in no way trying to convince anyone to not make the move, but it is a pretty big situation and one that needs to be taken seriously.
Most people that have been to Bali before on holiday are filled with beautiful memories of sitting around the pool sipping drinks, finding great bargains while shopping and living a carefree couple of weeks. While all of those things are still more than possible for the expat lifestyle, things will tend to unfold a little bit differently for the long term resident here. Many people fall in love with Bali during their initial visits, which could be referred to as a sort of honeymoon period.
A great example of the differences between vacationing in Bali and living in Bali would lie completely in your reason behind your stay. While on a holiday most people are trying to get away from the stresses of their everyday lives and leave their cell phones, laptops and e-mails as far in the back of their mind as they can. Of course they will be back home in a couple of weeks and can easily catch back up on all of those things. For most on holiday they don’t want to be troubled with the stresses of handling day to day hassles and those things can usually be sorted out by your hotel, such as reporting your stay to the local Banjar etc.
As an expat in Bali, you will sometimes wonder how it is already getting dark and you haven’t seemed to get anything accomplished yet. That is of course both the gift and curse of being here, but things do move very slowly. If you have some important documents that need to be signed, notarized or handled in any way, it can sometimes take a frustratingly long amount of time. Other things like getting electricity turned on in your new house or villa, getting internet set up or just having the repairman come around to fix something can all operate on what the Balinese and Indonesians call Jam Karet, which translates to rubber time.
Keep in mind that internet speed and service, while improving all the time, is still going to be disappointingly slow as when compared to your home country. The power has been known to go out without notice sometimes for a few seconds and sometimes for over an hour although that is not so common anymore since they finished their repairs on the power plant..
While these things may sound less than ideal, which they are, they do help to get you into your “Bali zone” and slow things down just a bit. Most long term expats in Bali have long since adjusted to the slower way of life here and are much more at peace because of it. It also makes you wonder if all of the instant gratification and need to have things “right now”, like back in our home countries hasn’t made us a bit spoiled and impatient. In closing, if you are a patient person or someone who is able to adapt and learn to move with the flow of life here, you will do great here in Bali. If all of this sounds like too much of an inconvenience to handle you may consider a 3 or 6 month test run here before diving in head first.