As promised, I am asking to international travellers and people living and working in a foreign country to share their life stories with me to know why they decided to leave families and friends behind to explore new realities and meet new cultures!
Are you curious about how they managed to adapt and settle in their new countries? Then follow my expat interviews categorised by country! Are you an expat wanting to share your tips and experience with the rest of the world and be a source of inspiration? Then fill in the expat interview form: I would love to hearing from you!
“Travelling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Iba Battuta
Let’s meet Cat: from Netherlands to the dreamy Bali
Introduce yourself briefly. Tell us who you are!
Hello! I’m Cat and I’m a bit of a nomad. Currently an online English and Dutch teacher, but slowly going to try to make a transition towards writing and public speaking for mental health organizations, because I have an important story to tell. I am currently writing a book, which I want to publish within 5 years or so and meanwhile, I love exercising, being out in nature and writing poetry =)
Why did you move to your current country?
I already knew some people in Bali and they’ve been asking me when I was coming back. I didn’t feel like being in Thailand anymore, and I had fond memories of Bali.
What do you do for a living? How was the job hunting?
I am teaching Dutch and English on Italki and I’m also teaching English for a Chinese company. It’s not very easy. Even though I’m a trained English teacher with English as my first language, a lot of companies rejected me based on my nationality.
How is the social life in your city, is it easy to make friends?
In Bali I feel like most locals think that I’m rich, especially in the remote village where I live. A lot of them ask me to bring friends to their hotel and things like that, while they don’t know that I live like a local and probably spend less money than they do on living costs. It makes it really difficult to connect to locals for that reason. And a lot of foreigners are also actually like that, they act like tourists and are interested in Instagram and infinity pools. Plus they don’t stay here for a long amount of time. I think I’ve learned to be more superficial in my friendships than ever before because of that.
Why should people move there? Why did you fall in love with this place?
The climate is so nice and the nature is gorgeous! Also, Balinese people can be so friendly and inviting, especially if you speak a little Indonesian. Bali is magic for me because it makes me feel close to nature, and I tend to get into really spontaneous situations, which I love.
What do you want to say to people looking to move there?
It’ll be difficult to find a job once here, so I would recommend either starting your own business or working digitally. It’s important to socialize with the Balinese and Indonesians there, learn a little Indonesian, and show respect for their culture.
How is the health system? Is it a safe place to live in?
The health system is really bad here, which I definitely figured out as a person who struggles with health issues. Again, it’s a matter of knowing where to go and being willing to drive 30-60 minutes to another city for the hospital.
In terms of safety, I feel fine in my village, where everyone knows each other. However criminal activities have been increasing lately and as a white girl I’m the easiest target, so when I have to go to a city, I feel a little more scared.
How is the general cost of living, what is the average rent?
You need to be able to drive a hard bargain and know where to go to buy anything!
I spend 2 millions rupiah on rent per month and 650.000 rupias for my bike.
Besides that, I think I spend around 300.000 on weekly groceries and petrol.
Tell us something you don’t like about where you live and the difficulties you came across when settling in.
Locals often see you as a money-spending machine and try to rip you off. They tend to have a really black-and-white view of the world, but you just need to be able to work with that. Every place presents its own issues. For example: in Thailand I found out that people were too scared to talk me, and in Australia everything was really expensive and people were not as smiley, open, and willing to make new friends. Every country has pros and cons.
Tell me an unmissable thing to do in your city over a weekend
Go to Batur Mount! The mountain is really nice to climb at night and watch the sunrise from. The lake is also really beautiful and it’s really nice to go camping in Bali too!
Did you find Cat’s experience useful? Then check out the other upcoming expat interviews in other cities!