But what happens when that little slice of paradise becomes your new home base?
Can I still get a four-hand massage every two days?
Can I go jet skiing whenever the weather is “jet skiing” weather?
Can I have that delicious nasi goreng with a (couple of) cocktails at the restaurant with the beach views?
Where do you draw the line between living on a holiday and living at home?
First and foremost, budget. You’re no longer living on holiday mode, so even though everything is dirt cheap (except Western goods, butter, cheese, etc.), the fact of the matter is, everything adds up. $2 here, $4 there, $10… Next thing you know, you’re bankrupt and eating cup noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Always think long-term and not just for the next 2 weeks. Remember, this is your home now. Time is a luxury you can afford, so pace yourself… you’re here for the long run.
Second, getting around. Save that cab money and walk. Get to know your surroundings and familiarize yourself with your neighborhood. This will not only help you settle down faster, but it’ll also allow you to discover hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants that might be a local secret. If you’re the more adventurous kind, rent a moped/scooter and zoom off to picturesque beaches and rice paddies that are beyond walking reach. Get away from the expensive tourist routes and really get to know your new hometown without burning a hole in your pocket.
Third, know where to shop and learn your local brands. Befriend the locals and educate yourself to avoid the dreaded bule (foreigner) prices! Sure the minimart across the street is convenient and easy to get to, but keep in mind that most of its contents are imported which means prices are higher. Hypermart and Carrefour in Bali are great places to get groceries and homeware. As for fresh produce, wet markets are your best bet for the lowest price. Soon you’ll see that you’ll be whipping up delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals in no time… for half the price!
Fourth, learn the language. Not only will it help you get around easier, but it will also help you make friends and ground yourself more in your new environment. Locals LOVE and appreciate it when you try to learn their language — some will even help you out! Embrace everything about your new home and immerse yourself in an exciting new culture.
Fifth and lastly, you’re here for a good time AND a long time… so make sure you find that balance between work and play. Learn to say no to temptation from time to time and don’t feel pressured to have to keep up with your friends visiting on holiday. Schedule, prioritize and meet your deadlines before frolicking off with your friends on the beach. Remember, you’re on two different agendas, so stay focused and make sure you’re still getting work done. How else are you supposed to fund this lifestyle?
Living and working in a vacation spot definitely has its pros and cons. Just always try to remember your end goal, which is to continue living THE LIFE… THIS LIFE.
Peace Love and Lipgloss,