I am a retired lawyer from California; my husband is a vintner (plus many other things). We’re both 68 years old, and most people can’t wrap their minds around the change we made moving to Bali, Indonesia, seven years ago. Unless changes in our health necessitate a return to the U.S., we plan to spend the rest of our lives here.
We leased a half acre of land for 20 years for $50,000. The property overlooks a river valley with a small waterfall on the far side. We built a “villa,” as a single-family home in Bali is called. Our house has a swimming pool, furniture handmade to our specifications, and flowers everywhere. The cost to build our house today (approximately 2,000 square feet) would be about $350,000. That said, a perfectly nice home could be built for half that amount. A reasonable monthly budget for home maintenance, transportation, food and entertainment is about $1,000.
When it comes to cooking—and cleaning and all of those other daily time-consumers—we hire Balinese help. Our cook, who is paid $75 a month, shops in the market at 6:30 a.m. and prepares all of our meals from scratch. It’s very healthy. Sundays we are on our own, and that is our brunch and pizza day. (We wouldn’t want to forget our roots.) A meal costs about $15 with no alcohol. Alcohol comes with a 300% customs duty. The local beer is good and keeps us looking younger.
We are very involved with a children’s home, ensuring there is always enough food and medical care. As for relaxation, we let Bali happen. Schedules and appointments here are extremely fluid; thus, we wait to hear what’s taking place and join in if we’re so inclined. Poetry readings, yoga, spa visits, massages, a classic film being shown at a coffeehouse, even an invitation to a wedding: All tend to be spur-of-the-moment. It’s very liberating to do whatever strikes your fancy.
There is an English-language library here, as well as an English-language Christian church service and a Rotary Club. If you choose to shop, there are two large U.S.-style supermarkets called Delta and Bingtang. Wi-Fi, Starbucks, FedEx and satellite television are all here for the expat. Or you can choose to ignore them.
Each evening, as we lie in our bed watching the stars, we experience the hush of Bali. A lilting melody drifts down the valley as an upriver village has a ceremony. The magic of this island lulls us to sleep.
Source: Yahoo News