Bali: A Case of Unmatched Expectations
When I first started my nomadic lifestyle, I interviewed for a hip remote work program in Bali. There were several things I didn’t like about the program (including the bro that interviewed me), but one of the big things was that it was located in Ubud in the center of Bali, nowhere near the beach.
As someone who grew up in the United States, far away from the rest of the world, several of my vacations included resorts in Latin America - Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic - all of which had amazing warm, clear water beaches with calm water and even corals with colorful fish right there by the shore! But because this was so close to the United States, I took it for granted. To me, a place like Bali was the ideal exotic beach destination that I’ve always wanted to go to.
So when I finally had a chance to come to Bali, I had to stay near the beach, despite my friends telling me that all the cool things to do were in Ubud. I dreamed of waking up, walking to the beach, and taking a swim at sunrise. To be honest, I didn’t care about all the other things to do in Bali. I wanted to work and go to the beach - the nomad dream!
Well, yesterday I woke up early and went to the beach… My AirBNB is about a 10-minute walk away from a super nice one. On the way there, I had to walk through an alley, where I got attacked by a massive dog that wanted to play with me… luckily the owner of the dog was there to distract it. During other parts of the day, I’ve seen that alley filled with 5 dogs, including many stray ones. There goes my morning calm walk to the beach!
At the beach, the sunrise was spectacular. But the scene was completely awful. The morning, my favorite part of the day, is the morning after for the beach. All the trash is there from the tourists the day before - the shop owners clean a bit of it for the tourists.
The water, a once-perfect-paradise, is covered with a dirty foam. I tried finding a spot to swim the day before, but after seeing the foam, I have absolutely no desire getting into water anywhere near there.
If you go to a beach a little further away (which I did), where there are just locals, no tourists, you will see it a lot more trashed.
Oh, and did I mention there are tons of stray dogs?!!
There were a bunch of locals taking in the sunrise before starting work. It was a beautiful scene despite all the ugliness around.
After they left, I decided to go to their spot to continue looking at the view and enjoying myself. I sat on the rocks in front of the gazebo, finally finding a moment of calm despite all the trash in between the rocks, only to see a giant rat run right past me!! Sorry Bali, but you’re just not for me.
Go to Bali for the cheap massages, great vegan food, yoga, meditation, stuff white people like, the monkey forest, and many other cool things. But do not go to Bali for the beach…