I’ve never been to Bali.
As an Australian, and in particular as a Western Australian, that’s almost blasphemy. It’s like an American saying they’ve never eaten a hamburger or someone from Japan saying they’ve never read a Haruki Murakami novel.
Australians going to Bali for a holiday is a stereotype, one based very firmly in reality. Over one million Aussies went to Bali last year, making this little Indonesian island the biggest magnet in the world for downunder tourism.
Why the hell have I never been to Bali?
So it comes as a surprise to lots of people when I say I’ve never been. And it’s not because I’ve been boycotting it, as Carmen pointed out in her recent post on why we’re not going to #BoycottBali.
So then why haven’t I been?
After all, it would seem I’ve been to lots of places in the world, so why not Bali?
The easy answer is that I’ve never got around to it.
I don’t want to sound like some elitist travel snob, but I had other places to see and the idea of a holiday on an island filled with resorts and nightclubs seemed like something I’d rather save for a friend’s destination wedding, stag do or couples trip.
Not as part of one our long term jaunts.
But something changed my mind…
Hubud – a centre for like-minded business people
The place is called Hubud (Hub-In-Ubud) and it’s a collaborative working space located in the town of Ubud, far from the madding crowds on the coast.
People from all walks of life from all over the world use Hubud as place to pursue their passions, work on their projects and meet like-minded people.
And exactly why it’s our next stop – we are going to Bali to be amongst people who have the same outlook on life as we do.
Craving people who are like us
A thing I’ve noticed again and again since Carmen and I have come back to our home city of Perth is that people ask us what our long term plans are. Of course, our answer is “we don’t know.”
It’s an honest answer because we are no longer on the merry-go-round of our former careers where progression at work, and therefore in life, is very clearly mapped.
We are on our own now and making it up as we go along – a thrilling and terrifying journey that needs careful nurturing to succeed.
Our friends and family are incredibly supportive and we appreciate that immensely.
You’re only as good as the company you keep
But one of the best things about our 18-month journey across Canada, the USA and Latin America was meeting people who shared our passion for travel and understood totally what it was we were doing, because they themselves were doing the same thing.
People like our designer friend Kristin who quit a killer job with a big Chicago advertising agency to travel the world and pursue her own projects, or Indi who cycled across South America and now runs a travel planning service based out of Melbourne, Australia.
The stoic philosopher Epictetus once said, “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
Off to Bali for more beautiful sunsets
This year Carmen and I are setting out to take things further, starting in Hubud in Bali. From there we plan to go to Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, travelling slowly and working hard on our projects.
And to make them blossom we want to be around people like us – digital nomads, career ditchers, professional vagabonds with daily plans instead of five year projections.
Hubud seems like the perfect place to do this.
According to its website, the collaborative working space is ‘home to a diverse community of local and visiting creatives, techies, entrepreneurs and businessfolks, changemakers, downshifters and truth-seekers’.
Each week there’s events and entrepreneurs often speak and present there, teaching others how to run a small business.
Our friends Victoria and Steve from Bridges and Balloons have spent time there and have told us first-hand about what an amazing and inspirational place it is. Victoria wrote about their life in Ubud here if you’re interested.
Since hearing about Hubud, we’ve known that it’s a place we want to work from. We love running our own business and the freedom it brings, but we’ve really missed working with other people. We’ve got a feeling that Hubud will give us this and more.
The future… who knows?
So, we fly to Bali on the 30th of March. We’re exciting about this new chapter, and we plan to stay in Bali for either two or three months, depending on how much we’re enjoying our time there.
And then? Well, we’re not quite sure.
I guess we’ll just have to see what shape our future takes.