Stay-at-home. Shelter-in-place. Lockdown. Social distancing. All necessary, we’re told, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But in so doing, jobs have been lost, livelihoods ruined, economies have crashed, and mental health is taking a serious beating.
The world has been living with this fear now for three months or more and nobody really knows how much longer it’s going to last or if it’s ever going to finish.
One thing we do know, however, is the impact has been unprecedented, especially on places that rely heavily on people’s freedom and ability to travel – places like Bali.
Living in Bali’s Lockdown
It’s fair to say, Bali’s tourism industry has possibly taken its heaviest blow ever and arrival numbers are way, way down. But there are also silver linings to find.
Bali hasn’t been subject to the same kinds of oppressive and draconian restrictions as Jakarta or other parts of Indonesia. For those that decided to stay in Bali after March’s exodus, the experience hasn’t been as traumatic as it could have been. There is certainly a general sense that we’re as safe as anywhere else and perhaps safer than most.
We haven’t been strictly confined to our houses and apartments, even though some did choose to self-isolate. We aren’t queuing up for basic foodstuffs and medicines. We’re not rioting in the streets. We’re not randomly being stopped to prove we’re not sick and we’re not filling up the emergency wards and ICUs in the hospitals.
Like with everything in Bali, balance is the key.
It’s true that many hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars have closed and their futures do not look bright, but others have managed to keep operating albeit with “new normal” social restrictions and there are even some brave souls opening new businesses. They may not be thriving (yet) but they are serving local communities helping to maintain a degree of normalcy in all this madness. And they are appreciated.
So, what gives?
Needless to say, we’re not fortunetellers. We don’t have crystal balls giving us deep insights into future events. We don’t know when we can travel freely again. We don’t know when schools will reopen. We don’t know if anything will ever be the same.
With that in mind, we keep ourselves updated about what’s going on and where. We read. We talk. We listen. We disagree. We observe trends. And one trend we can see starting to gain momentum is for digital nomads and those lucky enough to be able to work from home relocating to Bali to ride out whatever storm most observers say is almost certainly going to hit.
The Rakyat Post ran an article recently in support of this idea. They reported, “working from home is part of the new normal in the pandemic era. But instead of sitting inside a stuffy apartment, Bali Tourism wants you to work from home – in Bali. Bali Tourism is getting ready to welcome digital nomads and those who work online when the island reopens.”
“Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, aka Cok Ace, says that Bali will be a strategic place for tourists who want to work since they have the facilities and the beauty. If it all goes to plan, the popular holiday spot plans to reopen its borders to international visitors in September.”
It’s worth remembering Bali is already open for domestic travel (and foreigners with KITAS/ KITAP visas.) Yes, there are restrictions and yes, protocols for health and safety are in place and being observed. And it’s worth noting there’s also a growing market of domestic nomads looking for sanctuary and sanity in Bali.
Why Working from Bali Makes Sense
Opportunities for long-term rentals in Bali’s most popular digital nomad destinations like Canggu have never been so good. There is no “fire-sale” as such but a variety of property options are certainly out there from cheap and cheerful homestays to five and six-bedroom villas with private pools and beautiful gardens, as well as hotels and resorts in places like Seminyak all offering unbelievable long-stay rates.
From our experience and the clients we’re talking to, surviving lockdowns and social restrictions in Bali is a seriously feasible option.
According to Gapura Bali, there are four key aspects of why it makes sense to consider relocating to and working from Bali.
Creative Ecosystems in Bali support the establishment and development of startups, which are intrinsically connected to creativity and technological innovation.
Location – Bali is physically well located and has great access to easily tap into markets and opportunities in the digital economies of Indonesia as well as the rest of Southeast Asia.
The Quality of Life in Bali is good and conducive to those in creative industries. Housing is also relatively cheap when compared to other major Asian cities.
Best Tourist Destination – Bali’s position as a world-class tourist destination attracts foreign investors and those interested in funding and raising homegrown startups.
We might have different opinions about what’s going on and why we’ve been locked down and why economies have crashed and where this is all going to end up, but “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” Both Henry Ford and Albert Einstein have been credited with saying this, and now more than ever it seems to make even more sense.
Seven Stones Indonesia
That’s why Seven Stones Indonesia is focused on supporting initiatives to create and manage business opportunities that can grow profitably in this “new normal“.
We provide progressive, smart, collaborative, relevant investment, and business solutions. We help our clients, partners, employees, and community create a better world. We focus on what matters most to them today and we future proof them by working together to help make doing business in Indonesia beyond more efficient and more effective.
If you’d like more information on relocating or working from Bali or would like to sit down with us to discuss how we can help you succeed in these interesting times, we’d love to hear from you.