In February 2023 I travelled to Bali, Indonesia to work remotely for a few weeks. Here's why I did this, and how I chose the destination.
If you've ever seen any of the stereotypical streets crowded with scooters, people crossing the street whichever way they want to and locals in beautiful traditional sarongs—you probably saw a picture of Bali. And all the stereotypes are true—in the best way possible. Ubud is one of the most beautiful towns I've ever been to, and surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever been to. Think of terraced rice fields bordered by coconut palms, air fragrant with incense and narrow pathways as far as the eye can see. It truly is paradise.
Why did I choose Ubud?
Ubud is home to a large community of expats, and with it come stunning amenities. The warungs (local cafes) all have high speed internet, along with delicious fresh juices and food. The slightly fancier cafes all feel like they are set up entirely for folks working remotely. You can order one smoothie and sit there for hours undisturbed.
I also had decided that I wanted to experience a place I had been to before, rather than discovering a location entirely anew. I visited Ubud and other places in Bali in 2019, and immediately felt drawn towards Ubud. When I made the choice to work from somewhere sunny this year, Ubud was an easy choice to make.
But what about the time difference?
That was the biggest hurdle I had to figure out how to handle. I'm working on a different blog post about how well (or not so well) the remote working actually ended up, so more on this in details later. But for now, the time difference ended up not being a big issue. I was transparent with my clients about where I am, changed my availability to make their life a little easier, and also accepted that I might not be able to join some meetings.
Would I do it again?
Yes, with a few caveats. I'll talk more about this in the logistical post that I want to share, but for now lets just say creating boundaries between working from a beautiful cafe in the middle of rice fields, and actually getting any meaningful work done wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.