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Mike Henry (15/06/10)

Expat Experiences: Bali, Indonesia - Mike Henry (15/06/10)

Who are you?


My name is Mike Henry and I am currently living on the island of Bali in Indonesia. I am originally from Melbourne, Australia.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I have actually been living overseas for most of my life, including 10 years in Japan, two years in China and now about one year in Bali.

I moved to Bali because I wanted a change in lifestyle. Ever since the first time I visited Bali, I knew I wanted to go back again for a longer period of time. There are so many great things about Bali including the culture, the people, the tropical weather and the many different places to visit in Bali.

What challenges did you face during the move?

Indonesia's bureaucracy can be difficult to deal with, especially immigration. Fortunately there are agents that can help you to get the right visas.

I moved to a village in Bali, so it was difficult to get internet and there was no chance of getting a telephone line. I had to get a post office box as it wasn't easy to get mail delivered to our house. Last year there were rolling blackouts once every ten days and we often had problems with the town water. It was good in a way, as I learnt not to take these things for granted.

Can you tell us something about your property?

I found my first house through an agent. When that lease expired I rented a house from a friend and it was much cheaper than going through an agent. In Indonesia you usually have to pay one year's rent in advance

What is the property market like at the moment?

The property market particularly in the south of Bali is really booming right now. Property prices are rising steadily. If you move out of the main tourist areas though, you can find more affordable accommodation.

Are you employed or self-employed? What challenges did you face in either finding employment or running your own business?

I am self-employed. There are very few jobs available for foreigners in Bali, other than in large five star hotel chains. There are a few jobs available for English teachers.

Most foreigners who come here either have an income from their home country like a pension or start a business here.

Since I rely on the internet for what I am doing, it's not easy because it is very slow and a little unreliable.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Yes. Bali is becoming a very popular place now for expats to live. Indonesia has a retirement visa now for people aged over 55 years of age.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

The locals are very, very friendly people. Everyone seems to smile and wave hello. Balinese are very relaxed and easy going people. They always seem to have time to stop for a chat. It is definitely one of the joys of living in Bali.

What do you like about life where you are?

I like the easy going lifestyle, the many friends I have made, the warm weather, the food and travelling around the island.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Probably the only thing I don't like is the slow internet and the traffic in the south of Bali which only seems to be getting worse.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

For people who have decided to move here after enjoying their holiday, they need to realize how different it is when you live here permanently. You need to learn to be very patient and accept that many things are different here than what you might be used to.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to build a house here or maybe even a small guesthouse. It has always been my dream to have my own small hotel or guest house. I have some other ideas for businesses but after spending more and more time here in Bali, you learn to just relax and take things slowly!

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